Trip to the Loire Valley from Paris
You’ve probably already heard of the Loire Valley! This region is home to many prestigious French Renaissance châteaux. If you’re staying in Paris for a while and have some time to visit some nearby French cities or want to have a one-day trip outside Paris, the Loire Valley is actually the best idea you could have had! The Loire Valley is perfect for anyone who’s into castles, understanding history, and love charming and romantic places!
Getting to the Loire Valley actually takes less time than you would expect! But this depends on how you want to plan your trip and on how many days you plan on staying in the region! Read on this article to find out the best way to organize your trip to the Loire Valley from Paris.
How to get to the Loire Valley
In the Loire Valley, there are many different castles that are worth the visit! However, they are located in different cities along the banks of the Loire river and there is a significant travel distance between a castle and the next one. This is why a car can be very handy, and many people opt for this option. They rent a car in Paris and drive to the Loire Valley. Thanks to the car, people are free and independent and can visit all the Loire Valley landmarks at their own pace.
Nonetheless, in my opinion, if you really feel like driving from one castle to the other, the best thing to do would be to rent a car once you arrive at the Loire Valley. This way you will avoid the traffic jam from Paris to the Loire Valley. You can take the train from Paris! It is quick, easy, and much more relaxing! The non-stop train usually departs from the Montparnasse train station and reaches the Tours train station in less than one hour and a quarter. When you’ll be buying your train tickets, buy it heading to Tours. It will cost you around 29 euros and 45 euros if you want to travel in first class. I also suggest you to purchase your tickets in advance. The closer the departure date is, the more expensive it gets.
Last but not least, you can join a guided tour that departs from Paris. This specific option is ideal for people who just want to spend one day in the Loire Valley and want to have a general idea of the Loire Valley châteaux. The ParisCityVision company offers audio guided tours by bus. They leave early in the morning from Paris and propose a round-trip through several Loire Valley castles.
What to see in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a wonderful region. When people travel to France, they obviously want to explore the magnificent city of Paris and all its landmarks, visit the stunning Palace of Versailles. After visiting these amazing places, the Loire Valley seems to be the perfect place. The castles of the Loire Valley were the favorite retreats for many French Kings. During your trip to the Loire Valley, you will quickly understand the reason why. The Loire Valley is relaxing, quiet and peaceful. Read on and learn a little about some of the châteaux of the Loire Valley.
- The Château of Chambord: The King of France, François the first, oversaw the construction of the Château of Chambord with Leonardo da Vinci during the sixteenth century when he was staying at the Château Du Clos Lucé. This castle is the most famous and the most popular of the Loire Valley. Many people go to the Loire Valley just to see it. One of the Chambord castle highlights is probably the impressive double-helix staircase. All through the centuries, the castle was the occasional domicile for sovereigns, princes and royal families when they came to the region for the hunting season. If you visit the Château of Chambord, make sure you come during Spring or Summer, when all the gardens are full of flowers. The place gets even prettier than usual!
- The Château of Chenonceau: You really shouldn’t miss this one. Like the Château of Chambord, it is one of the most popular and it also is a treasure of Renaissance architecture, its galleries and marvellous gardens. It was nicknamed the “château des Dames”, which means the Castle of Ladies. How come? Thanks to its owners, Diana de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis. Built during the sixteenth century, it is one of the most impressive castles of the region due to its rich interiors and amazing and feminine furnitures. It is also said to be the most elegant and nicely furnished castles. You will also love the gardens that look like they come straight out a fairytale!
- The Château of Cheverny: This castle was inspired by the Palais du Luxembourg located in the Latin Quarter in Paris. It was one of the first private residences to open its doors to the public in 1922. It is now possible to visit some parts of the château since, the most recent owners, the Hurault family still lives in the castle. The château of Cheverny is not as big or as architecturally impressive as the nearby castles but its interiors, furniture collections, tapestries and historical objects are one-of-a-kind and definitely worth the time having a look at them.
- The Château of Amboise: For many French Kings, this castle also was one of their preferred retreat. It also was the Princes and Princesses school. It is where the King François the first was educated. You should know that the most famous guest of the Château of Amboise is Leonardo da Vinci. During the year of 1515, the famous artist, inventor, and scientist came to the region and stayed in the Château du Close Lucé. The history of the castle is quite peculiar and interesting, and you will also love how the Château of Amboise combines both Gothic and Renaissance architecture!
You now have some ideas on how to plan your trip to the Loire Valley from Paris! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful! France is an amazing country, there are so many things to see and to explore! If you happen to go to the Loire Valley, I hope you’ll have the time to visit all these stunning castles. Also, don’t miss the marvellous gardens at the Château de Villandry, and the Château du Close Lucé to learn about the region’s history and discover some of Da Vinci’s works. You should also try some wine tasting experiences, boat cruises, or bi-plane flights over the châteaux!