A unique place in the world thanks to our English friends.

After comprehensively defeating him at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the English forced the King of France to seek refuge in the Loire Valley.

Had it not been for the Hundred Years’ War, the valley would no doubt have not become the cradle of that artistic revolution that was the Renaissance.

At the Grotteaux you will find yourself at the very heart of the Loire Valley, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESC0.

It is made such a unique place by the sheer concentration of architectural masterpieces along the banks of the last wild river in Europe.

We strongly recommend a visit of at least one week in order to have the time to discover our region (the main chateaus, the Loire and a number of characterful towns.)

Chambord: one king’s dream

A 30 minutes bicycle ride away you will be astonished by the silhouette of Chambord, the work of the 25 year old King Francis I.

Chambord is a dream on a massive scale: more than 400 rooms, 80 staircases, including one in the form of a double-helix attributed to the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci, 365 chimneys, a lantern-tower 32 metres tall, a forested park of 5000 hectares surrounded by a 33 km wall.

A whole day, at  least, is required to visit Chambord.

Unmissable chateaus near the Grotteaux

Blois (accessible by bicycle) with its four facades from different epochs.

Cheverny (accessible by bicycle) a symbol of living the French way of life.

Chenonceau (55 mins) the ladies’ chateau which you can explore by canoe.

Chaumont (30 mins) where you will find one of the most beautiful views of the Loire and incredible gardens which are brought back to life every year. (from April to October).

Amboise and the Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci’s last home.

CHATEAUGAILLARD

Lesser-known wonders

Chateau Gaillard

Chateau Gaillard was built by King Charles VIII on his return from the first Italian campaign. In order for him to be able to recreate ‘a paradise on earth’ in Amboise such as he had seen in the Kingdom of Naples at the Royal Palace of Poggio Reale, he brought back 22 Italian artists with him.

Dom Pacello, horticultural architect to 3 kings of France, planted the first orange trees here and created the ‘Reine Claude’ greengage fruit which he dedicated to the queen, wife of King Francis I.

This hidden treasure, forgotten for decades and recently restored, should most definitely be explored

www.chateau-gaillard-amboise.fr

Chateau of Villesavin

King Francis I nominated his friend Jean Le Breton governor of works and finances at the Chateau of Chambord. In 1520, in order to help in his tasks, the king gave him some land at Villesavin and a workforce to build a chateau. This soon became known as ‘the cabin on the Chambord building site’ and although there is a difference of 100 years between the two of them the Chateau de Villesavin is reminiscent of that of the Grotteaux.

Situated near the Chateau of Chambord, it is the ideal destination for a bicycle ride.

www.chateau-de-villesavin.fr

We are offering a free guided tour of either the Chateau de Gaillard or the Chateau of Villesavin to any of our guests who reserve through our official website at the Chateau des Grotteaux.

Lots of other chateaus are open to be visited near the Grotteaux: Beauregard (and its unique portrait gallery), Chemery, Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Montpoupon, Montrésor (and its village, classified as one of the most beautiful in France), Talcy, Troussay (the smallest of all the great chateaus) etc...

The Loire

On foot, by bicycle, in a boat or by canoe, you will be amazed by the soft, changing light of the wild river.

We would like to suggest a very pretty bicycle ride around the Grotteaux. You will discover the lanes and old houses of Saint Dyé, one of the most beautiful villages of the region, whose port served as a route to deliver the materials needed for the construction of Chambord. You will be able to admire the Chateau of Ménars, which belonged to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV. Having crossed the river by boat at Monlivault, you will be able to investigate Cour sur Loire with its magnificent old houses and its chateau.

Pandas - Zooparc de Beauval

Zoo de Beauval

This zoo, situated 50 mins from the Grotteaux, is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world and is an unmissable attraction. You will need at least a day to make the most of the various different shows, to see the giant pandas, hippopotamuses under water, white tigers and some 6000 other animals.