It was during a stay in Loir-et-Cher at the nearby L’Auberge du Bon Laboureur that we had a very pleasant time visiting the Château de Chenonceau and its park. This also allowed us to discover a very French peculiarity … The Château de Chenonceau (without x) is located in Chenonceaux (with an x) … Go figure …

A car park is located just in front of the entrance to the Château de Chenonceau. Enter through the gates (there is a security check and you may be asked to leave your food at the entrance, you’ll be able to collect them when you exit.) You will probably be amazed by the size of this amazing park.

This visit is just magical, and we admit that we loved the park more than the castle itself, because it is often very crowded. The large alley actually serves several different spaces: take some time to discover them all. Near the castle, you can admire the famous gardens of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. Very large and perfectly designed, they are very popular with visitors.

Nevertheless, we discovered a little hidden gem that we preferred: the “Russell Page Tribute Garden”. It notably contains sculptures by François-Xavier Lalanne, which fit perfectly into this green space … some kind of little secret garden. In the castle, the essential remains the gallery spanning the Cher allowing you to admire the water under your feet, for a pretty magical panorama. In general, children are quite fond of this part of the tour.

The large park surrounding the Château de Chenonceau also has a space with donkeys. Well, we are never very fond of this kind of thing, but we couldn’t help but go and pet them, because they obviously love being scratched between their ears. They are beautiful and have a large outdoor enclosure.

Good to know

Lili-Fleur dans la chambre

A must do

In the castle, we advise you to visit the gallery and the kitchens if you do not want to linger too long because it’s crowded. In the park, do not miss the “Russell Page Tribute Garden” and its sculptures, the pond with lots of ducks and the maze: this Italian maze wanted by Catherine de Medici, is planted with 2,000 yew trees, over more than one hectare.

The princess loved

The princess loved being outside (she thought there were too many people inside). Her favorite moments were looking at the ducks, running in the flowers in the undergrowth at the entrance, trying to get lost in the park and obviously … petting the donkeys. Also, an educational hive allows you to observe the bees without disturbing them. It is located near the Flower Garden.

The ups for kids

Your kids are over 8 years old

Try to visit the Château de Chenonceau during the week in order to discover the fascinating history of this castle without the crowd of tourists. Kids will like to get lost in the maze and admire the many shades of the Flower Garden.

Your kids are less than 8 years old

Avoid the crowd of the castle and if it’s sunny, spend the whole afternoon in the park, or even the whole day and have lunch at the restaurant. Picnic areas are also available near the castle. Let them run, discover, marvel at seeing so many flowers and admire the Cher for a well-deserved break. Take them to pet the donkeys and try to find squirrels or other small critters.

Slideshow

Practical info

Rates

Adults: 15 euros with a brochure or 19 euros with an audio guide; Children from 7 to 18 years old: 12 euros or 15.50 euros with an audio guide; children under the age of 7 do not pay.

The entrance gives you access to the castle, gardens, Galerie des Dômes and Galerie des Attelages.

Details

Château de Chenonceau

Chenonceaux, France

Website: https://www.chenonceau.com/en/

Opening times change a lot during the year, we advise you to take a look at the site. It opens at 9:30 a.m. in winter and 9 a.m. in summer and closes between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. depending on the period.

Dogs are allowed in the park, kept on a leash.

For lunch, you can either picnic or have lunch in one of the castle’s restaurants (snack or gourmet).