When my husband and I were planning our 10th wedding anniversary trip to France, one of my dreams was to stay in a chateau. I wanted to live that princess life! In doing research, we learned that the best place to stay would be the Loire Valley for the huge amount of chateaux available both for visiting or staying. More to come on the chateau we ultimately chose for our accommodation, but today I am sharing the Loire Valley scenic route to see several magnificent chateaux that we took to get there from Paris, along with how to get to Loire Valley from Paris for a fabulous Loire Valley road trip. We rented a car on our way out of Paris and drove this route ourselves in a single day, but the itinerary was inspired by this comprehensive, six-day Loire Valley Chateaux tour from Esprit de France (be sure to check that out if you have more time). Driving in France (outside of Paris) is not very intimidating, with well-maintained roads, so I recommend renting a car and doing this scenic route des chateaux de la Loire drive yourself. Not only is it a short drive from Paris to Loire Valley by car, but having your own car also gives you the flexibility to stop and tour different chateaux on your own schedule. With our scenic Loire Valley driving itinerary, it will be even easier for you to plan!
How far is the Loire Valley from Paris?
The Loire Valley is about 200km and a 2 hour drive from Paris by car (depending on Paris traffic, of course). If you’re wondering how to get to Loire Valley from Paris, you can stay on the main freeways and toll roads to get there in about 2 hours. However, if you want to take the scenic route for your Loire Valley road trip, our itinerary takes you off the main freeways once you get close to Château de Chambord, then continues you onto a more scenic route to see several more chateaux without adding too much time to your driving itinerary. Without stops, this Loire Valley scenic route will only add about 30 minutes to your drive time.
Route des chateaux de la Loire (Loire Valley scenic route to see 5 chateaux from Paris to Loire Valley by car)
Here’s our recommended Loire Valley scenic route starting in Paris and ending in Amboise, with five chateaux you can visit along the way!
Scenic Chateaux Loire Valley road trip – Stop 1
Château de Chambord. Why not start big? Chateau de Chambord is Loire Valley’s largest chateau. Currently celebrating its 500th anniversary, there is a lot of history, along with architectural marvel, in this chateau and its grounds.
Scenic Chateaux Loire Valley road trip – Stop 2
Château de Blois. This impressive chateau was the favorite of many French kings and queens over its history.
Scenic Chateaux Loire Valley road trip – Stop 3
Château de Chaumont. This Renaissance-style chateau is also a museum housing works of art in its permanent collection, as well as hosting seasonal exhibitions.
Scenic Chateaux Loire Valley road trip – Stop 4
Château de Chenonceau. This chateau has a long history of succession of powerful women since the medieval times, and is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture.
Scenic Chateaux Loire Valley road trip – Stop 5
Château d’Amboise. Another favorite residence of French kings, Amboise Chateau Royal was also frequented by Leonardo da Vinci, whose own residence, Clos Lucé, is nearby.
Stay tuned for more on what to do and where to stay in France’s Loire Valley. In the meantime, you’ll want to pin this post to your travel planning boards!
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