The chateau has become synonymous with the Loire from the time it was embraced by French Royalty as a safe haven and then as a rich cultural playground. What they and their noble followers created is here for us all to see today, preserved in a way perhaps only the French can -- even to the extent of rebuilding, such as the fortress at Chinon.
They are as diverse as they are numerous (over 300), from Chenonceau spanning the river Cher, Chambord with its outrageous and unnecessary scale, Azay-le Rideau seemingly floating on the river Indre, Amboise with its Leonardo de Vinci connection plus many with beautiful gardens such as at Villandry and Chaumont-sur-Loire and a few, like Le Grand Pressigny housing museums - definitely something for everyone!
Their influence and the areas natural beauty made UNESCO designate a large
stretch of the river Loire, which includes many of the best chateau, a world heritage site. Listed are many of the more famous chateau -- you will have to decide yourself on which ones to visit --