The chateau of Chenonceau in the Loire Valley

Chateaux & Castles
for all


Chateaux and Castles
in France

When the guide said castle, you pictured a drawbridge and a moat, towers joined by crenelled battlements and a guard’s walk.
Instead, you see a majestic manor, larger and grander than you had ever imagined.  The beautiful cream-colored stone of the building is topped by a steep slate roof, cupolas and turrets.

This jewel was built during the Renaissance, a time when French kings were no longer warlords needing protection but powerful rulers enjoying gracious living.

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Experience Chateaux & Castles
in France

Exploring castles and chateaux is a fun way to learn about French history and architecture.  Académie des Arts de Vivre (AAV) will select the best for you, according to the region you visit and your personal tastes.  Here are a few of the many possibilities:

01

Chantilly
Have a private visit of the Château de Chantilly, known for its collection of French paintings, second only to the Louvre.  A wonderful way to see French art without the crowds.  AAV can also arrange for you to visit the stables before going horseback riding or attending the Prix de Chantilly.

02

Vaux-le-Vicomte
A masterpiece of the 16th century, the chateau of Vaux-le-Vicomte inspired King Louis XIV to build the chateau in Versailles .  Vaux-le-Vicomte is the largest privately owned monument in France—and AAV will arrange for you to have a private visit with the owners. A rare opportunity.

03

Experience chateau living
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a castle ?  AAV can make that happen.  Whether for one night or a longer stay, in Paris or in another region of France, AAV will arrange for you to stay in a charming and luxurious chateau, typical of the era in which it was built.

04

Versailles à la carte
There is so much to see at Versailles :  the chateau, the gardens, Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet, the king’s vegetable garden, the restaurants…  See it all, or see only the parts that interest you most, accompanied by a local guide who is also a history expert.

05

See the chateaux of the Loire Valley from above
The beautiful Loire Valley is home to over 300 chateaux.  What better way to see it all than from above?  At sunset or sun rise, a montgolfiere, a hot air balloon, will take you above the enchanting countryside with picturesque villages and majestic chateaux, a sight you will never forget.

Discover French Chateaux & Castles

Parisian Palaces
Paris has a surprising number of gorgeous palaces.  The Palais Garnier (the original opera house), the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais (both created for the 1900 World Expo) were all great architectural innovations in their time and are a must.  Your tour can continue with lesser-visited but no-less-interesting Palais Brogniart, Palais de la Légion d’honneur or the Palais d’Iéna, among others.

Le Petit Palais in Paris

The great wine chateaux in Bordeaux
AAV proposes two of France’s best experiences rolled up in one:  visit historic chateaux in the Bordeaux region and combine those visits with wine tasting. Cos d’Estournel, Chateau de Pressac, Chateau Lascombes, Château d’Agassac, Château Tronquoy Lalande, Château de Malle … AAV will create a tailor-made itinerary just for you.

The Chateau of Cos d'Estournel in the Bordeaux wine region

Tour de France of chateaux
As you tour through France, visit castles and chateaux.  In the different regions, AAV will select chateaux from different time periods, so that you gain an in-depth understanding of the architectural and historical forces at work in France throughout the centuries.  This tour de France can be adapted for children, making it educational for the parents—and an adventure filled with knights and damsels for the kids.

Chateau overlooking a lake in the Var region in the South of France

Renaissance chateaux in the Loire Valley
Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, and Chambord are three jewels of the Renaissance period which you will visit with your local guide, a historian who will transform into a storyteller, sharing with you the stories behind the buildings and how that affected their architecture… and their beauty.  Your itinerary will include other magical chateaux nearby. More on the Loire Valley.

A chateau in the Loire Valley
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Chateaux and Castle
sample itineraries

Chateaux and Castle experience in Paris and the Loire Valley – 8 nights

  • Accommodation for 8 nights in luxury hotels in Paris and the Loire Valley
  • Private driver in luxury vehicle throughout your stay
  • 1st Class train tickets
  • 3 full-days and 1 half-day experiences in Paris with an expert private guide (according to your tastes and interests)
  • 3 full-days and 1 half-day experiences in the Loire Valley with an expert private guide (according to your tastes and interests)
  • 2 half-days at leisure
  • Our AAV Concierge will be available to help you organize your free time with private tours, restaurant reservations, spa treatments, and whatever else you wish to ensure you have a memorable time

Chateaux and Castle experience in the South of France – 6 days

  • Accommodation for 6 nights in luxury hotels in Provence and on the French Riviera
  • Private driver in luxury vehicle throughout your stay
  • 1st Class train tickets
  • 2 full-days and 1 half-day experiences in Provence with an expert private guide (according to your tastes and interests)
  • 2 full-days and 1 half-day experiences along the coast with an expert private guide (according to your tastes and interests)
  • 2 half-days at leisure
  • Our AAV Concierge will be available to help you organize your free time with private tours, restaurant reservations, spa treatments, and whatever else you wish to ensure you have a memorable time

Discover Chateaux and Castles
in France with AAV

One of the oldest castles still intact in France is Montbazon, built between 991 and 996. One of the newest is the chateau of Haut-Koenigsbourg in the east of France, rebuilt and reinterpreted from ruins just before World War I.
And in between, so many different constructions, so many different styles.
Built between 1230 and 1242, the Chateau d’Angers looks like a child’s sandcastle, with heavy towers supporting the ramparts.  The Fort de Salses was originally built for the King of Spain and, after many sieges, was conquered by the French in 1642.

Another fortified castle, the Tours de Merles in Corrèze has parts dating to the 1200s and 1500s and saw battles from the Hundred Years’ War.
And then—the Renaissance—when beauty and grandeur came to the forefront.  The treasures of the Loire Valley were built, the last of which is Villandry, built in the 1530s by Jean Le Breton, Minister of Finance for King François I, who used the knowledge gained in building the other chateau to make Villandry especially exquisite.
Visit France’s chateaux and castles and discover over nine centuries of history and architectural prowess.

Plan
your trip

If you wish to schedule a time to speak about the trip you have in mind, please click on the “Tailor my trip” button and fill in our form. We will get back to you very shortly after reception of your request.

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