Château de Chambord | © Château de Chambord, Foto: Mistervlad -

Castles of the Loire Valley Itinerary

From the shining city of Orléans to charming Nantes, this route allows you to discover a new chapter in the history of the French monarchy at every stop.

Along the way, you'll feel like an aristocrat yourself, surrounded by gardens, vineyards and the palaces where famous personalities such as Leonardo da Vinci, Molière, Balzac and Joan of Arc lived.

Explore the majestic cathedral of Orléans, immerse yourself in the Renaissance in Amboise and be enchanted by the splendour of the castles of Huismes, Saumur and Angers.

Orleans - Loire Valley Castles Itinerary | © Orleans - Photo by Raphael Peillon on Unsplash
  • Orleans - Photo by Raphael Peillon on Unsplash

The Loire Valley itinerary makes it possible to experience:

  • ... majestic castles and charming villages in a picturesque river landscape.
  • ... the cultural wealth of cities such as Amboise, Tours, Huismes, Saumur, Angers and Nantes, with their very special treasures and experiences
  • ...strategically located motorhome stopovers that allow you to travel and enjoy the route at your own pace.

Type of route: Themed route
Theme: Castles of the Loire Valley
Start / Finish: Orléans / Nantes
Length: 604 km
Region: Centre-Val de Loire, Pays de la Loire
Holiday region: Orléans, Amboise, Tours, Huismes, Saumur, Angers and Nantes

Loire Valley Castles Itinerary Map | © ALPS ALPINE Europe GmbH
  • ALPS ALPINE Europe GmbH
Chenonceau Castle | © Chenonceau Castle, Foto: AXP Photography -
  • Chenonceau Castle, Foto: AXP Photography -
Chenonceau Castle in the Loire Valley near Tours
Castles of the Loire Valley Itinerary

7 places you shouldn't miss

Explore Sainte-Croix Cathedral and the old town centre, where history and architecture are closely intertwined.
Visit the Château d'Amboise and stroll through the charming streets of this Renaissance jewel.
Discover the cultural wealth of the city, from Place Plumereau to the Saint-Martin Basilica.
Immerse yourself in the authenticity of this village and explore its picturesque cobbled streets.
Marvel at the Château de Saumur and enjoy the beauty of the Loire
Discover the imposing Château d'Angers and stroll through the charming old town.
End your trip in this vibrant city, visit the castle of the Dukes of Brittany and let Les Machines de l'île surprise you.
Loire Valley Itinerary


In Orléans, the presence of the famous Joan of Arc is omnipresent, from the majestic Gothic cathedral of Sainte-Croix, whose stained glass windows tell her epic story, to the medieval house, which is now a museum, and her equestrian statue on the Place du Martroi.

The charm of the old town unfolds along the Rue de Bourgogne, the oldest and liveliest main street, with the picturesque Place de la République, where you can admire half-timbered and Renaissance houses.

The impressive Sainte-Croix Cathedral is a 114 metre high masterpiece, with 248 steps offering a stunning view of the region. Built in over 600 years, it bears witness to the great patience and care of the master builders. The life of Joan of Arc is depicted in ten incomparable stained glass windows.

The Hôtel Groslot, a former town hall and a testimony to the Orléans Renaissance, revives the history of Jacques Groslot and the presence of royal figures such as Charles IX and Henri IV with its red brick façade.

Orléans is also home to outstanding museums such as the Musée des Beaux-arts, the Maison de Jeanne d'Arc (a historical re-enactment), the FRAC (Fond régional d'Art Contemporain) and the MOBE.

Orleans - Loire Valley Castles Itinerary | © Orleans - Photo by Geoffrey Couten on Unsplash
  • Orleans - Photo by Geoffrey Couten on Unsplash
Jeanne d’Arc | © Jeanne d’Arc, Orleans, Foto: rh2010 -
  • Jeanne d’Arc, Orleans, Foto: rh2010 -

Castles in the Loire Valley near Orléans

On the route from Orléans to Amboise, you will come across numerous castles, each with its own charm. Start your journey with a visit to the Château de Chambord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you arrive at the Château de Chambord, you will see the famous double spiral staircase, a unique innovation in French castles and still the most striking feature of the château. Invisible from the outside, the staircase, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's sketches, allows two people to ascend or descend without meeting.

Continue to the Château de Blois, famous for its eclectic architecture, which combines architectural styles from four different eras: medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and classical. You can then visit the Château de Cheverny, which is particularly suitable for young children as they can take part in a fun puzzle game during the tour. And finally, you can visit the enchanting Château de Chaumont, which once belonged to Catherine de Medici.

Tips for gourmets

The culinary tradition of Orléans is as rich as its history. One of the gastronomic treasures that has survived since the Middle Ages is vinegar. The last distillery still producing it is Martin-Pouret, which is also known for its exquisite mustard.

Also discover the local vineyards and taste the fine wines "Orléans" and "Orléans Cléry" in different red, white and rosé varieties. For an even more intense experience, don't miss the Poire d'Olivet, a Williams pear brandy with a real pear in the bottle.

Tips for campers

Orléans car park:
2 Venelle de la Voie, 45000, Orleans

405 Rue du Pont Bouchet, 45160, Olivet

Château de Chambord | © Château de Chambord, Foto: Mistervlad -
  • Château de Chambord, Foto: Mistervlad -
Chateau Cheverny | © Schloss Cheverny, Foto: Freesurf -
  • Schloss Cheverny, Foto: Freesurf -
Chateaux of the Loire Valley


Our next stop is Amboise, a lovely town known for its rich history and medieval architecture.

One of the most prominent landmarks is the Château d'Amboise, a majestic castle that towers over the town. Built in the 15th century, this castle has witnessed significant historical events and has been home to important historical figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, who is buried in the castle's chapel.

In addition to this castle, the Clos Lucé is another must-see, as it was Leonardo's last residence. Here, visitors can explore his workshop, his inventions and get an intimate glimpse of his genius.

Tips for motorhomes

Amboise car park:
1 Rue des Ursulines. 37400 Amboise

Motorhome site:
423 Quai des Violettes. 37400 Amboise

Amboise | © Chateau Amboise, Foto: guitou60 -
  • Chateau Amboise, Foto: guitou60 -
Amboise Loire Valley | © Amboise - Loire Valley Castles - Foto: irakite -
  • Amboise - Loire Valley Castles - Foto: irakite -
Loire Valley Castles: Amboise
Chateaux of the Loire Valley

Surroundings of Amboise

Near Amboise, we recommend a visit to Loches, a delightful medieval town that is home to the impressive Château Royal de Loches.

Located in the Indre Valley, the royal town of Loches has a heritage dating back five centuries, from the 11th to the 16th century. It is surrounded by a wall and has two outstanding buildings: the keep (donjon) and the royal residence (Logis Royal).

Montrésor, one of the most beautiful villages in France, is another nearby gem. Located on the banks of the River Indrois, the castle offers breathtaking views and immerses visitors in the history of French nobility. Strolling through the cobbled streets and discovering the enchanting architecture of Montrésor is like travelling into a fairy tale.

Another excellent option is a visit to Valençay, the seat of the Château de Valençay. Apart from its luxurious interiors and extensive gardens, this castle has a fascinating history, as it was here that the Treaty of Valençay was signed. The castle also served as a prison for prominent figures such as Ferdinand VII of Spain, his brother Don Carlos and his uncle Don Antonio during the French invasion of Spain.

If you are travelling with children, we recommend taking them to the MiniChateaux theme park, an attraction where you can discover all the castles of the Loire Valley in miniature.

Loches | © Loches, Foto: Gilbert Bochenek, CC BY 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Loches, Foto: Gilbert Bochenek, CC BY 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Montrésor | © Montrésor - Foto: Nathalie Unrug, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Montrésor - Foto: Nathalie Unrug, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Castles of the Loire Valley itinerary

Tours and Chenonceau Castle

We continue our journey to Tours, a city with a long history dating back to Roman times, when it was founded by Emperor Augustus under the name Caesarodunum.

On the way to Tours, we recommend passing the famous Château de Chenonceau, also known as the "Pont des Dames". This Renaissance castle is another architectural masterpiece.

Just a 4-minute drive from Chenonceaux, you have the option of staying at the Caves du Père Auguste wine estate, a family business that not only houses vineyards and wine tasting cellars, but also offers free hospitality for travellers. You only have to pay for certain services such as water and electricity and access to the showers.

One of the highlights of Tours is the Saint-Gatien Cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century. This imposing cathedral impresses with its intricate details and impressive stained glass windows.

Tours has a rich medieval heritage that you should definitely savour. Stroll through Vieux-Tours, the historic city centre, and admire the cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and historic architecture. You can also explore one of the largest amphitheatres of the Roman Empire, which offers a fascinating insight into the Roman history of the region.

Tips for motorhomes

Tours car park:
D952, 37100 Tours

Camping ground:
22 Avenue des Aubépines, 37510 Ballan-Miré

Chateau Chenonceau | © Chateau Chenonceau, Foto: Yvan Lastes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Chateau Chenonceau, Foto: Yvan Lastes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Tours | © Tours, Foto: cristianbalate -
  • Tours, Foto: cristianbalate -
Chateaux of the Loire Valley

Castles of the Loire around Tours

A must-see near Tours is Azay-le-Rideau. The Château de Azay-le-Rideau is a Renaissance castle that is picturesquely reflected in the Indre River. Its elegant architecture and manicured gardens make it a delightful place to explore. Here you can learn about the history of the French Renaissance as you wander through rooms decorated with period furnishings.

Langeais, another treasure near Tours, is home to the Château de Langeais, a medieval fortress evoking the age of knights and maidens. This well-preserved castle features a drawbridge and a 15th century chapel, providing an authentic insight into life in the Middle Ages.

Villandry, famous for its beautiful gardens, is another must-see destination around Tours. The Château de Villandry is distinguished by its geometric gardens, filled with colourful flowers and varied vegetation. Visitors can stroll through the elaborately designed gardens and enjoy the serenity of this unique place.

Chateau Azay-le-Rideau | © Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, Foto: StockPhotoAstur -
  • Chateau Azay-le-Rideau, Foto: StockPhotoAstur -
Chateau Villandry | © Chateau Villandry, Foto: Jean-Christophe BENOIST, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Chateau Villandry, Foto: Jean-Christophe BENOIST, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
The Château de Villandry with its Renaissance garden
Loire valley castles itinerary


Now we move on to Huismes, a charming village in the midst of breathtaking landscapes. We invite you to discover its picturesque stone houses and enjoy its many green spaces for a picnic in the open air.

Don't miss the parish church of Saint-Maurice, a historic building that reflects the richness of the local religious heritage.

This area is known for its vineyards, so we recommend you take a short tour of the surrounding area to admire the vineyards. Here are a few wineries for you to sample the local wines.

Wineries with accommodation for motorhomes

Fontevraud Abbey | © Fontevraud Abbey - Foto: Natolie -
  • Fontevraud Abbey - Foto: Natolie -
Castles of the Loire Valley itinerary

5 interesting places near Huismes

Huismes not only offers visitors the opportunity to discover the beauty of the region, but also many other treasures in the surrounding area.

Here are a few places nearby that you should not miss:

  1. Turquant: Just a 15-minute drive from Huismes, Turquant is famous for its artists' workshops and impressive troglodyte caves. Discover local creativity by exploring the caves transformed into sculptures and works of art.
  2. Montsoreau: A 20-minute drive away, Montsoreau invites you to enjoy the tranquillity of the banks of the Loire. Explore the enchanting village and visit its medieval castle.
  3. Fontevraud-l'Abbaye: The imposing royal abbey of Fontevraud-l'Abbaye is around 25 minutes away by car. Discover the history hidden within its walls and the royal tombs that make this place a historical landmark.
  4. Chinon: Half an hour away is Chinon, another charming town that is well worth a visit. Discover the Château de Chinon with its imposing fortifications and the picturesque historic centre.
  5. Château d'Ussé: Ussé Castle, around 35 minutes away by car, was the inspiration for the story of Sleeping Beauty. Explore the majestic halls, stroll through the gardens and let yourself be captivated by the magic of this Renaissance castle.
Chateau d'Ussé | © Chateau d'Ussé, Foto: Dmitri -
  • Chateau d'Ussé, Foto: Dmitri -
Chinon | © Chinon, Foto: Touriste, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Chinon, Foto: Touriste, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Saumur Chateau | © Saumur Chateau, Foto: LagrangeHervé, Pixabay
Camping in the Loire Valley
Nature and Vineyards

The Loire Valley is full of lush natural landscapes and vineyards producing some of France's finest wines. With your campervan, you can enjoy fields of flowers, meandering rivers and vineyards offering tastings of the best local wines. Stop at a vineyard for a wine tasting and an insight into the wine culture of the region.

Loire valley chateaux

Saumur Castle

Our journey takes us to Saumur, a jewel on the banks of the Loire, where the magnificent Château de Saumur is located. Don't miss the decorated halls and learn about military history in the museum.

Saumur is also known as the epicentre of equestrian sport. The Cadre Noir, a world-renowned riding school, presents elegant demonstrations of classical horsemanship and is a must for horse lovers. Another option is a horseback ride in the nearby vineyards. You can find more information about these riding activities here.

The historic centre of Saumur with its boutiques, cafés and restaurants is charming and invites you to take a stroll. Place Saint-Pierre, with its lively atmosphere and sunny terraces, is the ideal place to savour the local gastronomy and taste the region's wines.

Another architectural jewel in Saumur is the Saint-Pierre church, a beautiful Romanesque and Angevin Gothic church with elegant details and stained glass windows.

Tips for campers

Saumur car park:
240 Rue de Verden 49400 Saumur

Camping site:
51 Route du PÔ 49650 Allonnes

Chateau Saumur | © Chateau Saumur, Foto: LagrangeHervé, Pixabay
  • Chateau Saumur, Foto: LagrangeHervé, Pixabay

Explore the heart of the Loire Valley

Saumur and its neighbouring jewels

Around 40 kilometres east of Saumur lies the Château de Brissac, the highest castle in France. Surrounded by vineyards, the Renaissance castle not only offers panoramic views, but also the opportunity to visit the magnificent halls and gardens.

Another medieval gem lies to the south-west of Saumur, the Château de Montreuil-Bellay. Surrounded by moats and towers, it takes you back to the Middle Ages. The cobbled streets of the village add to the charm of this hidden gem.

You can also sample the local wine in Saumur. One famous wine cellar is the Ackerman, founded in 1811. This is the oldest sparkling wine cellar in the Loire and is known for combining tradition and innovation with expressive and aromatic blends.

Another interesting activity in the area is an excursion on the River Loire. These excursions take place in small boats modelled on 18th century boats and usually include wine tasting.

Chateau Brissac | © Chateau Brissac, Foto: Freesurf -
  • Chateau Brissac, Foto: Freesurf -
Castles of the Loire Valley Itinerary


From Saumur, the journey continues to Angers, a city with a long history and a castle that is unrivalled: the Château d'Angers. This imposing medieval fortress is home to the famous Tapestry of the Apocalypse, a masterpiece from the 14th century.

Also worth a visit are St Maurice's Cathedral and the tourist train, which runs around the city's main sights. In the historic centre of Angers, you will find numerous picturesque shops and cosy cafés. Here you can also visit the Maison d'Adam, a half-timbered house from the 15th century. It is a popular tourist attraction and exemplary of local architecture.

We recommend a stroll through the Place du Ralliement, which is located in the heart of the city and is known for its lively atmosphere. The terraces of the cafés and restaurants that line the square invite you to linger and enjoy a good coffee.

Tips for motorhomes

Angers car park:
1 Boulevard Foulques Nerra 49000 Angers

Av. du Lac de Maine 49080 Bouchemaine

Angers | © Angers, Foto: Thierry RYO -
  • Angers, Foto: Thierry RYO -
Camping in the Loire Valley

Wineries near Angers

Here are some wineries near Angers that not only offer fine wines, but also provide overnight accommodation. However, it is always advisable to call and enquire about the conditions before visiting the wineries.

More than just a winery, this estate in Les Garennes sur Loire is a meeting place that invites you to discover the region, relax and savour local and sustainable produce.

This wine estate, whose history dates back to 1965, now covers 60 hectares of vineyards. In addition to tasting the AOC wines "Anjou Coteaux de la Loire", it also offers a welcoming space for motorhome travellers.

Located between the Pays Nantais and Anjou, this wine estate in the Coteaux d'Ancenis invites you to discover its wines in a charming setting.

Angers | © Angers, Foto: Christian Musat -
  • Angers, Foto: Christian Musat -
Castles of the Loire Valley itinerary


Nantes is another city steeped in history where you can visit the famous Château des Ducs de Bretagne, the former residence of the Dukes of Brittany.

After your arrival, enjoy a walk on the city island, where you will find the famous elephant of Les Machines de l'île, a unique attraction. You can also visit the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul and admire its Gothic architecture.

Discover the streets of the Bouffay neighbourhood with its numerous shops, restaurants and bars. Also worth a stroll is the Hangar à Bananes, a harbour district with trendy bars, restaurants and a lively nightlife.

Just a short walk from the imposing Château des Ducs de Bretagne, you will find the famous Jardin des Plantes. This extensive botanical garden, which covers almost 7 hectares, is one of the four largest in France. Around 50,000 flowers are planted here every season and there are 800 square metres of greenhouses.

Pitches for motorhomes

Nantes car park
Pl. Viarme, 44000 Nantes

Camping site:
21 Boulevard du Petit Port 44300 Nantes

Bord de l'Erdre, Nantes | © Bord de l'Erdre, Nantes - Foto: kevin_guillois -
  • Bord de l'Erdre, Nantes - Foto: kevin_guillois -
Castles of the Loire Valley Itinerary

Route guidance with parking space information

You can also find more information about the sights in our Explorer Map.