Emblematic of France at its most Romantic, the Loire Valley is an essential stop for any traveler wishing to experience some of the country’s most beautiful architecture and natural landscapes, not to mention superb wines. With its dozens of Renaissance-era chateaux dotted mostly along the breathtaking Loire and Cher Rivers– themselves offering incredible opportunities for a luxury boat cruise and wild bird-watching tour— the region is so precious that it is been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re seeking history, culture, natural beauty and luxurious surroundings, this region is the ideal destination.
That’s why we’ve put together the following list of the most beautiful Loire Valley castles to visit, whether on a first or fifth trip to France. Some of these are world-famous chateaux attracting thousands of visitors per year and managed by the state; while others are intimate, privately owned properties offering luxurious overnight stays and true exclusivity. All have our stamp of approval as places in the Loire guaranteed to take your breath away. They will transport you to a world of literary-level romance worthy of a novel by Balzac or Chateaubriand, who both wrote from and about the mythical region. If you find our suggestions inspiring, make sure to get in touch with us so we can start crafting your tailored getaway in the area.