Chateaus of France
Collected by Andi Fisher, AFAR Local Expert
There are thousands of chateaus in France - each one a hidden gem just waiting to be explored.
41700 Cheverny, France
We were in the Loire Valley for the wedding of friends, and the one day when there were no real festivities, we planned to bike from Blois (where we were staying) to Chateau de Cheverny. It had been some time since I'd biked a long distance, let...
Rue du Barri, 06360 Èze, France
A breathtaking view of dramatic cliffs diving into the sparkling azure seas sets the scene for a spectacular meal of seasonal specialties by Michelin two-star chef Ronan Kervarrec that may be perfectly paired with any one of 15,000 bottles of wine...
61 Rue du Général de Gaulle, 51530 Pierry, France
Visitors who stay at this restored 18th-century chateau, about six miles south of the grape-growing village of Hautvillers, feel like house-guests, especially when gathered for dinner at the communal table. Owner Elisabeth Vollereaux prepares...
Place Saint-Louis, 41250 Chambord, France
Location, location, location. You can’t get much closer to the action at Chateau de Chambord than by planning a stay at Hotel Grand St. Michel. Nestled right next to this castle of King François I, you have unobstructed views of the largest...
3 Le Château, 14610 Fontaine-Henry, France
One of the few chateaus that I have been to outside of Loire, the Château de Fontaine-Henry is located in Normandy and I basically stumbled upon while out and about explore the backroads of this beautiful region. It is unique in it is one of the...
2 Rue du Château, 49260 Brézé, France
Château de Brézé is a very interesting chateau outside of Saumur. You don't visit it for the chateau above ground which includes a dry-moat, you visit it for its trogloditic basement where some of the chateau's vineyard activity takes place. It's...
Château, 41250 Chambord, France
Only two hours outside of Paris, Chateau de Chambord is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, but it remains unfinished. It was originally built as a hunting lodge for King Francois I and is massive! Once Francois passed away the chateau was...
23 Route de Fougère, 41700 Cheverny, France
This chateau in Cheverny sits in the shadow of the Château de Cheverny proper, but this adorable chateau that has been converted into a hotel is worth a visit and a stay. The chateau is in its own park, and even has a pool and is an excellent spot...
37150 Chenonceaux, France
This chateau is a personal favorite. Most of the photos you see of it show it show it lording over the Cher river, but I decided to use a photo showing one of the courtyards. As is typical with many of the wonderful chateaus of France there are...
41150 Chaumont-sur-Loire, France
Not only is this a beautiful château but is has an incredible view of Loire Valley. Besides the chateau which often houses an art exhibit on its top floor, there are multiple gardens on the grounds that are gorgeous. There is a garden festival...
D729, La Forêt, 37420 Rigny-Ussé, France
This chateau built in the 15th and 16th centuries was said to have inspired Charles Perrault to write his fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It has beautiful gardens with views of the Indre river and it beautifully decorated - including a room with a...
3 Rue Principale, 37510 Villandry, France
You can spend hours and hours walking through and photographing the phenomenal gardens in the Chateau de Villandry without even thinking about going inside the chateau itself. Changed four times a year to match the seasons the intricate designs on...
41250 Chambord, France
...early summer light filtering through a window in the 16th-century Chateau de Chambord. This Renaissance palace began as a hunting lodge for François I. Leonardo da Vinci may have played a role in designing part of it. Today, it's the largest...
37150 Chenonceaux, France
Along a most beautiful path way you first come across an emerald laden canopied moat, where you can imagine the gallantry of renaissance horse riding. To your left, as you draw nearer to the chateau, you pass the Italian maze created by Catherine...
Avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes, France
Built in the 14th century by Charles V, the Chateau is one of the most important castles in French history. The Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel), on site was founded in 1379 and is well worth a visit. The chapel construction started just before the...
Rue de Pineau, 37190 Azay-le-Rideau, France
I lived in France for a bit and with every day my love continues to grow beyond any words could ever describe. One of my favorite parts was visiting the centuries old architecture still standing representing the rich pride the French have for...
1061 Route de la Batie d'Urfé, 42130 Saint-Étienne-le-Molard, France
In the middle of a chateau built with a Catholic God in mind is this most unusual grotto, a rock garden of sorts that 'guards' the entrance to the chapel. It is filled with Renaissance statuary, collected by the owner during a stint as a diplomat...
77950 Maincy, France
Those who faithfully follow the guidebooks on Paris and its environs will undoubtedly find themselves journeying 10km south west of the capital to Versailles to discover the Sun King’s gilded emblem – an impressive if grandiose symbol of royal...
64570 Lanne-en-Barétous, France
Stay in the home of one of the real musketeers. Dumas character Porthos was based on the original occupant of the castle, Isaac de Portau. Destroyed in a earthquake in the 1960s, the castle was beautifully restored in 2005. Bordering Basque...
Place Charles de Gaulle, 78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. One of the lesser-known, but just as incredible, châteaus in the suburbs of Paris. I flew to Paris and was wandering around the grounds of the beautiful château forty-five minutes after leaving the airport . The...
Rue du Château, 62360 Hesdin-l'Abbé, France
In the tiny village of Hesdin-l'Abbé, not far from the bustling centre of Boulogne-Sur-Mer, you'll find the Chateau Cléry. This 18th century Chateau was once the summer home of nobility, but now you can be treated like a royal at the Cléry Hotel....
453 Avenue Henry Clews, 06210 Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France
Chateau de la Napoule is a beautiful old castle located right on the Mediterranean in the south of France. You can go into the gardens and the inside of the castle or you can lay on the beaches outside. There are many places nearby for small hikes...
2 Rue du Château, 64000 Pau, France
If you're looking for the prefect French vacation destination, the picturesque city of Pau, in Southwest France, may just have it all. Its location is perfect, almost equidistant from the stunning Pyrenees Mountains, for hiking and skiing, and the...
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