This is just a small list of the Loire Valley castles; we’ve spent several stays there in our camper van, and each time it’s a real pleasure.

The region is magnificent and well-suited for touring in a camper van; you’ll easily find day parking as well as overnight areas to park your camper van near any castle!

Here’s the list of the children’s favorite castles and ours as well on occasion. They are all beautifully furnished because, yes, children are much more interested in visiting a furnished castle, and some have additional features to captivate them!

Cheverny Castle

Undoubtedly one of our favorites, especially for the children! It’s THE Tintin castle! A permanent exhibition is housed in an annex, featuring interactive displays where your children can participate. There’s an additional fee, but it’s definitely worth it! Cheverny Castle is a private estate belonging to the Hurault de Vibraye family. The castle is open for visits every day, featuring numerous lavishly furnished rooms and a permanent LEGO exhibition in some of the rooms.

Your visit will be punctuated by numerous gardens, a lake, and woods. Cheverny is also a renowned hunting site with a pack of no less than 120 dogs, which you can visit during your tour.

Highlights for children :

  • LEGO building exhibition inside the castle rooms
  • Tintin exhibition outside the castle
  • Forest tour on a small train
  • Motorboat ride

Chambord Castle

Arguably one of the largest castles in the Loire Valley. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981, it’s one of the most remarkable Renaissance constructions. You can’t help but be dazzled by both its exterior and interior, especially its staircase!

With exhibitions, furnished rooms, its famous deer park, and shows, you can easily spend a whole day at the castle without getting bored.

Highlights for children :

  • Knights and raptors show
  • Boat rental
  • Electric cart rental
  • Bicycle rental
  • Forest walk
  • Discovery of the forest by 4×4

Blois Castle

The royal castle of Blois is immense and boasts numerous lavishly furnished rooms, but its greatest highlight is its location. Just across from the castle, don’t miss the visit to the Magic Museum, a fabulous interactive experience with a basement room particularly suited for older visitors, focusing on spirits…

The sound and light show can be seen every evening in summer, enhancing the castle’s architecture beautifully.

Highlights for children :

  • Sound and light show every evening in summer
  • Magic Museum located across from it

Brézé Castle

Brézé Castle is a true labyrinth. The visit starts conventionally with the furnished rooms of the castle before descending beneath the castle into a maze of tunnels and underground chambers: a real playground for children!

Highlight for children :

  • The endless labyrinth of underground passages

Chenonceau Castle

Known as the Ladies’ Castle, Chenonceau is a haven of peace. King Henri II gifted it to his favorite, Diane de Poitiers. During World War II, the grand gallery of Chenonceau served as an access point to the free zone.

All rooms are furnished, and the gardens are magnificent. You can also take walks in the forest or enjoy a boat ride under the arches.

Highlights for children :

  • Boat ride
  • Magnificent gardens
  • Forest walk

Villandry Castle

Arguably home to the most beautiful gardens, Villandry is a place where you can easily spend the entire day exploring both the furnished rooms inside and the exterior. Jean Breton, the King’s Secretary of Finances, transformed the medieval castle into a Renaissance jewel. The castle is vast, and children love running through the labyrinth of gardens.

Highlights for children :

  • Endless gardens
  • Garden illumination in the evenings during summer

Montpoupon Castle

Certainly the most elaborately decorated castle we’ve visited! There are so many decorations and unusual objects in every room that our eyes didn’t know where to look! It takes time to fully appreciate it all! The castle has numerous rooms, and all the annexes are also furnished.

Children particularly enjoyed the interactive treasure hunt throughout the castle, a game that involves opening doors and chests! The adventure continues with a walk through the forest.

Highlights for children :

  • The well-documented hunting museum
  • Treasure hunt
  • Stroll through the park and forest

Valençay Castle

Former residence of Napoleon’s minister, the castle boasts an immense park spanning about fifty hectares! You can explore the park on foot or in an electric cart. It includes woods, a garden, a deer park, a mini farm, and a cart tour to see the caves—the park alone is worth the visit. The rooms are splendid with beautiful period furniture, and a game is provided at the entrance for children to enjoy.

Highlights for children :

  • Electric cart ride
  • The theater
  • Animal park and deer park

Ussé Castle

Arguably the most incredible castle! It is a private, still inhabited castle, so not all areas are accessible to visitors. It’s said to have inspired the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

The visit unfolds following the storyline of the fairy tale. You’ll wander from room to room, guided by the tale. Costumed mannequins bring each furnished and decorated room to life, reenacting scenes from the story of Sleeping Beauty.

Highlights for children :

  • The exhibition of Sleeping Beauty
  • Following the story of the fairy tale during the visit
  • The lavishly furnished rooms

Clos-Lucé Castle

Known as the castle of inventions or Leonardo da Vinci’s castle. Throughout the visit, you walk in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci, exploring his life and works. Discover his bedroom, study, books, and sketches. The tour is very engaging and fascinating.

In the beautiful and refreshing garden, children loved exploring life-size interactive inventions that invite them to test, try, think, and imagine.

Highlights for children :

  • Open-access games in the garden inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions
  • Inventions displayed within the castle
  • Theatrical guided tour
  • Inventor’s notebook for the visit

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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