A Visit to The Land of Castles: Châteaux de la Loire

A place in France, where the Loire River flows, was the capital of French during the middle age, where the King and his court rule. That is why Loire Valley is the home of  hundreds of castles: Châteaux de la Loire.

The Loire Valley is perhaps not as famous as other touristy place in France, like Paris, Versailles, or the French Riviera. But the vineyards and the château (castles, in French) are definitely worth a visit. Because of the beautiful landscape, historical towns, and great architectural buildings in this area, the Loire Valley has been listed as the World Heritage site by UNESCO since 2000.

map image via francetourism.au

It is possible to visit the area by following a day trip tour from Paris. But for the best experience you should spend a couple of night in the city of Tours, a beautiful small town which serve as the base city for a visit to Loire. The high speed train with frequent schedule connects Paris and Tours, with a short journey time of approximately one hour. From Tours, it is a 30-40 mins drive to multiple châteaux and vineyard in the area. For a maximum experience, you can even rent a car and drive around the area, allowing around two hour for each visit to each castle.

Tours The grand Town Hall in the City of Tours

And here are the top three castles that you should not miss when you are touring the land of the châteaux

Château de Chenonceau

This castle has vast garden, great interior, unique history, and is one of the most visited Chateux in Loire Valley. Château de Chenonceau is known as the ‘women’s castle’ because it was built, owned, and decorated by different generation queens and important women during the French Renaissance.

Chenonceau img Chenonceau Chenonceau2

 Château de Chambord

I would say this is the picture-perfect castle for your honeymoon or even destination photoshoot background. This is the largest and perhaps the most visited castle in Loire Valley. The French Kings once inhabit this grand castle hunt in its vast wooden park. Most importantly, this castle is an important Renaissance architectural monument where the French history unfolded.

Chambord img  Chambord image via cycling-loire.com

Château de Villandry

There may be many better castles, but none beat the beautiful garden of Villandry. Among the six gardens, I love the tranquil water garden as well as the ‘kitchen’ garden which hosts various fruits and vegetable!

villandry img Villandry villandry2

So, the next time you visit France, take a detour from Paris, visit the Loire and be aristocrats for a day. Hope you’ll enjoy your trip with your loved ones!

A Paris honeymoon photoshoot by Ian Holmes Photography

Honeymoon is the time when the newlyweds embark on a romantic journey, create memories and ultimately strengthen their love for each other.

So how many of you wish for a a romantic honeymoon in Europe? I am one of them, and I am blessed to have my wish came true.

In summer 2012, my husband and I embarked on an unforgettable 23-days Europe trip. We ate gelato in the street of Rome, immersed ourselves in the world of art in Florence museums, watched a Real Madrid match in Santiago Bernabeu, and admired the world of Gaudi in Barcelona. Our final destination was Paris, the city of lights, the city of love.

Before the trip, I have this wish to have a photo shoot in Paris, and I was so glad that I found Ian Holmes, a British photographer residing in Paris. I love his work and he gave us a very reasonable price for two short photo sessions in Paris. I brought my own gowns and did my own make-up/hairdo. Ian with the help of Catherine captured many lovely moments as we enjoyed our walk around the city of Paris and the beautiful garden of Versailles.

Dream honeymoon framed.

Photographer: Ian Holmes


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