I cannot believe I have been in France for over 3 years and have never been to the Loire Valley. I have been dying to visit this region of France since before I even moved here, and finally we headed out of Paris to visit some chateaux! Lucky for us, my boyfriend and I have our anniversary on May 1st, which is a Labor Day in France and therefore as long as we live in France, our anniversary will be a day off, woohoo!
We rented a car, and headed out of Paris early that morning. There are over 100 chateaux open to the public in the Loire Valley, so I simply chose a few based off their photos that were not too far away from each other, and we decided we would start at the furthest away and then work our way back up towards home. So, first up on the list was Chateau d'Azay-la-Rideau. Unfortunately for us, I made a newbie mistake and we soon found out this chateau was closed for the holiday.. oh well, on to the next! It was at this point that I realized that the Loire Valley is absolutely stunning and in spring it was particularly gorgeous and wisteria was evverryyywhere!
We headed over to Chateau de Villandry. Since we didn’t have much time we only bought the tickets for the gardens. These chateau gardens are stunning!
Perfectly landscaped gardens, fountains, and a forest up on the hill behind makes for a stunning day.
From there we were off to lunch at Chateau d'Artigny. Upon arrival I was wowed! It was gorgeous from the inside and the out, the food was delicious and we really enjoyed ourselves here, I can only imagine what the hotel rooms in this place are like ;). We chose the "menu" option and enjoyed a starter, main dish, and dessert plus extra goodies they gave us both before and after, and since it was our anniversary we got some champagne as well.
After lunch we headed to Chateau de Chenonceau. I had always dreamed of seeing this chateau perfectly perched over the river and although the chateau itself was smaller than I had imagined it, it did not disappoint.
Much like Versailles (although Versailles is a much larger chateau), half the fun of visiting this chateau is exploring the exterior, which is much more grand than the chateau interiors in my opinion. It was gorgeous seeing the grounds in full bloom on a perfectly sunny day.
We enjoyed the gardens and the chateau before having to head back to Paris. It was such a great time to visit the chateaux and I cannot wait to head back one day and see all the others I have on my list! Have you been to these chateaux, or maybe different ones? Tell me which are your favorites!