The main thing to come to Loire Valley Chambord castle for is the amazing architecture. A fantastic jumble of towers, stairs, bells, carved windows, twisted railings make it look like a cake that came out from under the hands of a pastry chef with a particularly sophisticated imagination. Chateaubriand saw in him a woman with flowing hair. Victor Hugo wrote about the castle: “All sorts of magic, poetry, even madness are represented in the admirably bizarrerie of that palace of fairies and knights.”
Wealthy and powerful nobles of the 15-16th centuries, deciding to get a permanent residence in the Loire Valley, obviously found a special charm in the fact that their castle was surrounded by water.
The swift waters of Cher, flowing around the arches of the covered bridge attached to the Chenonceau Castle (Château de Chenonceau), make it perhaps the most graceful of the Loire valley castles.
If you are traveling through the Loire Valley by public transport, the Tours city will be the best choice for accommodation. It is a very pretty city in itself. There are enough hotels in it. Tours is also located in the very center of a large group of castles – getting to any of them will not be difficult:
- upstream of the Loire – castles Chambord, Blois, Chaumont, Cheverny, Ambois;
- downstream – Langeais, d’Usse, Saumur, Angais, Brissac, Montsoreau, Fontevraud;
- on the river Cher, also passing through Tours, – Chenonceau, Loches, Villandry и Azay-le-Rideau;
- on the river Indres – Chinon
They are not all that far from the Tours and from each other. But combining several places in one day is not so easy if you are without a car, due to the unconvenient transport system in the region.
The section of the Loire cycle route from Tours to Villandry deserves a your attentioin, even if you’re not a big fan of cycling. Idyllic landscapes, not too tiring road through the fields with poppies and cornflowers along the slow river and at the end of a beautiful castle with Renaissance gardens.
Villandry combines fine with other castles – as a bicycle, car or bus route to several points.