The Loire Valley is known for its spectacular chateaux and there're something like 300 of them. Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire dates back to the 10th century.
Entrance to Chateau Chaumont.
I've been to hundreds of castles and seen many, many horse stables but, this one at Chateau Chaumont dates back to the 1870's is a real beaut.
The collection of harness and saddlery equipment is considered the finest in France.
Arriving in Blois you don't have to ask for directions to Chateau Blois because the 564 room castle isn't hard to find as it dominates the town center.
Residence to several French kings, over the years parts of Chateau Blois were done in Classic, Renaissance and Gothic style. Notice the spiral staircase in the courtyard.
Same courtyard but different building style.
A road runs along each side of the River Loire and you have to plan accordingly because bridges are far apart and if you are on wrong side--it could set you back lots of miles--especially if you are cycling! I snapped a photo of this chateau on the other side of the river and am pretty sure it wasn't open to the public---which most are not.
Chateau Chambord is the most famous chateau in the Loire Valley and one of the most visited sites in France. Built between 1519-1547 by King Francis I to be a hunting lodge the king rarely used the 440 room getaway.
Done in French Renaissance style, the Chateau Chambord opens at 9AM. I arrive at 9AM and the tour buses were already rolling in. It receives more than 700,000 visitors a year. What's funny is that it's located about six miles from the River Loire--so no river view.
Backside where tourists enter the chateau.
Side view of Chateau Chambord. Didn't think the grounds were anything special. However, a 13,000 acre park (formerly the king's hunting park) encompasses the chateau. The French government has owned the chateau, grounds and hunting park since 1930.