Celebrating Christmas in the Loire Valley Chateaux


Loire ValleyCultural HeritageWith Family

Noël au château d'Azay-le-Rideau dans le Val de Loire.
© ADT Touraine/JC Coutand - Noël au château d'Azay-le-Rideau dans le Val de Loire.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 8 December 2023, updated on 15 April 2024

For the festive season, the chateaux of the Loire Valley don their most resplendent finery. Christmas trees in all their guises, wonderful wreaths, fantastic beasts, and plenty of delicious treats all fill the chateaux with the magic of a Christmas fit for a king!

The château de Chenonceau

 noel-au-chateau-de-chenonceau jean-christophe-coutand Agence Départementale du Tourisme de Touraine©Jean-Christophe Coutand/Agence Départementale du Tourisme de Touraine - At Christmas, floral art takes centre stage at the Château de Chenonceau.

Rarely has the Château de Chenonceau lived up to its nickname of Château des Dames! Elegance, grace and fragrance are the order of the day for the Christmas festivities, with a parade of queens in gowns each more surprising than the last, just a few days before Christmas Eve. To celebrate the end of the year in style, the expertise of the Chenonceau floral workshop is on display at the home of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis. Room after room, the floral arrangements created by Jean François Boucher, Meilleur Ouvrier de France, are on display. Visitors will discover tables decorated with moss, mushrooms and foliage, covered in chocolate and adorned with candlesticks. There will also be workshops on floral art and French savoir-vivre, providing ideas on how to decorate and how to avoid making the wrong impression at Christmas dinner. In the kitchen, giant sweets and candy canes will delight gourmets young and old. Created by the Conservatoire de la Confiserie d'Amboise, these sweets will add a touch of sweetness to the occasion.

On 27 December, enjoy the musical entertainment of the "Féérie musicale des ronchons de Noël". In the heart of the château's Orangerie, 11 musicians from the Tours Symphony Orchestra will entertain the whole family.

Visit the Château de Chenonceau *Christmas in the Land of Castles, from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

The royal Chateau Amboise

Amboise - noel 1 -edition-2020 jean-christophe-coutand *Jean-Christophe Coutand / Agence Départementale du Tourisme de Touraine

At the castle where the future kings Charles VIII and François I grew up, children's dreams are the focus of attention at the end of the year. The Royal Château of Amboise presents a series of models from the film "Léo" for the whole family to discover in the rooms of the monument overlooking the Loire. On the programme: miniature worlds, small toys, main characters, sweets and poems to make your child's eyes light up in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas in Amboise also means many events for everyone. First of all, from 26 to 30 December, enjoy the guided tour "Christmas through the centuries". On 27 December, children are invited to the show "La mélodie de Gaspard" performed by the Compagnie des sans lacets. On 29 December, members of the Château's staff welcome children to a workshop entitled "Create your own mini-world". In the evening, families can take part in a "Candlelight stroll" and discover the "Christmas in the Land of Castles" scenography by candlelight. Storyteller Jean-François Talon welcomes children for a "Story Time" on 3 January, followed the next day by the departmental competition for the best Touraine biscuit, followed by a tasting.

Visit the Château d'Amboise *Christmas in the land of castles, from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

Château Azay-le-Rideau

Noël gourmand au château d'Azay-le-Rideau.*Léonard de Serres / Christmas at the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau

What would Christmas be without its traditional sweets? At Azay-le-Rideau, food lovers are in for a treat! Discover the Château's collections through the prism of gourmet delights, with sumptuous creations made from fabrics and antiques: Napoleon III silk cakes and trimmings, paper boiled eggs and antique jet pearls, and an icy lace dome. A feast for the eyes! There are also themed tours to learn more about the introduction of chocolate in France and [Renaissance feasts]. Visitors may even receive a few treats at the end of the tour... On 9 December, take part in a family cooking workshop led by one of the region's chefs to prepare Christmas recipes using local produce. Gourmet tours are also organised every day to discover the secrets of gastronomy and behind the scenes at the Château.

Visit the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau *Christmas in the land of castles, from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

At the Royal Fortress of Chinon

noel chinon jean-christophe-coutand*© ADT Touraine/JC Coutand - Christmas at the Royal Fortress of Chinon in the Loire Valley.

Have you ever wondered how Santa Claus lived? To find out, take your family on a tour of "Christmas myths and legends": Santa Claus takes up residence in the fortress". From the processing of the famous letters to Santa Claus to the making of presents by the elves, all the key moments in the preparations for Christmas take place in the royal apartments. But that's not all. Young and old alike will be delighted to discover the relaxation area and the kitchen of the fortress' winter guest. From 23 December, you and your child can take part in "Santa's race". He's late and not quite ready. Some presents haven't been wrapped yet, the sleigh isn't full yet... Give our Christmas Eve hero a helping hand with some lively and fun challenges.

Visit the Royal Fortress of Chinon *Christmas in the land of castles, from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

At the château and gardens of Villandry

NoelVillandry (c)ChateauetjardinsVillandry (4)-bd*© Château et jardins de Villandry - Plant Christmas at the Château de Villandry in the Loire Valley.

Get ready for a family Christmas with the Carvallo family, owners of Château de Villandry since the beginning of the 20th century. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, you'll enjoy a festive atmosphere in close contact with nature - the gardens are a must! After a storytelling walk around the château in the footsteps of Célestine, you can admire the plant decorations created with reindeer, fawns, owls and squirrels, before going out into the gardens to discover the mosaics of ornamental cabbages and leeks, or the boxwood lace and yew silhouettes in topiary. Magical!

Visit the castle and gardens of Villandry *Christmas activities at the Château de Villandry from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

The Chateau de Langeais

Noel Chateau-de Langeais Credit ADT Touraine JC-Coutand © ADT Touraine/JC Coutand - Christmas at the Château de Langeais in the Loire Valley.

Candles, lanterns, garlands, lamps - the Christmas decorations in the rooms of the Château de Langeais, near Tours, offer a magical journey back to the time of the lords. At the end of the year, a number of events are planned, including a copyist's workshop where children from the age of 7 can discover calligraphy and create a personalised greetings card, and a storytelling tour of the château accompanied by an actress.

Visit the Château de Langeais *Christmas illuminations from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024.

At the royal city of Loches

noel logis royal loches*© ADT Touraine/JC Coutand - Christmas at the Cité Royale de Loches in the Loire Valley.

For the festive season, the Cité Royale de Loches plunges its visitors into the world of fairytales. Under the direction of Philippe Freslon, several princesses have been invited to the Cité Royale to amaze you. Join Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella for a magical reading. On Thursdays and Saturdays, you can also discover what life was like in a medieval castle in winter. Don't forget to bundle up to make the most of this experience, which includes an outdoor walk...

Visit the royal town of Loches *Christmas in Castle Country, from 2 December 2023 to 7 January 2024. *

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