9 Absolutely Magical Chateaus in France for Your Fairytale Wanderlust

I’ve always wanted to explore the chateaus in France. Not only for their obvious beauty but because they are so well maintained and intact and look like they jumped from the pages of a storybook.

 

They really do bring you back in time, to a time of true romance, armored knights, and wielding swords. From French medieval forms with Renaissance structures to ancient strongholds, here are 9 totally magical chateaus in France that will make you believe in fairytales.

 

Magical castles in france, chateaus in France

 

Magical Chateaus in France

 

If exploring these magical chateaus in France is high on your bucket list then you may want to take note that you can easily reach France from the UK by Ferry and make a weekend of these magical fortresses.

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL TWojtowicz

 

Chateau de Chambord

 

Likely one of the most recognizable chateaus in the world, the royal Chateau de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France, blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. It is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley and actually built as a hunting lodge. Talk about your man cave.

 

This imposing castle has 5 centuries of history and within the surrounding walls is the largest enclosed forest in Europe. Inside the unique castle is a double helix staircase that was inspired by Leonardo DiVinci.

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Marc Poppleton

 

Chateau de Chenonceau

 

The Chateau de Chenonceau spans the River Cher, near the village of Chenonceaux. It’s a popular tourist attraction in the Loire Valley, dating back to the 11th century. The existing structures dating back to the 16th century. I can only imagine the legends and tales which were told in its halls. 

 

Ladies throughout history have influenced the design and fate of this castle and so it is often called “the Ladies’ Chateau.” Pictures cannot even begin to compare with actually being there to see these spectacular gardens, architecture, and landscape. Something you should experience while exploring these impressive chateaus in France.

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Geoff Livingston

 

Chateau de Villandry

 

The Chateau de Villandry is located in Villandry and is considered a country house. Not quite the house Red Riding Hood would be skipping off to, but certainly full of its share of tall tales. It dates back to the 14th century.

 

Put on some comfy shoes to explore the gorgeous gardens at this magical chateau. You will want to uncover all of the secrets these beautiful gardens seem to hold. 

 

Looking for more magical places to daydream about? Check out these dreamy castles or these chic villas!

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Instant-Shots

 

Chateau d’Usse

 

The Château d’Ussé sits at the edge of the Chinon forest overlooking the Indre Valley. Fantastically perched, it was originally built in the 11th century and was later rebuilt in stone.

 

This stunning chateau was used as inspiration for the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty and when you visit you feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages of your own magical story.

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Eric Jappini

 

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte

 

This incredible baroque French chateau sits in Maincy, near Melun just a short drive from Paris. It dates back to the 17th century and marks the beginning of the “Louis XIV style.” This is a time when famous fairy tale author, Charles Perrault would be inking his famous fairy tales like; Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood.

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Instant-Shots

 

Chateau de Chaumont

 

Another famous fortress in the Loire Valley is the Chateau de Chaumont in Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, France. This remarkable castle dates back to the 10th century!

 

It was later rebuilt in the 15th century. Age-old tales of knights in shining armor and unrequited love, I can only imagine the secrets which are held within its medieval stones. 

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Etienne Valois

 

Chateau Royal d’Amboise

 

Another of these beautiful chateaus in France, the Royal Chateau at Amboise is another Loire Valley marvel in Amboise. Once the royal residence of King Charles VIII who actually died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel. 

 

magical chateaus in france

Photo CCL Klovovi

 

Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau

 

It doesn’t get more fairytale-like than a castle on an island in a river. Built in the 16th century, this chateau is thought of as one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture. It’s a very popular sight in the Loire Valley for obvious reasons.

 

 

Chateau de Cheverny

 

Another Loire Valley marvel, the Chateau de Cheverny dates back to the 17th century. Fun fact, it was donated by King Henri II to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. She actually didn’t like it as much as the Chateau de Chenonceau and sold it to the former owner’s son. Talk about your 17th-century diva!  

 

Many films, books, and TV shows are written on account of true stories and tales which come from the chambers, halls, tunnels, and towers of these incredible chateaus in France. And not just the castles but the forests and hills around them.

 

So, not only are they a marvel to see, but they are truly a catalyst for much of our pop culture. And that, tied in with their historic accounts, makes them absolutely magical.

 


About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

5 Comments on this post

  1. […] situated in the famous Loire Valley of France, the chateaus are quite a spectacle and look as if they were dreamt up in a […]

    35 Magical and Otherworldy Fairy Tale Travel Bucket List Ideas | / Reply
  2. […] you always dreamed of getting married in a castle, and unleashing the princess within on your big day? Castles are inevitably going to be expensive […]

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  3. Where can I look up tours of these castles?

    Melani / Reply
    • Most of them are open to the public and managed by the government. You can just search the name of the castle and all the tour information is right there on google!

      Christa Thompson / (in reply to Melani) Reply
  4. One of the famous Loire Valley of France, They sounds is really great. It’s was so expensive city of France. They are very useful article. Thanks for sharing us.

    Aditii / Reply

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