The Loire Valley Chateaux are justifiably famous, and reason enough to visit this region of France. Our Tour de Loire Valley is designed to ensure our cyclists get to see many of these amazing historical buildings, and even better, to spend a night at some of these lovingly preserved memories of times past.
Borne from the Renaissance and the Age of Enlightenment, the Loire Valley chateaux date from the middle of the 16th century, with many created for royalty. This remained the case right up until King Loius XIV commissioned and completed the great Palace of Versailles in Paris in the middle of the 17th century. Whilst the centre of power and influence shifted to Paris, many of the bourgeoisie continued to renovate and build lavish new chateaux as their summer residence in the Loire Valley. The French Revolution, and then World Wars I & II did see the destruction of many of the chateaux, with those remaining largely taken into private hands and now used at hotels and private residences. Here is just a sample of some of the Loire Valley chateaux that we visit on our cycling tours through this beautiful region of France.
Map of Loire Valley Chateaux
Here’s a terrific map which shows the significant number of Loire Valley chateaux, drawing visitors with stories of French history and architectural grandeur. To learn more about the Loire Valley Chateaux and other incredible facts of the region go to the Atout France tourism website.
Chateaux de Chambord
Possibly the most recognised of all the chateaux of the Loire, or even France, with its distinctive Renaissance style. Chateaux Chambord is also the largest of the chateaux in the Loire Valley and took over 28 years to complete (1519-1547). A must visit on any trip to the Loire.
Chateaux de Chenonceaux, Cote Aval
Having celebrated it’s 500th anniversary in 2013, this chateaux has plenty of history, including the first ever fireworks show seen in France in 1560 to announce the ascension to the throne of Catherine’s son Francis II. A stunning chateaux, you could spend a whole day wandering the grounds and halls.
Chateaux de Marçay, Chinon
The 15th century château is built on the ruins of an 11th century fortress. 40 acres of parkland surround the hotel, which is a 5 minute cycle ride away from Chinon with its medieval fortress. The fine restaurant makes good use of the vegetable and herb gardens and orchard of which the hotel is proud.
Chateaux de Beaulieu, Joué-les-Tours
An eighteenth century country house, transformed into a chic 3* hotel by the owners in 1976. Stroll in the extensive gardens or relax in the billiard room before dinner in the elegant restaurant or on the terrace.
Châteaux du Breuil, Cour-Cheverny
Dating from the 17th/18th centuries, the Château was owned by the Marquise de Méloize Frenoy, then the Comte de la Salle before transforming into a 3* hotel in 1989. New wings have been added by converting the stables into luxurious rooms. The huge wooded grounds are home to both a wealth of wildlife (watch deer graze on the lawns as you dine!) and a fabulous pool.
Relais des Trois Châteaux, Cour-Cheverny
An ancient coaching house in the heart of the village Cour-Cheverny, a stroll from the famous Château, the Relais was completely refurbished in 2013 as a luxurious 4 star hotel & restaurant Les Trois Marchands, a gastronomic encapsulation of the region.
Join our Tour de Loire Valley to experience the incredible Chateaux of Loire as well as the famous food, wine and off road cycling.