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Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

Chenonceau is widely known as the ‘ladies’ chateau’, owing to the succession of extraordinary women integral to its history.

Built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, it was given by Henri II to his mistress, the legendary beauty Diane de Poitiers, before his widow Catherine de Médicis grabbed it back after his death.

It was then inherited by Louise de Lorraine, wife of Henry III, the third son of Catherine of Medicis. After Henry III’s assassination, a traumatised Louise de Lorraine turned to prayer, becoming known as ‘the white lady of Chenonceau’. Last, but not least, it was saved during the French Revolution by then-owner Madame Dupin, who managed to reason with the mob.

The Loire’s most visited chateau can feel overrun, yet remains magical for the sheer ingenuity of its spanning the River Cher, for its fine late Gothic and Renaissance architecture, and for outstanding collections of furniture and art.

Logistics

Price from: £10
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest station is Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, which is 400m from the ticket office. There is plentiful parking if you are driving.

Guided tours are available in 18 languages, including English. No booking is required. The chateau has a restaurant, a crêperie and tearoom onsite for refreshments.

When to do it

The chateau is open all year round, seven days a week.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Loire Valley Day Tour Chambord and Chenonceau plus Lunch at a Private Castle

Tours

Loire Valley Day Tour Chambord and Chenonceau plus Lunch at a Private Castle
Jump into the heart of French history by visiting the 2 most prestigious châteaux of the Loire Valley. Feel the intimacy of a lesser known private family-owned château and enjoy a typical French lunch away from tourist groups. Let yourself be guided by your local expert and learn about the intimate little secrets of the French Kings who once lived in Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau. Enjoy off-the-crowd panoramic views, benefit from wealth of thrilling genuine details and funny anecdotes and make the most of this exciting day. 

Price: €229

Min age: 4

Rating 4.92 / 5 [248 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Day Tour of Chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord & Caves Ambacia from Tours/Amboise

Tours

Day Tour of Chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord & Caves Ambacia from Tours/Amboise
Enjoy a small group 9-hour tour in the Loire Valley. Your professional tour guide will show you the two most famous chateaux of the region, Chenonceau and Chambord, aboard a comfortable air-conditioned minivan. Then, taste great wines such as Vouvray at Caves Ambacia.

Price: €229

Min age: 0

Rating 4.56 / 5 [89 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Loire Valley Tour Chambord and Chenonceau from Tours or Amboise

Tours

Loire Valley Tour Chambord and Chenonceau from Tours or Amboise
Jump into the heart of French history by visiting the 2 most prestigious châteaux of the Loire Valley during the greet the warm ambiance of Christmas. Let yourself be guided by your local expert and learn about the intimate little secrets of the French Kings who once lived there. Enjoy off-the-crowd panoramic views and benefit from wealth of thrilling genuine details and funny anecdotes... an exciting day!

Price: €179

Min age: 4

Rating 4.97 / 5 [36 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Loire Valley Castles VIP Private Tour: Chambord, Chenonceaux, Amboise

Loire Valley

Loire Valley Castles VIP Private Tour: Chambord, Chenonceaux, Amboise
Take away the hassle out of planning your day trip to the Loire Valley, the birthplace of French Renaissance with more 120 châteaux (estates), on this private luxury tour with roundtrip transportation from Paris. Highlights include visits to Leonardo da Vinci's home and tomb, outstanding Gothic architecture, and plenty of time to enjoy three of the Loire Valley's most impressive and famous châteaux.

Price: €750

Min age: 0

Rating 4.8 / 5 [30 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Touraine-Chenonceau private tour

Loire Valley

Touraine-Chenonceau private tour
This is our most popular tour, ideal for a day trip from Paris, or those staying locally. Minimum 2 people. A guided tour of the wonderful renaissance palace of Chateau de Chenonceau on the banks of the river Cher is included. The chateau itself contains an unequalled collection of renaissance art and is still privately owned. AOC Touraine-Chenonceau wines can be tasted nearby and a visit to a family wine-maker is always popular. Lunch is enjoyed amongst the locals at a restaurant in Montrichard and is followed by a further tasting of a wide range of Loire wines. Finally, we drive to the winery, vineyards and tasting room of a wine-making family with roots going back 500 years. There will be plenty of chances to buy the wine you taste and they are such good value you will want to send some home to enjoy with friends. We can help with the shipping. This tour is a fascinating introduction to the Touraine region of the Loire Valley, enjoyed by many clients before you.

Price: €595

Min age: 1

Rating 4.96 / 5 [28 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Loire Valley

Loire Valley, France

Exterior of the front of the chateau, with a tree-lined driveway in foreground

Northern France’s beautiful UNESCO-listed valley, home to heart-stoppingly beautiful historic chateaux, authentic village life, world-class wines and fascinating troglodytes.