Noël au pays des châteaux© (Christmas in the land of châteaux)

Christmas in the land of châteaux Christmas in the land of châteaux

From the beginning of December to the beginning of January, five great châteaux of the Loire Valley get into the festive spirit with special tours and events: it’s “Christmas in the land of châteaux©“! A perfect opportunity for you and your family to discover a unique heritage along with the magic of Christmas and all its traditions.

Christmas at the royal chateau of Amboise

The “Christmas through the centuries” exhibition enables visitors to the Château Royal d’Amboise to learn how Christmas celebrations have changed over the centuries: carols, crib scenes, Christmas logs, Christmas trees, baubles, gifts... just some of the many traditions whose origins are sometimes unknown. The crackle of a log fire and the scents of fir trees rekindle the magic of the season and visitors to the château gaze in awe at the myriad colours of the monumental Neapolitan nativity scenes and the glass baubles and fabric bows on the 19th century Christmas trees. This year’s theme is the journey of the Magi and the château is also organising a number of magical events for children: shows, a special family guided tour and story-telling.

Practical: Christmas through the centuries
Christmas at the royal chateau of Amboise. Loire Valley, France

Christmas at the chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

Of all the pleasures associated with the Christmas period, gorging on sweet treats is high on the list... And that’s just perfect, because during the “Christmas in the land of châteaux” festivities, the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau will be chock-full of sweet treats - particularly the Biencourt salon, which has only recently been renovated and refurnished! As you visit the rooms - the Great Hall, the kitchen, the dining room... - the “Noël gourmand chez les Biencourt” tour, devised by and for foodies (don’t miss the sugar sculptures!), will immerse you in a wonderfully festive atmosphere in this little Renaissance gem. You’ll also be able to choose from a programme of mouth-watering activities. Enjoy irresponsibly!

Practical: Noël gourmand chez les Biencourt (Festive food with the Biencourts)
Christmas at the chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

Christmas at the chateau of Chenonceau

The team from the Château de Chenonceau’s floral workshop are busy all year round creating floral decorations for the château’s rooms. Now, they are pulling out all the stops to recreate the magic of the festive period using amazing plant and floral arrangements and enormous, lavishly decorated Christmas trees. The grand gallery, Louise de Lorraine’s black bedroom, the kitchens... all areas which are open to the public are imbued with Christmas spirit thanks to these beautiful and original arrangements, which are designed afresh each year.       

Practical: Christmas at Chenonceau
Christmas at the chateau of Chenonceau. Loire Valley, France

Christmas at the royal fortress of Chinon

Christmas trees are just green, traditional and conventional, aren’t they? Certainly not at the Forteresse Royale de Chinon! During the “Christmas in the land of châteaux” festivities, the monument is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees of all kinds, right up to the most original and contemporary. And the result? An amazing, entertaining and delightful tour in this cradle of French medieval history! 

Practical: O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Christmas at the royal fortress of Chinon. Loire Valley, France

Christmas at the chateau of Langeais

Light plays an important part in Christmas festivities. In the great mediaeval châteaux, the clear glow of wax candles was preferred to smoking torches, oil lamps or tallow candles. However, as they were expensive, wax candles were a luxury. For “Christmas in the land of the châteaux”, the Château de Langeais will envelop visitors in a magical festive atmosphere with its new take on this tradition of light: braziers will imbue the courtyard with warmth and an installation will add a dreamlike touch to the area. Inside, plant arrangements accentuated by a myriad of lights will enhance and showcase the collections of furniture and tapestries. And, of course, there will be the lofty apple-bedecked Christmas tree in pride of place in the banqueting hall, where the grand dining table will conjure up images of a lavish Christmas feast. The château will be transformed into a magical setting for family entertainment over the festive period.

Practical: A thousand festive lights
Christmas at the chateau of Langeais. Loire Valley, France
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The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach