Here is the place to see the elegant and sumptuous estates of an earlier France’s royalty and landed gentry. Each “castle” has seemingly tried to rival or surpass its neighbor. The overall effect is breathtaking.
If you leave from Paris, you should stop along the way to Loire at Chartres to see the famous cathedral.
One of the first palaces is one of the most dramatic. I don’t particularly like the style but Chambord is certainly impressive.
The town of Blois has its own chateau, overlooking one of the few bridges over the Loire.
My favorite chateau in this region is Chenonceau. The palace spans the Cher River.
The grounds are also lovely.
A common town used as a base of operations for an exploration of the Loire Valley is Tours, which contains the impressive St. Gatien Cathedral.