Le Mont Saint Michel Abbey Lower Normandy, in the department of Manche, France

The Land of Fairytale Castles

 

Tours

Tours is a city which is the best place to stay while exploring the castle or Loire Valley.  It is less than an hour to several castles-Chateaus from there.

Here is a map of castles near Tours, France.

Tours Cathedral Cathédrale Saint-Gatien

Tours Cathedral Cathédrale Saint-Gatien

Château d'Ussé Sleeping beauty's castle France

Château d’Ussé Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Château d’Ussé 

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is a classic fairytale looking castle off the banks of the Lorie river.  It is said to have inspired the writing of the Sleeping Beauty.   The tale of Sleeping Bueauty is depicted by madquines set up in each room of one part of the castle.

Château de Villandry

Château de Villandry castle pano France
Château de Villandry is an unexpected treat! The castle it’s self is very nice and worth visiting but the grounds are unparrelled. The formal gardens are amazing.  There are many differnt gardens and each one is a master piece! There is even a hedge maze!  The knot work gardens on the side of castle are a site to behold.  Fortunatly, they can be seen from windows on the upper floors of the castle as well as from a walkway which runs the lenght of the garden and behind the castle.  Plan to have a whole day to throughly explore and appreciate this castle and grounds.

Click on the slider below to see a small sample.  

Chateau de Villandry grounds and interior are beautiful.

Château de Chenonceau castle great hall France

Chateau de Chenonceau

View of the great hall. 

Château de Chenonceau 

Château de Chenonceau one of the most spectacular castles in the world.  It is considers a woman’s castle as most of the owners over the years have been females. 

Château de Chenonceau Castle France

Château de Chenonceau from the side is quite impressive. 

Château de Chambord

This is a very impressive castle.  The archeticture is uniqe and interesting.  It has an impressive silhouette.  The roof is covered in turrets and chimnies.  The entrance fee include access to the roof which is just as remarkable up close as it is from afar.

The chateau has many rooms open to the public and several of its many staircases.  This includes the center piece of the castle, which is a double helix style staircase.  In the staircase there are cutouts on every floor which you can play peek-a-boo with people on the staircase on the otherside.  Then center is open which allows a good view all the way from the bottom to the top of the castle.

Château de Chambord castle helix staircase

Château de Chambord

Double Helix Stairway
Château de Chambord Castle France

Chateau de Chambord

Château de Chaumont beautiful on the outside but way overpriced and very disappointing on the inside.  The displays on the upper floors were of modern art amongst rooms which were in need of or in the process of being refurbished.  It was sorely disappointing. 

Things to Do and See other than Visiting Paris and Chateau.

Nantes

Nantes is a beautiful town by it’s own rights.  It even has it’s own resident castle.  The really interesting and unique thing about Nantes in the Southwest region of France is Les Machines de l’île. This is an amazing place which has 3 separate attractions to visit.

The Galerie des Machines which features several mechanical sculptures,  The Grand Eléphant a giant mechanical elephant, and The Carrousel des Mondes Marins a 3 story carousel. The attractions are each priced separatly there is a ticket which includes all the attractions (though it appears to ride the carousel is addition cost) and if you had a whole day to explore the place it would be worth it.

The Galerie des Machines is an interactive attraction which resembles a garden landscape. The machines inside resemble things which might be found in a garden like caterpillars, birds and such.

If you want to take a ride on  The Grand Eléphant you will need to plan and buy tickets in advance as they sell out quickly! The walking elephant is approximately 3 stories tall.  It also has a movable trunk which sprays water at the ride operators whim so be careful when walking near by you might get wet!  The elephant walks from where the loading platform at the museum is to the one at the carousel and back.

The Carrousel des Mondes Marins is unlike any other.  It does not have the static animals which have poles protruding from their backs, this carousel has three levels of different machines shaped like animals and objects which are found in or around the ocean!  There are many choices a cuttlefish, angler fish, flying fish, crab, submarine, merhorses and much more!  They are not cute and cuddly creatures but very ominous and a bit creepy looking.  This is not an attraction for very young children as they would not be able to operate most of the machines. Most of the machines have more than one seat on them and each seat allows the rider/operator to move part of the machine using levers and peddles  This makes it one of the few attractions which having a bit of a crowd makes it more interesting! The more people who ride the more the machines come to life. Some of the machines had more than 5 seats available for riders.  The hardest part is picking which part of which machine to ride!

 


For list of French Chateaus and the contact info click here 

Clickfunnel challenge

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