Sitting slightly upriver from its more famous
neighbour Chateau Azay le Rideau, Chateau de l'Islette knows that it
has a job on to attract the tourists through its portal and
establish itself as a major Loire Valley attraction. It has, in our
opinion all the necessary credentials, a beautiful renaissance
exterior, lovely relaxing gardens and owners who are prepared to put
in the effort to put it firmly on Loire Valley visitors itineraries.
Like its nearby neighbour water plays a big part in the
chateau surroundings. It sits on the bank of the river
Indre which you cross over after passing through the
chateau gates on the perimeter wall.
To the left of the chateau there is what
used to be a working mill, where, in the
past the local community would mill their
corn in return for a payment to the local
lord. It now it houses a
small gift shop and cafe where you can relax
and admire your surroundings plus offers
boat rentals allowing you to take to the
The chateau, the oldest part
of which dates from the 15th century, has only been
open to the public since 2010 and a visit includes a
tour of the chateau (around 45min.), which, when we
visited was presented with enthusiasm, giving you its
history. They are proud of the fact that
Rodin and Camille Claudel choose l'Islette for
their romantic trysts and the tour takes you in their
The rooms on view are
exquisite but what makes this visit more interesting is
that you are touring a chateau that has been adapted for
modern living (it is a family home) and after touring
some of the more austere examples the Loire Valley has
to offer, it is a breath of fresh air. Don't be
surprised when you spot the occasional flat screen TV or
DVD selection as you go from room to room - yes this
chateau is very much alive!
We loved the modern bathroom suite.
To us however the great thing about
l'Islette is its gardens and grounds, we don't think you
will find a more relaxing or tranquil spot - take a
picnic - or a boat on the lake or simply unwind...
...and you may even
catch a glimpse of the lady of the house going about her
They haven't forgotten about the kids here
with costumes to allow them to become
Princesses and knights for the day.
If you are
visiting Azay-le-Rideau don't fail to add this
delightful place to your itinerary.
Openfrom 10am until 7pm
- last admission 6pm
Mornings: 10.30am – 11.30am
Afternoons: 2pm – 3pm – 4pm
– 5pm – 6pm
Reduced price: €5,00
for children/young adults aged 8-18 and students
under 25 (on presentation of a student card).