Castle Tours of France

“The French air cleans up the brain and does good – a world of good.” – Vincent Van Gogh

France is the country that happens to contain not only the highest number of Castles but they are the most beautiful and varied in aesthetic, purpose and each has their own unique (and some scandalous) architecture and history.

The Loire Valley region is located in central France and spans about 800 square kilometers (310 square miles). Major towns in the region include Orléans and Tours, both of which are located less than an hour from Paris on high speed train. This region is best known for castles, counting over 70 along the Loire River and its tributaries. It is also famous for its fruit orchards and vineyards, which benefit from the region’s fertile soil.

The large number of castles in this area can be explained by briefly examining France’s history. Before the 16th century, the royal power was located in the Loire region. This explains the presence of some of the older castles. In the middle of the same century, King François I moved his court to Paris, however, many royals preferred to stay in the Loire area. The construction of Versailles by King Louis XIV cemented Paris as the location of royal power, but rich nobles and members of the bourgeois class still preferred the Loire Valley. They renovated existing castles in the region and continued to build new ones, using them especially for summer homes. This area was truly ideal for getaways because it offered a warmer climate than Paris, but was still very near to the capital in case of emergencies.

Unfortunately, many of the castles were destroyed during the French Revolution in the 18th century. Additionally, many were taken over by military units during the Great Wars. Today, these castles serve a variety of purposes. Some are private homes, others are hotels, and the rest are open as monuments to the general public.

There are 3 famous Castles that are “must sees”:

Chateau de Chenonceau – Run by women for most of its existence and has a magnificent garden to stroll through Our Instagram photos here.

Chateau de Chambord – An architectural miracle and the largest in the Loire Valley.

Chateau de Amboise – End the day at the former home of King Francois I, and see the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci at Amboise village. This Castle is among the most special with its gorgeous river placement.
Our Instagram photos here.

***Cost of this Loire Valley Castle 12 hour Day Tour from Paris starts at 312 USD and is limited to 6 persons.
The tour includes wine tasting and lunch featuring traditional French cuisine.

Please email caroline@customparistours.com to carefully plan your Castle Dream.