Where to Stay in Loire Valley (Best Hotels + Chateaux)

A complete guide to where to stay in the Loire Valley, France with or without a car (+ recommended hotels and chateaux where you can stay overnight).
where to stay in loire valley
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Loire Valley, known as the Garden of France, is located just 2 hours away from Paris. It is known for its splendid chateaux, vineyards and beautiful countryside. Indeed, the valley is one of the most visited regions in France.

After the end of the Hundred Years’ War, many of the fortresses built in this border region were remodelled as pleasure palaces for the aristocracy. During the Renaissance, they became a favourite of the Court and new opulent palaces were commissioned by the French Kings.

Today, some of the chateaux are privately owned and have been converted into hotels. You can actually stay in some of them overnight and feel like a royal!

Visiting the Loire Valley for the first time? Then take a look at my guide to the best Loire Valley chateaux (+ how to get to each of them by train or car).

Loire Valley spans over 280 kilometres (170 miles), so deciding where to stay is not an easy task. That’s why I made this guide, in which you’ll find not only the best chateaux hotels in the Loire Valley, but also the best towns to stay in the area.

Where I stayed

As I was travelling without a car, I chose to stay in two places for easier access to the most famous castles – the cities of Tours and Blois. Both of them are reachable with a direct TGV train from Paris.

In this way, I was able to easily visit chateaux de Chambord, Chaumont and d’Amboise from Blois and Chenonceau from Tours. And I didn’t miss the spectacular Sound & Light Show, which takes place in the Château Royal de Blois late in the evening.

In Blois, I stayed in Hotel Mercure Blois Centre – a great hotel with an indoor pool and a fantastic location, just a short walk from the Old Town.

In Tours, I booked La Maison Jules – a centrally located B&B, set in a historic mansion with a garden (+ amazing breakfast).

Most popular place to stay in the Loire

Looking for a convenient central place to stay to explore the most famous chateaux in the Loire? Here are the most popular towns and hotels:

  • if you’re travelling by car, stay in Le Manoir Saint Thomas in Amboise – a lovely hotel with a pool, located in a charming small city, next to Château d’Amboise
  • if you’re looking for a chateau hotel, book Chateau des Arpentis – a lovely chateau near Amboise surrounded by a huge park, with an outdoor swimming pool
  • if you’re travelling by train, stay in Oceania L’Univers in Tours – a great Spa hotel with a pool in a central city with excellent public transport connections
Château de Chenonceau

Where to stay in Loire Valley, France (best towns)


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How to choose where to stay in Loire Valley

Loire Valley is not just one place, it’s a region along the Loire River and it spans over 280 kilometres (170 miles). So, before deciding where to stay there are a few things to consider:

  • which are the chateaux you want to see
  • are you travelling by train or car
  • do you prefer to stay in a city hotel or in a chateau

Which are the chateaux you want to see?

This is one of the key things to decide before choosing where to stay. Loire Valley is home to more than 300 chateaux, as there are about 20 which are more popular amongst visitors. These popular castles are located in the area between the cities of Angers and Orléans. However, this is still a huge area (more than 2 hours 30 minutes drive between Angers and Orléans). So, you have to narrow it down.

If this is your first time in the Loire, I’d recommend you to start with Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau. These two are the must-see castles. Château de Blois, Château de Chaumont, Château d’Amboise and Château de Villandry are also worth a visit if you have time. All of the mentioned chateaux are located in the area between Tours and Blois.

Thus, to visit the most popular castles stay in the eastern part of the Loire Valley (between Tours and Blois). However, if you want to visit some of the castles in the west, I’d recommend staying in 2 areas. This will save you a lot of travelling time.

Are you travelling by train or car?

This is another key point to decide before booking accommodation. Many of the chateaux are reachable only by car. Fortunately, you can get to the most popular ones (Château de Chambord and Chenonceau) using public transport. Still, depending on where you’re staying you may need to take a train (or two) and then a shuttle bus.

Also, keep in mind that the chateau shuttle buses usually run only during the summer months. This means that if you’re travelling outside the high season, these palaces are accessible only by car.

Thus, my advice is after you decide which castles you want to visit, see how you can get to each of them. In some cases, it may be time-consuming to get to a certain chateau (from your base), especially if you’re travelling by public transport.

Staying in a city hotel or in a chateau?

Most of the chateau hotels are located outside the towns. And in this case, you’ll need to rent a car to get around easily. Of course, it’s possible to find an option with relatively convenient public transport. Still, you’ll lose much time getting from one place to another.

Thus, if you prefer staying in a chateau, I’d strongly recommend renting a car. Also, keep in mind that the dinner options will be limited unless you want to drive to the nearest town.

Staying in any of the towns in the Loire Valley has two main benefits – convenient public transport and plenty of restaurants. The main cities in which people stay when exploring the valley are Tours, Amboise and Blois. Moreover, there is a direct TGV train from Paris to Blois and Tours (less than 2 hours journey).

Book as early as you can
My best advice is – book your accommodation well in advance. It’s a very popular destination, especially throughout the summer months.

Don’t stay too far in the west
While researching for my trip I found recommendations about staying in Saumur, Chinon, Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau. These towns may be charming, but they are located too far away from the most popular castles (for example it’s between a 1 hour 30 minutes and 2-hour drive to Château de Chambord).

These locations are simply not practical for first-time visitors. If you decide to stay in any of these towns, choose a second base, from where you can easily visit the popular chateaux in the east.

Amboise

Where to stay in Loire Valley with a car

Without a doubt, travelling by car is the most convenient way to explore the Loire Valley. You’ll have the possibility to see the chateaux at your own pace, without sticking to a tight schedule and worrying about missing a train.

To get the best car rental rate, take a look at Rentalcars (they compare deals from all major companies, giving you the best price).

Where to stay in Loire Valley with a car?
The best places to stay in Loire Valley with a car are Amboise and Blois. Both towns are centrally located and are excellent bases to explore the major Loire castles. They are less touristy than Tours and own this old French charm that will make you fall in love with them!

Amboise is smaller but offers more unique places to stay than Blois. In comparison, Blois has more historic buildings and beautiful half-timbered houses. Also, there you’ll find more things to do (Cathedral of Saint-Louis, Jardins de l’Évêché, House of Magic), besides seeing the chateau.

Amboise

Amboise is the perfect town to use as a base for visiting the Loire Valley. The famous chateaux Chenonceau and Chambord are less than an hour drive away. In addition to this, the town features its own impressive palaces – Château d’Amboise and Château du Clos Lucé. The latter is renowned for being the last residence of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Why stay in Amboise

  • Excellent central location and easy access to Château de Chambord (55min drive), Château de Chenonceau (20min drive) and Château de Chaumont (20min drive).
  • Two of the most important Loire castles are here – Château d’Amboise and Château du Clos Lucé.
  • You can enjoy some wine tasting, right in the city centre at Caves Ambacia, a 15th-century wine cellar.
  • One of the largest outdoor markets in the Loire Valley takes place every Sunday along the river banks.

Le Manoir Saint Thomas – Most popular

The hotel is housed in a historic building, surrounded by a beautiful garden with a heated pool. The location is excellent, just a short walk from the chateau, and plenty of restaurants and bakeries nearby (try Boulangerie L’Horloge).
Why book – 5min walk from the chateau, outdoor swimming pool and a garden, free parking


Au Charme Rabelaisien – Best Spa hotel

Nestled in the historical heart of the town of Amboise, this 18th-century hotel is the perfect place for a Spa holiday. Rooms are spacious, featuring baths and separate hydro-massage showers. In addition, you’ll find a nice wellness area with a jacuzzi, sauna and a heated outdoor swimming pool.
Why book – a short walk from the castle, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, parking on-site


Le Manoir Les Minimes – Most luxurious

This charming hotel, set in an 18th-century historic building, is located right on the river banks. The luxury rooms offer an unparalleled view of both the Château Royal d’Amboise and the Loire.
Why book – a short walk from the castle, beautiful room views, free parking on-site

Blois

Bigger than Amboise, but still charming with a medieval atmosphere, Blois is another great option to stay in the Loire Valley. The main attractions here are the royal Château de Blois and the Cathedral of Saint-Louis, a Gothic masterpiece. Find out more about them in my guide to the best things to do in Blois.

Why stay in Blois

  • Central location and easy access to Château de Chambord (20min drive), Château de Chaumont (20min drive), Château de Chenonceau (40min drive) and many more.
  • Château Royal de Blois, a royal residence of 7 kings and 10 queens, is located right in the city centre (don’t miss the Sound & Light Show in the summer).

Hotel Mercure Blois Centre – Most popular hotel

Fantastic location, just a short walk from the Old Town and with easy access to A10 motorway. The hotel also features an excellent restaurant, a modern bar and a wellness area with an indoor pool and a steam room.
Why book – 5min walk from the Old Town, indoor heated pool, secure parking on site


La Perluette – Most popular B&B

Set in a historic house at the bottom of the walls of the castle, this B&B is just a few steps from downtown and many restaurants. Spacious, beautifully decorated rooms overlooking the river.
Why book – near the castle, rich homemade breakfast, free parking nearby


Most popular activities
Château de Chaumont

Best chateaux hotels in Loire Valley

Looking for a romantic getaway in France? Well, Loire Valley with its hundreds of castles is the perfect destination for you. Many of these castles are turned into hotels, where you can actually stay at night and be treated like a royal! So, without further ado, here are the best chateau hotels to stay in the Loire Valley.


Relais de Chambord – Most popular

Few hotels can boast such a breathtaking setting as Relais de Chambord. The property is located within the grounds of Château de Chambord, just a 5min walk away from the palace. You’ll be able to walk around the most famous castle in the Loire after all the crowds are gone!

The elegant rooms overlook either the river or the castle. On the premises, you’ll find a Michelin starred restaurant, horse riding, and wellness centre with a hammam, a sauna and an outdoor hot tub.
Why book – next to Château de Chambord, wellness centre, Michelin starred restaurant, free parking


Château des Arpentis – Best rated

This lovely chateau hotel is situated in the village of Saint-Regle, near Amboise. Surrounded by a 30-hectare park, it’s one of the most romantic places to stay in the Loire. Each of the spacious rooms features different decorations, with murals and tapestries.
Why book – near Amboise, surrounded by a huge park, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace


Château de Perreux – Ideal location

This 18th-century chateau is situated just outside Amboise, amidst a beautiful park with a river. From the spacious tastefully decorated rooms, you can enjoy views of the park.
Why book – next to Amboise, heated outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, restaurant


Domaine de la Tortinière – Central location

Located in Veigné, just a short drive from Tours, this chateau is surrounded by a vast wooded park. Rooms are spacious, and individually designed with antique furniture (some of them feature a magnificent view over the Indre valley).
Why book – near Tours, tennis court, heated outdoor swimming pool, restaurant


Château Le Prieure – Best for wine tasting

If you’re looking for a place to stay west of Tours, Chateau Le Prieure is the perfect option. The elegant 10th-century castle features panoramic views of the Loire River, a wooded park and a tennis court. Don’t miss to take a tour of the underground cellar, which houses 30,000 of the region’s rarest wines.
Why book – near Saumur, gastronomic restaurant, wine cellar with 30,000 rare wines

Blois

Where to stay in Loire Valley without a car

Is it possible to explore Loire Valley without a car? Yes, completely! Especially, if this is your first time in the area and you want to see only the most popular chateaux. However, keep in mind that this way of travelling is less flexible and will require some planning ahead. Also, it won’t be possible to see more than 1 or 2 castles a day.

The Loire Valley has an excellent railway system and trains run regularly between the bigger towns. Many of the chateaux are located in towns or just a 15min walk from a railway station. If not, often there is a shuttle bus that runs between the train station and the property (like Château de Chambord), usually in the summer months.

I can’t stress this enough but check in advance how you’ll reach each of the castles you want to visit before choosing your base. Some of the chateau shuttles run daily only in July, August and September, while in May and June – only 3-4 times a week. You may end up in a situation, where you’ll stay 2 days in Blois to easily visit Château de Chambord, but the shuttle may not run at all during your stay.

That’s why if visiting outside the high season (July, August, September), I’d recommend renting a car. It will not only give you more flexibility but also in some cases (depending on your travel dates) many of the chateaux are accessible only by car.

What are the best towns to stay in the Loire Valley without a car?
If you prefer travelling by public transport, Tours or Blois are the best options for you. You can easily reach the most popular chateaux from these two cities. Moreover, you can take a direct TGV train from Paris to Tour (from Gare Montparnasse) and Blois (from Gare d’Austerlitz).

Depending on which chateaux you’re planning to visit, I’d even recommend splitting your time between Tours and Blois. In this way, you’ll be able to maximize your travel time and visit more palaces.

Tours

The city of Tours is one of the most convenient places to stay to explore the Loire Valley without a car. It is a charming city, packed with gourmet restaurants and history. Some of the biggest attractions here are the 12th-century Saint-Gatien Cathedral and Place Plumereau with its 15th century half-timbered houses.

However, keep in mind that it’s a large city and it may feel more touristy compared to smaller and more charming towns like Blois or Amboise. Still, nothing beats its convenient location and easy access to the most famous chateaux. If you want to stay only in one place or have just 2-3 days to see the Loire Valley without a car, stay in Tours.

Why stay in Tours

  • Very central location and easy access to Château de Chenonceau (30min by train), Château de Chambord (50min by train and then 30min by shuttle bus Rémi), Château de Chaumont (30min by train) and many more.
  • There is a regular direct TGV train from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Tours (a 1h15min journey). Plenty of excellent restaurants and hotel options.

Oceania L’Univers – Best mid-range

Excellent location, right in the centre of Tours, facing the town hall, at a walking distance to everywhere. Plus, the hotel features a good bistro-style restaurant and a wellness centre with Spa, hammam and a heated indoor pool.
Why book – a short walk from the Old Town and Tours train station, heated indoor pool, spacious rooms


Les Trésorières – Most luxurious

Ideally located in Tours city centre, Les Trésorières is a great option if you’re looking for a romantic stay. You’ll also find a great wellness area with a hammam, sauna and an indoor pool. Plenty of nice places to eat (try La Maison des Halles and L’atelier du talemelier) in the immediate vicinity.
Why book – at a walking distance to the Old Town and Tours train station, indoor pool


Central Parc – Best apartments

Excellent location in a quiet area, facing a nice park, but within a walking distance to restaurants and shops. The apartments are modern and comfy, well equipped with kitchen wares and coffee essentials.
Why book – at a walking distance to the Old Town and Tours train station, spacious modern apartments

Blois

Blois is the second most convenient place to stay in the Loire Valley if you’re travelling without a car. It’s a charming city with a medieval atmosphere, much smaller than Tours and less touristy. However, this comes with a price – only a few hotels to choose from and fewer restaurants. The main attraction here is the Château de Blois, a royal residence from the 15th century.

Blois has an excellent location to visit the most famous chateaux in the eastern part of the valley. Still, if Château de Chenonceau is on your list (and it should be), it’s a little bit of a long journey from here. First, you have to take a train to Tours and then change to another train (a 1h30min journey). Also, be aware that the trains between Tours and Chenonceau train station are less regular. There are only a few per day, not every hour as for the other destinations.

That’s why I recommend if you’re travelling by public transport to stay both in Tours and Blois. Plus, you’ll be able to attend the Sound & Light Show, which takes place in Château de Blois every evening from April to September.

Why stay in Blois

  • Excellent location for the castles in the east and easy access to Château de Chambord (30min by shuttle bus Rémi), Château de Chaumont (10min by train), Château d’Amboise (20min by train) and many more.
  • One of the major castles of the Loire Valley, Château Royal de Blois, is right in the city centre (don’t miss the Sound & Light Show every evening in the summer).
  • There is a regular direct TGV train from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz to Blois (a 1h30min journey).

ibis Blois Centre Château – Most popular hotel

Ideally located next to the Château de Blois, this hotel is a perfect base to explore the city and Loire Valley castles. Plenty of restaurants (try Le Castelet or Le Comptoir de Mamie Bigoude Blois) just a short walk from the hotel.
Why book – next to the chateau, a 10min walk from the train station, excellent breakfast


La Perluette – Most popular B&B

Set in a historic house at the bottom of the walls of the castle, this B&B is just a few steps from downtown and many restaurants. Spacious, beautifully decorated rooms overlooking the river.
Why book – a 10min walk from the train station, rich homemade breakfast


Most popular activities

Faqs about where to stay in the Loire Valley, France

Where should I stay when visiting the Loire Valley?

If you’re travelling by car, Amboise is the best place to stay in the Loire Valley – less than an hour drive from all the popular castles. For all travelling by public transport, the best city to stay is Tours – centrally located with easy access to all famous chateaux by train.

What is the best part of the Loire Valley?

To see the most famous chateaux in the region, stay in the area between Tours and Blois.

What is the main city in the Loire Valley?

The major city in the Loire Valley is Tours, it is the capital of Indre-et-Loire and the largest city in the region.

Best chateaux hotels in Loire Valley

HotelRatingReviews
Relais de Chambord8.7See 1,340+ reviews
Château des Arpentis9.0See 550+ reviews
Château de Perreux8.9See 300+ reviews
Domaine de la Tortinière8.9See 450+ reviews
Château Le Prieure8.5See 250+ reviews
What is the best place to stay in the Loire Valley for you?
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About the author
AvatarMilena Yordanova
I’m a full-time travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. I love to travel and to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.

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