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Loire Valley Chateaus


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Spending 8 days in Loire Valley the middle of next month.

Will be staying in Orleans and doing day trips.

Primary attractions are going to be the Chateaus.

I have complied the following in the last few hours.

Cathedral de Chartres & Chateau Chambord are must.

Everything else is flexible. I know that at best I can hit

1/2 of the list. Lists are ordered by preference.


My questions are is there anything that should be added?

Second question is order of secondary sites?


The List



Cathedral de Chartres

Rue Chantault

Medieval Street

Chateau de Maintenon



Chateau Chambord

Chateau de Blois

Chateau de Beauregard



Chateau de Chenonceau



Chateau de la Loire

Cathedral St. Gatien



Cathedral St Croix

Maison de Jeanne d’Arc

River cruise by Gien

Chateau de Meung-sur-Loire

Chateau de Sully-sur-Loire



Chateau de Champchevrier

Chateau de Cinq-Mars

Chateau de Langeais



Chateau de Chinon

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Based on my 1990's memories of the region, I'd say you have done your research well. Not familiar with the river cruise you mention but my general complaint with them is that you are often positioned too low to photograph structures along the riverbank.


For a change of pace, oddball attraction, walk a couple hundred meters SE of the facade of the Chartre Cathedral. There is a little oudoor museum called the the Maison Picassiette. I forget the details but a monk, a lunatic or simply just some guy with too much time on his hands built a minature village of sorts out of bits of broken glass. You can see it in an hour or less and it is fun for photography. It will serve as momentary comic relief from all the serious architecture you'll be seeing.


The Michilien(sp?) Green Guide on the Loire Valley provides excellent background material on everything you'll be seeing.

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Any particular reason why you picked Orleans as your base? You will be at least 1 hour away from most chateaux, and probavly too far to go the the ones that are west of Tours (Azay-le-rideau, Chinon, Langeais, Villandry).

On your list, the major ones are Chambord and Chenonceaux. Then Blois and Amboise. This <a href=http://www.luxurytraveler.com/loire.html>site </A>has a pretty complete list of places to visit.

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  • 8 months later...

<p>If i were you, i wouldn't have stayed in Orleans... They have a beautiful listed cathedral, a charming old city, but that's it. I really prefered Tours and the vineyard of the Chinon and Vouvray. I've also spend one night in Amboise, and another in Vendôme (though it wasn't such a good idea for the 3rd night).<br>

i've just answered 3 questions on the loire valley tourist board (i guess it's them : i'm not sure). I've scored 3. It is not hard but it was a good way to remember parts of my trip. http://www.win-a-trip-to-loire-valley.com/</p>

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<p>You have a very complete list. In Amboise, the Clos Luce is where Leonardo DaVinci spent the last years of his life. Interesting tour.<br>

Like others, if it were me, I would stay somewhere closer to the heart of the Loire than Orleans--Blois or Tours. Don't spend all your time trying to see all the most "important" chateaux and cathedrals. Leave some time to see the countryside, enjoy the towns, the restaurants, the vineyards, etc., even if it means dropping a couple chateaux from the list. We spent a very nice family vacation doing a self-guided bicycle tour of the chateau country going at a very leisurely pace along tertiary roads. The tour company provided bicycles with maps, and reservations at country hotels with luggage transfers each day--the rest was up to us.</p>


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