The small hamlet of Chambord proudly sits next to the immense forested estate of Sologne which envelops and hides the largest castle of the Loire Valley.

The Chateau de Chambord is superb and truly a royal construction, imposing by its grandeur and graceful by its architecture.

In our Loire Valley itineraries, we give you the unique opportunity to discover this extravagant castle from every angle possible.

 

Chambord, le Magnifique !

the castle of Chambord

Chambord in winter - ©FJFY

The castle of Chambord comes out of the dreams of a young King, Francois I, to build an immense castle, in an Italian Renaissance style, to show his power and wealth to the entire Europe. Coming back from Italy with Leonardo Da Vinci - that he settled in Le Clos Lucé in Amboise, Francois Ist decided to immortalize himself by building a gigantic chateau representing his passion for architecture and hunting.

Chambord amazing staircase by Leonardo da Vinci

One of the most surprising architectural aspect of the castle is the double helix staircase designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. Its particularity is that it is possible to go up and down the stairs without ever seeing each other.

Leonardo Da Vinci stair in Chambord

The famous stairs in chambord - ©FJFY

Would you live in Chambord ?

However, this Loire valley castle was unpleasant to live in, almost uninhabitable. It was too big and with an endless number of rooms, stairs and chimneys, the chateau was impossible to heat and you’ll feel that if you visit Chambord on a cold day. At that time, the mosquitos would also invade the whole area that used to be marshes.

Over his whole life, Francois I actually only stayed in the Chateau de Chambord for less than 40 days.

Some figures about Chambord castle

- The facades are 156 meters long
- There are 77 stairs in the castle and 282 chimneys ! You can actually get on the roofs to enjoy the views and all the Italian style chimneys
- Not less than 800 sculpted capitals. 

 

Chambord day trip from Paris

Chambord roofs - ©FJFY

How to enjoy Chambord castle visit

Being the largest and most impressive castle in the Loire valley, you will certainly not be alone in this gigantic monument. From 11am until 4pm it is invaded buy buses coming on day trips from Paris...huge mistake! Don't worry, we will suggest several possibilities so you will enjoy the castle of Chambord without the throngs of tourists.

One of Francois I’s passion being la chasse à courre (stag hunting), the Chateau of Chambord is reputed for the hunting parties organized in the surrounding forests. Until President Nicolas Sarkozy abolished the “President Hunting Estates” - which costed a lot to the French taxpayers - Chambord would actually be one of the places French President would come for hunting.

If you wish, we can plan a special visit to see the game: stags, wild boar deers, etc. 

Almost as famous as Chambord is Chenonceau castle in the Loire Valley. The Lady's castle...

Our Travelers’ Reviews

Ellen & Rob
We have just return from an amazing holiday arranged by France Just for You - visiting Paris, Vimy Ridge, Normandy (D-Day Beaches) and Mont Saint Michel. Emilie listened to what our wishes were and arranged everything in great detail. The accommodations (hotels and bed and breakfasts) all had so much charm and character - the hosts were very …
Carol & Mike
We have recently returned from our second trip to France arranged by Emilie and Guillaume. The itinerary was created by Emilie to include our particular interests and everything ran smoothly from start to finish. We look forward to exploring another part of France in the future arranged by France Just For You.
Elizabeth
My husband and I just returned from two magnificent weeks in France that included four nights in Paris, four nights in the Loire Valley, two nights near Mont Saint Michel, three nights in Bayeux, near the WWII Landing Beaches and one night at a CDG airport hôtel. We stayed in charming B&Bs with equally charming hosts who recommended great places to …

Our Travelers’ Photos

Patty & Tim
from the US
In front of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
Tonia
from Canada
Cycling in the Loire Valley
Theresa & Bill
From the US
Between the vineyards & the lavenders in Provence
Kathy & David
from Canada
In Avignon, Provence
Alexis, Stefanie and Paul...with Emilie & Family
from the US
At the B&B in the Loire Valley
Joe & Beth
From the US
Truffle hunting in Provence
Greg, Laurie, Laura & Jeff
From the US
With their B&B host near Mont Saint Michel
Shirley & Bob
from the US
After a concert in Paris
Margaret & Peter
from Canada
On the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Cynthia & Roger
from the US
Wine Tasting in the Loire Valley
Sharon & Gary
from Canada
In Chambord castle - Loire Valley
Karen & Ed
from the US
At the restaurant in Giverny

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