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Travel to France: Chateau of Chambord in the Valley of the Loire
Biggest of the Loire castles
The Chateau of Chambord in the Valley of the Loire, France, is the biggest of all the Loire castles and Renaissance buildings. It has 440 rooms, some 13 staircases, 365 fireplaces and is more than 400 years old. French kings used the chateau as a retreat, in particular Louis XIV.
Most tourists visit more than one castle in the Loire valley, but if you have the time to visit only one castle, it should be Chambord as this castle is France at its best. You will not be able to explore this castle in only one day as it is much too large.
Splendid Views around the Castle
If you have seen the American film “Ever After”, you might remember that this is the same castle that they used in that movie.
While wandering around the huge grounds, you will be in awe of the magnitude of its structure. The castle is situated in a park surrounded by a wall of 22 miles in circumference.
The spiral staircase in the castle will take your breath away and is one of its many highlights. It is a stunning double helix staircase which winds around within itself but never meets. The top of the stairs leads you to its large terraces where one has a splendid view of the grounds and nearby surroundings. The castle itself is empty with no furniture but it is still interesting to explore its various rooms.
Many tourists enjoy a relaxing picnic in the park. Do not forget to also enjoy one the infamous wines of the region. Others prefer to take a guided tour to get to know the history of the caste. I preferred to just wander around the grounds on my own and to meet my tour group later.
How to get to Chambord from Paris
You can easily reach Chambord by train from Paris and just spend the day or sleep over in the Loire Valley to do more exploring. Take a train from Paris to Blois or Mer and then use the bus shuttle service to Chambord. Or take the TGV from Paris to Tours where you can then also take a bus to Chambord. Many guided tours operate from Tours or Blois providing various options to explore different castles in the Loire Valley. It is also easy to drive to the castles on the A10 from Paris which will provide you with more flexibility to visit the castles.
I went on a guided one day tour by bus from Paris and also visited several other castles. Chambord is my definite favorite.
Satellite view of Chambord castle
More travel to France
- Travel to France: Chenonceau castle in Loire valley
Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire valley in France is another amazing castle which was built in the Renaissance style and now carefully restored. Nestled on the shore of the Cher River, visitors are amazed by its architecture and beautiful gardens.
- Travel to France: Mont-St-Michel small tidal island
One of my favorite places and also one of the most amazing tourist attractions in France is St-Mont-Michel, a little rocky island at the mouth of Couesnon River in Normandy.