Christmas magic in the land of châteaux
Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Chinon, Langeais, Loches… From the beginning of December to the beginning of January, six of the greatest Loire Valley châteaux get into the festive spirit with exceptional tours and events: it’s “Christmas in the land of châteaux” in Touraine.
This event involves a tour of six of the most famous Loire Valley châteaux with key iconic Christmas themes that put a sparkle in the eyes of children and grown-ups everywhere.
Imagine a giant Christmas tree covered in more than 2,300 decorations, sugar sculptures with multi-coloured sweets, dozens of candles and braziers creating an interplay of light and shadow, a huge Neapolitan Nativity scene full of little scenes and characters, a maze of Christmas trees in ultra-contemporary shapes… From the 1st of December until the 6th of January, each château creates its own world and after one, two or three visits, you soon feel like you’re ‘collecting’ them, one discovery leading you irresistibly to another.
Crafty Christmas trees, sweets and a giant nativity scene…
Royal Château of Amboise: Christmas, dreams from childhood: King Teddy bear. For this 2019 edition, a sweet and cuddly guest star, will grace the chateau with his presence: King Teddy bear. Dozens of white and brown bears will take residence at the chateau for this festive season (thanks to partnerships with one of the last teddy bear factory in France “Les Petites Maries©”, and the old toys museum in Waenbrechies). Visitors will see them in the rooms of the chateau until they meet the King size Teddy bear in the throne hall. This exhibition will be the opportunity to know everything about the bear legends of the past to the “teddy bear” of our childhood.
- 14th of December, 4:00 pm: Christmas carols concert.
- 2nd of January: contest for the best “galette des rois de Touraine” !
Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: a sweet Christmas. Of all the pleasures associated with Christmas, treating oneself to treats is high on the list! And that’s perfect because all over the chateau, you will find all kinds of sweets and candies. As you tour the rooms of this precious Renaissance chateau – the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, the attics… – you will discover the astonishing Christmas decorations beautifully arranged and you will be immersed in a sweet, delicious and festive atmosphere. Enjoy it fully!
Château de Chenonceau: Christmas at Chenonceau: the mythical animals. As the 500th century anniversary of the French Renaissance has been celebrated in 2019, Chenonceau will celebrate Christmas through mythical fables. With the 16th century “great discoveries”, unknown plants were introduced to Europe. Real treasures arrived from Asia, America or Africa… Exotic produce but also unknown animals started to be represented on the large tapestries covering the walls of our chateaux. The brand new roads of the spices or silk and the road to India were still nearly dreams as were the mythological or mythical fabulous animals. There was a collection of strange birds coming out of an imaginary birdcage: winged horses like Pegasus, griffins often represented on coats of arms, perytons, half-stags, half-eagles. And there was the Unicorn, a legendary creature whose existence was inspired by explorers descriptions of animals such as rhinoceros or antelopes.
Entertainment: family friendly workshop about the traditional Christmas decorations, in the Grand gallery, during the school holidays.
Royal Fortress of Chinon: At the foot of the Christmas tree. This year, at the Royal fortress of Chinon, the Christmas decoration will take you back to the 20th century! From the end of the 19th century with the renowned shop windows of the Parisian department stores to the 1990’s, you will follow this visit with a little bit of nostalgia. See also an exhibition of vintage Christmas posters. You will also have the privilege and the surprise to discover an original work of art created by the glass designer Verart, a local glass factory. And, inside the towers of the fortress, you will be invited to discover original artistic versions of the Christmas tree.
Château de Langeais: Christmas treasures. Visitors will be invited to discover the pleasures and the luxury displayed during the Middle-Ages in a chateau for Christmas. Inside the banquet room, you will find a table with a bountiful medieval traditional meal. Inside the bedrooms, precious gowns will be displayed during the celebration of this festive and refined time of the year. By candlelight, the flower arrangements will make this medieval home even more magical.
Entertainment during Christmas holidays: fitting of medieval costumes for families.
Royal city of Loches: Winter tales. This is a major historical place where visitors are invited to rediscover classic tales which have contributed to our present day image of Christmas. This year, adults and children alike will become immersed in the fantastic world of “The Nutcracker”, a tale written by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann in 1816.
Chateau of Villandry: a family Christmas in the heart of gardens. Visitors will be invited to spend Christmas at the chateau of Villandry, a family home, in a friendly and cozy atmosphere. They will discover the traditional Carvallo family Christmas decorations in every room (living room, kitchen, bedrooms), inspired by the Hispanic origins of Joachim Carvallo and the Anglo-Saxon origins of Ann Coleman. Visitors will have the pleasure of admiring the wintery gardens from the windows: the kitchen garden with its winter vegetables, the mosaics of box wood edges and the yew topiary silhouettes.
Entertainment: Celestine, your personal guide, will take you from room to room and will tell you Christmas tales full of magic that take place in a fantastic world! Fridays, the 27th of December and the 3rd of January, Saturdays, the 7th, 14th, 21st 28th of December and the 4th of January, Sundays, the 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th of December.
Magic every day for a month!
These tours are available every day from the beginning of December to the beginning of January, including outside school holidays, at no additional cost compared to the usual price. During this period, each of the participating châteaux also hold regular events (workshops, singing…).
And while you’re there, why not do a bit of shopping?
Whites, rosés or reds, Touraine wines go superbly well with your festive meals so remember to take back a few bottles with you. Terrines made from the wild fish of the Loire are sensational on toasted bread, as is the local foie gras. You can also root out a few black truffles in Touraine, a festive ingredient for sure.
In the basket weaving village of Villaines-les-Rochers, local craftsmen create original wickerwork tree decorations which will hang effortlessly alongside the handcrafted glass baubles from the Maison Verart, in Amboise.
Individual and group stay packages
Tours Loire Valley Tourist Information has designed special “Christmas in the land of the châteaux” stays for both the general public and groups.
Tours Loire Valley Tourist Information – Incoming department
Tel: (00 33) (0)2 47 70 37 34 – firstname.lastname@example.org