I gave a TON of details on the beautiful chateaux along the Loire and Cher Rivers in central France during our ONE, TWO, THREE days driving from site to site. So check out those entries for more specifics. This is the photo portion of our tour.
We begin our photo journal with our own tiny chateau--Le Manoir Les Minimes--situated in the cozy town of Amboise on the Loire River.
Above the town of Amboise is its very own Chateau Royal d'Amboise with flags-a-waving. The town of Amboise makes a perfect launching pad to the surrounding countryside.
Our second chateau was the majestic Chateau de Chenonceau, which actually straddles the Cher River and has beautiful formal gardens.
Next was Chateau de Chambord, an enormous 426-room "hunting lodge".
Next visited Chateau de Cheverny with the 70+ hunting dogs (which made quite a smell).
Then is was the quaint Chaumont-sur-Loire, built in the 15th and 16th centuries with its classic pointed towers and a working draw bridge.
One of our favorites stops was Villandry, a Renaissance-style chateau with stunning terraced gardens, including a tranquil water garden with large pools and fountains, ornamental knot gardens of boxwood borders with flowering interiors, and the expansive 'kitchen garden' that uses flowers and herbs and vegetables to create colorful, intricate patterns. Oh, they also had a gallery with some freakish paintings!