A Fairytale, very Instagramable Castle

As if it had dropped straight out of a fairytale, Chenonceau castle has a particularly special feature. It was built across water, creating stunning reflections in the Cher river.

Chenonceau castle has a diverse and somewhat dramatic history. First a mill, then a Renaissance castle, a hospital during WWI, and a way to get to the free zone in WWII (as the Cher river was the French Demarcation line).

This 16th century chateau is surrounded by 70 hectares of garden and forest. The rose gardens and French gardens are famous worldwide.

chenonceau castle loire valley

Chenonceau : The Lady's castle

This surprising and beautiful place is the fruit of the work of several inspiring women who brought a feminine touch to this magnificent chateau. Their work is one of the reasons Chenonceau Castle receives around 800,000 visitors each year, making it one of France's most important tourist attractions.

  • Catherine Briconnet was wife of Thomas Bohier, who transformed the medieval mill into a Renaissance castle.
  • Diane de Poitiers, lifelong mistress of King Henri II added the formal gardens and the arched bridge.
  • Catherine de Medici changed the arched bridge into an Italian-style gallery (to host parties) and forced Diane de Poitiers to move to Chaumont sur Loire castle (also a magnificent place famous for its gardens).
  • Louise de Lorraine inherited Chenonceau in the late 16th century.
  • Madame Dupin, in the 18th century, saved Chenonceau castle from destruction during the French Revolution. She transformed Chenonceau into a writers' haven.
  • Madame Pelouze bought Chenonceau in a ruined state and supervised its total restoration in 1863. It is thanks to her that we can enjoy visiting Chenonceau today and experience it as it was in the Renaissance era. 

inside chenonceau castle

Chenonceau is one of the most visited of the Châteaux de la Loire and receives many thousands of visitors during the peak season. For a more peaceful and intimate experience, we know a hidden viewpoint, one of the secrets we share with all France Just For You travelers. It has an exceptional view of the castle from across the river.

We also have some suggestions on discovering Chenonceau from the River Cher, with some amazing photo opportunities!

Tip on the best way to experience Chenonceau

Chenonceau castle is also famous for its flower arrangements. There are four full-time flower arrangers at the castle, who create beautiful artistic floral arrangements from fresh flowers all year long. But it's at Christmas time that the flower arrangements are the most beautiful.

These are some pictures we took in Chenonceau castle on our last visit:  

For gourmet travelers, we will take you to one of the oldest distillery in the region - very near Chenonceau castle. See our Loire Valley Self-Drive itineraries

Our Travelers’ Reviews

Kate
Thank you Emilie for such a wonderful honeymoon! Every detail was taken care of so that my husband and I could just relax and enjoy ourselves! It was absolutely the easiest trip we have ever planned and we will certainly be using France Just For You on our next trip to France!
Peter
We wanted my spouse's birthday trip to France to be special and we could not have expected such a perfect time. From initial communication with Emilie by email right up to having a driver meet us in Paris CDG airport, it was a stress-free vacation. Emilie provided first class service throughout and tailored our desire to see Paris, the Loire Valley …
Kelly
My husband and our friends spent two weeks travelling around Northern France, the Loire Valley and Paris. Emilie provided us with a detailed itinerary that exceeded our expectations. The accommodations were excellent and unique providing us with a variety of B & B's. Her recommendations for tours and sights took into consideration our interests and …

Our Travelers’ Photos

Dina & Jim
from the US
Who just received their travel pack at home
Kelsey
from the US
With her hosts at the B&B in the Loire Valley
Ann & Jim
From the US
In Amboise castle by the Loire river
Tracey & Sandra
From the US
In Provence...
Scott
From Australia
Making "chou" buns in the Loire Valley
Sheena & Anna
From the US
In Provence
Harry & Caroline
From Australia
Wine & Cheese Tasting
Carole & Paul
from the US
Wine Tasting...
Dan & Kim
From the US
Romantic time in Paris...
Lis, Mervyn & Stephen
from Australia
On the Riviera
Shirley
from Canada
In lavender fields in Provence
Jane & Ron
From Canada
Visiting the Opéra Garnier, in Paris

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