How Many Châteaux of Loire Valley Can You See In One Day?

We saw four out of five planned on our day trip from Paris. The reason we didn't see the firth one is because the forth one with its ga...

We saw four out of five planned on our day trip from Paris. The reason we didn't see the firth one is because the forth one with its garden and adjacent forest turned out to be so beautiful and serene, we didn't want to leave and stayed until the sunset. The valley, nestled at the Loire River and its tributaries, offers over 80 castles (châteaux in French), 42 of them make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you'll be planning a similar trip to the valley, I bet your biggest challenge will be which ones you pick to see.

But I'm almost certain that you can't go wrong no matter which ones you choose. Hopefully, the selection below will help you make a decision.

1. Chambord
Château de Chambord is the largest, the most well-known and by many considered to be the most beautiful château of the Loire Valley.
The vast majority of historians agree that Domenico da Cortona, an Italian architect, was the one  who designed the château, however some people also think Leonardo da Vinci might have contributed.
In any case, the château will leave you speechless and overwhelmed when you'll see it. 
Built between 1519 and 1547 by King Francis I of France, the château and its hunting grounds have never become a permanent residence of a royal family.
I really liked the forest that surrounds the château. I even spotted a family of hogs. Is there anyone still hunting there?

2. Menars
Although this château didn't make on the initial list of castles we wanted to see, it's easy to spot it while driving along the Loire River from Chambord to Blois. 
I can't really say much about it except "Location, location, location". I think it's worthy to stop, turn off your engine and enjoy the château nestled in the beautiful and simplistic Loire Valley.
What impresses you more - opulent and luxurious Paris or lush green French countryside with its gingerbread houses?

3. Amboise
It's hard to say whether Château d'Amboise looks more like a fort, or an architectural masterpiece. 
Its dominance over the town promises to withstand any attack.
The château became a royal residence in 1431 after it was seized by King Charles VII of France from Louis d'Amboise.
Many prominent Italian architects, who were brought up there following the Italian War, helped transform the medieval castle into a glorious place to live for French monarchs. 
Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked in Amboise. His burial place is there as well.

4. Chenonceau
Château de Chenonceau is my favourite one in the Loire Valley.
The romantic castle spans the river like a bridge. 
Catherine de' Medici, one of the most prominent women in French history, lived there and helped drive the castle's expansion to its present forms. 
No less impressive is the garden at the château.
Those who look for solitude will appreciate a nearby forest with tall trees and miles of pretty pathways. A great place to spend a summer evening.
In case you're still wondering which château of the five planned we didn't see. It was Château de Saumur. There should always be a next time, right?

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