Christmas in France, in the land of châteaux!
Christmas in France! In Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Chinon, Langeais, Loches, Villandry… From the beginning of December to the beginning of January, seven 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.
Unfortunately, the latest french government announcements have led the castles to cancel the 2020 edition of Christmas magic in the land of châteaux. If sanitary conditions permit, they will nevertheless be open to welcome you during the school holidays. We will keep you informed.
Looking ahead to 2021
This event involves a tour of seven 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 beginning of December until the beginning 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…
Christmas, dreams from childhood: there is snow on the Royal Château of Amboise! When they were young and before they became kings of France, Charles 8th and François 1st lived and celebrated the festive season at the royal chateau in Amboise. Naturally, visitors will be invited to remember the joyful moments they had at Christmas when they were children. This year, there is snow on the chateau! On Christmas day, the King and his court discover a beautiful scene: during the night, a thin layer of snow has gently covered the Royal Chateau of Amboise. It is time for snowballs battles, plump snowmen and happy sliding in this white immaculate scenery. Visitors will share, with the members of the Court of France, the pleasures of Christmas under the snow. The dream of this white Christmas will be displayed in the various rooms of the chateau and on the terrace. During this tour, visitors will have the occasion to learn about the symbolism of snow and winter in History and discover how they have been depicted through time.
Château d’Azay-le-Rideau: “Festive paper decorations: foodie dreams”. Wrinkled, cut, embossed… this year, inside the chateau, discover the magic of a culinary decoration created with fold paper. As you tour the rooms of this precious Renaissance chateau, beautifully arranged with Christmas traditional or more contemporary decors, you will discover the long tables ornate with origamis suggesting our traditional Christmas delicacies, paper culinary sculptures and exquisite garlands. The design studio “Studio numéroté” led by Marine Villemonteix was chosen to imagine an incredible Christmas atmosphere. With Zoé Dollet and Emilie Beier, the three graduate artists, worked together to create an amazing, delicious and festive Christmas atmosphere! Welcome in France, welcome to the chateau of Azay-le-Rideau!
Château de Chenonceau: Royal Paradise. Some poets and writers said that Chenonceau was set in a gentle and idyllic scenery. It has also been the favourite and dream-like residence of Queens. Especially for this festive season, the words royal and paradise have been employed to express the Christmas atmosphere made of golden and white floral arrangement, snowy Christmas trees and sumptuous bunches of flowers…. Every arrangement is created by the floral workshop team, led by its designer, recognised as “Meilleur ouvrier de France”. The oldest as well as the youngest will remember for a long time the magic of this sweet Christmas in Chenonceau…
Royal Fortress of Chinon: Christmas myths and legends. This year, visitors will be taken to the magic of the Christmas myths and legends. Thanks to a contemporary and playful exhibition, they will discover the origins of legendary characters such as Santa Claus, Bogeyman and… the mythical Father Christmas. Who is going to visit home at Christmas Eve? Saint-Nicolas or Bogeyman? Visitors will have to choose !
Château de Langeais: Christmas festive lights. Light, which is part of the festive season, used to be a privilege for well-off people. During the festive season and for “Christmas in the land of chateaux”, visitors will discover, inside the chateau, the magic of Christmas in France through all sorts of light arrangements. Candles and lights will be arranged together and be used to highlight the sumptuous decors of the rooms: dreamlike undergrowth, banquet table with pheasants and peacocks ornate with their feathers, precious gowns ready to be dressed, glittering and colorful medieval shoes by the fireplace… During their tour, visitors will discover other surprises in a cheery and refined atmosphere full of festive lights.
The winter tales of the Royal city of Loches: Peter and the wolf. The Royal City of Loches is a major historical place with a keep of more than a thousand years old and a royal residence where visitors, during the festive season, 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 musical world of “Peter and the Wolf” from Prokofiev.
Chateau of Villandry: “The chateau opens its door to nature”. Visitors will be invited to spend Christmas at the chateau of Villandry, a family home, in a friendly and cozy atmosphere. As you tour the rooms and discover the beautiful festive arrangements, you will see how the chateau opens its door to nature. In each room: living room, kitchen, bedrooms, everyone is busy getting ready for Christmas Eve. Nature can be seen everywhere! As you go upstairs to the attic, you will be amazed to discover an incredible enchanted forest! Admire its trees and bushes as well as the forest animals and birds… a real fairy tale. You will also 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. You will feel like walking in the gardens and the alleys bordered with bare lime trees.
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, a festive ingredient for sure, or delicious saffron.
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 France, 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