We loved the Loire Valley, it was just beautiful. I definitely recommend visiting if you’re ever in France. It was just the most gorgeous countryside coupled with these amazing castles and chateaus. Stu was ready to move there after our first day!
(By the way, this is part 22 in my series on my recent trip to Europe. You can catch up on the previous posts in this series here)
We stayed in a little commune (too small to be a town!) called Lussault-sur-Loire, right outside of Amboise, in the most amazing house ever! It was a troglodyte house, which is basically a house built in a cave. It’s such an awesome way to make use of the natural environment, and they stay a constant temperature all year round apparently. It was a fun little novelty staying in such an awesome place.
The house also had an amazing garden at the top of it and a huge field with cherry trees that overlooked the Loire River. It really was a beautiful location.
Amboise was a gorgeous town and the chateau there is just amazing. It was a royal residence (after being confiscated from the original owner) and Charles VII, Charles VIII, Louis XII, Francis I, and Henry II all lived there at various points. Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots) also lived there with her future in-laws Henry II and Catherine de Medici when she was a child.
Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the best known Chateaus in the Loire Valley, and for good reason. It was beautiful! It crosses the River Cher and also housed some French royals. Henry II gave it as a gift to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. When Henry died, Catherine de Medici forced Diane to ‘swap’ Chenonceau for Chateau Chaumont. The gardens here were just gorgeous, I loved them!
In the First World War the long gallery in the chateau was used as a hospital ward. During the Second World War the chateau marked the border between occupied and free France and because there were entry points on both sides of the river, the owners used the chateau to smuggle people out of occupied France. Such an interesting history to this place!
We visited a few other chateaus but Amboise and Chenonceau were my favourites. I’d definitely recommend visiting them if you’re there.
It really is just a gorgeous part of the world, we absolutely adored it. I think Stu is already daydreaming about how we can go back!
Next up: Normandy – where we visited D-Day beaches, I got a chest infection and tried to get cough medicine in a French pharmacy with no English speakers in sight!
I’ve broken my Europe trip up into easy to manage pieces, otherwise I’ll be drowning you in hundreds of images at once! So you know what’s coming, I’ve prepared a list of the 24 parts of this series:
Part 1: London
Part 2: Cambridge
Part 3: Paris
Part 4: Amiens
Part 5: Battlefields
Part 6: Ieper (Ypres)
Part 7: Amsterdam
Part 8: Berlin
Part 9: Prague
Part 10: Cesky Krumlov
Part 11: Vienna
Part 12: Salzburg
Part 13: Venice
Part 14: Pesaro
Part 15: Amalfi Coast
Part 16: Pompeii
Part 17: Rome
Part 18: Florence
Part 19: Tuscany
Part 20: La Spezia
Part 21: Lyon
Part 22: Loire Valley
Part 23: Normandy
Part 24: Mont St Michel
Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about any of these places and I’ll try to include it in my post!