In terms of accommodation, the Loire offers a truly exceptional panorama with charming and tasteful hotels where you can savour all the charm of these areas.
In fact, in the Loire Valley you can choose from a variety of solutions according to your travel needs and budget, from traditional family-run Chambres d’hotes (French B&Bs) to real castles in which to stay.
If you prefer all the comforts and conveniences, hotels are the accommodation for you. In the Loire you will find both large chains, synonymous with good value for money and great reliability and convenience, with family offers, services for all needs and flexibility, and charming boutique hotels to relax in tasteful and refined surroundings.
On the other hand, those who prefer comfort and freedom, especially if they are travelling with children, can opt for farmhouse accommodation, le gites de france, or a campsite.
For those in search of tranquillity and contact with nature, we recommend exploring the Loire Valley by staying in the small villages that you come across along the way, moving from day to day or every other day to visit the castles and places of interest. In this case, you will often find yourself staying in small, cosy B&Bs, while hotels are rarer.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a place that also offers something to do in the evenings, or perhaps you do not like to change accommodation frequently and prefer to stay in one place to explore the area every day, we recommend staying in a larger town that has more to offer the visitor in terms of restaurants, nightlife and, of course, accommodation.
Below are the main places to stay to visit the Loire Castles, moving in a hypothetical itinerary from east to west. For each one, we have highlighted the reasons why you should choose it.
Orleans is the first city one encounters when approaching the Loire Valley from Paris. It is a rather famous and touristy city that deserves to be explored on foot through its beautiful streets. Here you can visit the house of Joan of Arc and many other interesting museums.
Sleeping in Orléans to visit the Loire castles?
Located at the very beginning of the Loire Valley, Orléans is an excellent base to start your trip. However, it is not very central and therefore not suitable as a base for many days. We recommend that you stop here for a day or two and then move west.Best hotels in Orleans
Less than an hour’s drive from Orleans, continuing with our itinerary to the west, we arrive at Blois, another city full of places of interest in the heart of the Loire Valley. Stroll through its splendid alleyways and admire its beautiful squares and terraces, but above all, don’t miss visiting its famous castle located in the middle of the city
Sleeping in Blois to visit the Loire châteaux?
Yes, now the location is much more central than Orleans and there are many of the Loire’s most beautiful châteaux in the vicinity, so it is an excellent base for visiting the region.Best hotels in Blois
About 35 minutes from Blois is the city of Amboise, famous for its many places of interest to visit, first and foremost its castle, but also the Parc des Mini-Châteaux or the Pagode Chanteloup. But in general, it is the whole city that is fascinating, lying on the Loire with its iconic bridge to mark it out.
Sleeping in Amboise to visit the Loire châteaux?
Amboise enjoys a privileged geographical position on the Loire, it is charming and has many things to do and see, so absolutely YES! It has everything you need to be your base for a few nights to visit the castles in the surrounding area.Best hotels in Amboise
Continuing our tour in the Loire Valley heading west, another 30 minutes’ drive from Amboise brings us to the town of Tours. And once again, we are dealing with a city with an incredible cultural offer as well as plenty of clubs and restaurants to spend pleasant evenings. Don’t miss the cathedral and, of course, its castle, but there are many things to visit in Tours. If, as we recommend, you choose Tours as a location to visit the Loire Castles, then also consider the time needed to visit the city.
Staying in Tours to visit the Loire Castles?
Absolutely YES, Tours is beautiful and the most central city in the Loire Valley, surrounded by many beautiful castles to visit. In other words, you’ll be less than 40 minutes from Chenonceau Castle and less than 30 minutes from Villandry and Azay-Le-Rideau.Best hotels in Tours
Departing from Tours after an hour and a half’s drive, you arrive in the city of Angers and an area with a high density of castles. The town of Angers is also well worth discovering: a beautiful old town centre, the famous castle, museums, parks and a pleasant walk along the banks of the River Maine.
Staying in Angers to visit the Loire castles?
It will certainly be a stop on your itinerary, but we believe it is only passing through, being far from the Loire Valley’s most famous castles such as Chambord or Chenonceau. Angers is surrounded by smaller, less famous castles that are less frequented by mass tourism. If you intend to visit these châteaux or for a stopover in the direction of Nantes, it is certainly a very good choice, otherwise it is not an ideal base for visiting the Loire Valley as you would have too much road to travel each day for the various visits.Best hotels in Angers
Nantes is definitely worth a visit for its vast cultural offerings and original attractions, all the more so if you are travelling with children, who will go crazy seeing the incredible cars of Nantes. In the evening, we recommend a trip to the old port with its many restaurants and bars.
Sleeping in Nantes to visit the Loire castles?
Located at the end of the Loire Valley, Nantes is a city that is definitely worth a visit, however it is out of the way as a base for visiting the main castles. We would definitely recommend a night or two here, but then it will be time to move on.Best hotels in Nantes
So, where is the best place to stay?
If you don’t want to change accommodation frequently, we recommend one of the 3 central cities (Tours, Amboise or Blois), with a preference for Tours. They are all well located, offer interesting places to visit and clubs for the evening.
In Nantes, Angers and Orléans you will certainly make a stop, also because they are worth a visit, however they are not ideal bases for many days.
Undoubtedly, it is worth trying the thrill of staying in an old historic mansion or castle: you will experience magic and a new and unforgettable experience. Don’t expect to sleep inside a structure such as Chambord Castle, but the smaller castles, which use some parts of the structure as hotels, are certainly very impressive. Prices may not be cheap, of course, but they are worth it, especially for a trip as a couple.
Below is a selection of some of the most beautiful castles where you can sleep.
A more common solution is to stay at chambres d’hotes, the French version of Bed&Breakfasts: the convivial, family atmosphere allows you to fully experience local life and interact with the locals.
The price of the room usually includes breakfast and the owners often provide the option of dining on site by tasting a table d’hote, a special fixed-price menu where you can sample local specialities.
We advise you to book well in advance as these are private houses with only a few rooms available, normally very well cared for and run with passion and taste. If you are travelling with animals, remember to ask about availability in advance.