Enter the Loire Valley and you’re stepping into the valley of the castles. And what fairytale castles they are! The Châteaus of the Loire Valley all have their own intriguing stories that give them little bit of extra magic. Here are some of the most magical castles in the valley.
Four Châteaus of the Loire Valley
Chateau d’ Ussé
This castle boasts the claim to fame that, if legend is to be believed, it inspired Charles Perrault to write ‘Sleeping Beauty’. It’s also such a charmer that the family that owns the castle still occupy it, and why wouldn’t they?
Le Nôtre, who was the main gardener for Louis XIII and the man behind the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, played with symmetry and geometry to create this garden. In doing so, he brought a fresh approach to gardening that challenged the conventions. The fountains and lakes offset the gardens beautifully.
Not only is an endearing château, it was also the home of Leonardo da Vinci in the last few years of his life, moving to the castle in 1516 and living there until he passed away in 1519. The French kings were big fans of Italian Renaissance and liked to incorporate these ideas into French life. Da Vinci would become the premier painter, engineer and architect of the king — not bad work if you can get it! The chateau is just a few meters away Château Amboise.
If you’re looking to see some of France’s beautiful châteaus, companies like Saga Travel run river cruises that run through the region and on other French waterways. It’s a relaxing, engaging way to see France.