Let it snow on the Loire Valley castles!

They're commonly pictured (well, as common as Renaissance-era château can look!) in spring and summertime, under the sun, when the gardens are blooming. But the castles of the Loire Valley lose no of their charm in winter, especially when a thick white blanket of snow covers the gables and fields. Care for a battle royale snowball fight?

Snow queens

You've probably seen the Chenonceau Château on the side, with its stunning bridge spanning the Loire. It also has a lot to offer on the front side, like the Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médici gardens, whose frozen blooms are enchanting in winter.

Between the fir trees

Between the snow-covered firs, you can spotthe Royal Fortress of Chinon, one of the rare medieval castles in the Loire Valley. Cross the sparkling white carpet of snow to enter the former fortress for a dive into the heart of the Middle Ages. Henry II Platagenêt, his son Richard the Lionheart, the meeting between Joan of Arc and Charles VIII—so many protagonists and stories to discover, all under the snow-covered roof!

Between the fir trees

Between the snow-covered firs, you can spotthe Royal Fortress of Chinon, one of the rare medieval castles in the Loire Valley. Cross the sparkling white carpet of snow to enter the former fortress for a dive into the heart of the Middle Ages. Henry II Platagenêt, his son Richard the Lionheart, the meeting between Joan of Arc and Charles VIII—so many protagonists and stories to discover, all under the snow-covered roof!

Think Chambord is "been there, done that"? You mustn't have seen it in full winter splendor and in the magic of Christmas season when snow covers the turrets and other chimneys. After discovering the decor of the itinerant courtyard of Francois I imagined by the decorator and scenographer Jacques Garcia, take an invigorating walk in the castle's park.

White Cabbage

Between the ornamental, music and water gardens, where to start in Villandry? In the wintertime, walk among the hedges and topiaries, all iced in white. Don't forget about the vegetable patch and its cabbages covered with frost—it's like a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale come to life.

The winter hush

Perched between the sky and Loire Valley, the royal castle of Amboise is already among the most beautiful panoramas in the Loire Valley. Perhaps it is from the gardens, sprinkled with white flakes, when a halo of mystery surrounds it, that that the château is at its most lovely.

The winter hush

Perched between the sky and Loire Valley, the royal castle of Amboise is already among the most beautiful panoramas in the Loire Valley. Perhaps it is from the gardens, sprinkled with white flakes, when a halo of mystery surrounds it, that that the château is at its most lovely.

Best known for its spectacular gardens and the festival dedicated to landscape creation, the National Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire is also worth a detour during wintertime. For three years now, the château has organized Chaumont-Photo-Sur-Loire, an exhibition highlighting the work of French and international photographers.

By the fireside

Did Leonardo da Vinci have a chance to see Clos Lucé under the snow? History doesn't say a word about it. In any case, we can easily picture him warming up in front of the tall stone fireplace in the chateau's kitchen, while his meal rotates over the fire.

Tintin under the snow

A halo of mystery seems to surround the castle of Cheverny. Does the castle ring a bell? You might have seen it in one of the "Adventures of Tintin" episode, in which the hero is in the guise of Moulinsart. A large permanent exhibition is also dedicated to this literary double, offering visitors a total immersion in the world of the comics.

Tintin under the snow

A halo of mystery seems to surround the castle of Cheverny. Does the castle ring a bell? You might have seen it in one of the "Adventures of Tintin" episode, in which the hero is in the guise of Moulinsart. A large permanent exhibition is also dedicated to this literary double, offering visitors a total immersion in the world of the comics.