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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 10 March, 2024
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

A short walk from the Amboise’s atmospheric chateau is the atmospheric red brick manor house where Leonardo da Vinci stayed for the last three years of his life, as a guest of the king.

Today the beautifully restored house is dedicated to Leonardo’s talents – not as painter, but as an engineer and inventor of,among other things, the helicopter, armoured tank and swing bridge. It’s an engaging insight into this enigmatic and remarkably talented man.


Price from: £3
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Clos Luce, in the small town of Amboise, is a ten-minute walk from the Chateau Royal d’Amboise, and is a popular stop on the Loire à Vélo bike route. Amboise is about a 2-hour drive from Paris or TGV train ride.

Guided visits are available in July and August. Visit the website for a free interactive iPhone app.

For food & drink, there are plenty of places to eat in Amboise, such as L’Epicerie. If you’re just after a snack try the La Terrasse creperie and tearoom, or the Table du Moulin in an attractive water mill setting. For something much more unusual, the Auberge du Prieure restaurant (high summer only) recreates historic recipes from the time of Leonardo da Vinci.

When to do it

Open daily, all year round. Interactive outdoor exhibits are installed from mid-March to mid-November. In winter, not all the exhibits are in action and the restaurants are closed, but you may have the park almost to yourself. It’s crowded during the July-August school holidays.

Destination guides


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.