As you approach Château de Chambord, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve fallen into a fairy tale. The white stone walls, towering turrets and mirror-flat moat seem more fantasy than fact. To complete the picture, it’s surrounded by an enchanting estate made up of meandering waterways, gardens and woodlands. All on the doorstep of your luxury, boutique hotel. Let the story begin.
A magnificent Renaissance château set on a woodland estate in the Loire Valley
Things to do
Château de Chambord was originally intended as a hunting lodge for King Francis I in the early sixteenth century. This ‘lodge’ became the largest, grandest castle in the Loire Valley, with Leonardo da Vinci said to have designed the ingenious, double spiral central staircase. The château took 28 years to build, and was only ever lived in for a few weeks out of the year. However, during World War II, it became home to paintings, sculptures and other treasures saved from the Louvre.
After you’ve delved into the secrets of the château itself, take time to discover the grounds around it. Explore the moat and waterways by boat. Walk in the woodland to spot deer and birds of prey. Or take to the 15km cycle route around the estate for different perspectives on the magnificent castle.
From your luxury hotel in the Chambord Domain, you’ll be perfectly placed for ranging far and wide in the Loire Valley. Wander along pretty streets lined with colourful houses in Blois. Cycle through centuries-old villages and vineyards to tick off visits to even more châteaux. Or, if you’re in need of some city buzz, visit Orléans, where the ancient city comes alive with welcoming cafés and fine restaurants.
From theatre, dance and music to fireworks displays, Château de Chambord plays host to many special events throughout the year.
top tip from SLH