France's most stunning castles

There are hundreds of châteaux in France, each one more beautiful than the last. From the grandiose to the poetic, here are our top five most stunning châteaux to visit in France this year!

Explore the riches of the Palace of Versailles

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this world-renowned palace was constructed by Louis XIV, the Sun King. The then King of France called upon the best architects of the time to build these imposing and magnificent structures, which set a standard for the whole of Europe.

Visit the Palace at your own pace: from the Hall of Mirrors to the King's Grand Apartments, via Marie-Antoinette's estate and the Petit Trianon, the Queen's Garden, the Hamlet and the Domain.

Unwind in the Domaine National de Chambord

The Château de Chambord is located two hours from Paris, in the heart of the Loire Valley. This château is the largest and most prestigious of the French Renaissance period. It was the prodigious brainchild of King Francis I, who loved to retire to his castle to indulge his passion for hunting.

Whether on foot or by bike, enjoy the calm natural surroundings of the Chambord estate at your leisure and explore the 1000 hectares of publicly accessible forest. Animals roam free within the park, providing a great atmosphere for unwinding far from the stress of daily life.

Palace of Versailles
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Domaine de Chantilly at the heart of history

Only 25 minutes away from Paris, the Domaine de Chantilly is one of the jewels in the crown of France's cultural heritage, and houses a complete collection of treasures formerly belonging to a 19th century prince, Henri of Orléans, Duke of Aumale. The Domaine is home to the second largest collection of antique paintings in France (after the Louvre). The art galleries alone make it worth a visit!

Opt for a guided tour of the Large Suites and the Private Suites. They are a wonderful example of the ceremonial decor in fashion in the 18th century, and display a broad variety of decorative arts, furniture and Old Master paintings.

Experience wonderment at the Château de Chenonceau

The Château de Chenonceau is an exceptional site bearing a feminine touch. Renamed the "Château des Dames", it was loved, managed and protected by women: Katherine Briçonnet, Diane de Poitiers and even Catherine de Medici and Madame Dupin. The Room of the Five Queens, Louis XIV's salon, the Grand Gallery overlooking the river Cher, remarkable kitchens constructed in the piers of the bridge, the Green Cabinet of Catherine de Medici... Step by step, Chenonceau transports you through history, through its dreams and its secrets.

Three centuries of history at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

The Vaux-le-Vicomte estate owes its existence to three men: the gardener and landscaper André Le Nôtre, the architect Louis Le Vau and the painter and decorator Charles Le Brun. Together they forged the most perfect harmony between architecture and landscaping seen in the entire 17th century.

Vaux-le-Vicomte has been greatly coveted since its inauguration in August 1661, becoming a model for the rest of Europe. Outside the château itself, visit the French Formal Garden and its two walking routes to discover all of its intricacies.

P.S.: there is also a walking route through the garden for children, where they can take part in a scavenger hunt.

Domaine de Chantilly