CHAMBORD is the most magnificent Loire château - conceived by the 25-year-old François I. The monumental scale and strength of the 156-metre façade and towers and the central, double-spiral staircase. Once you've done the chateau don't ignore the park. At 13,000 acres, it's bigger than central Paris, and alive with game.
CHEVERNY is a rare thing within the Loire Valley - a chateau that appears untouched by the Renaissance. This could have a lot to do with the fact that it has remained in the same family for six centuries. The interior reflects a living history of the generations and the care and affection lavished upon this chateau is apparent from top to bottom.
CHENONCEAU reminds you why you admire France. Arching over the River Cher, it is so damnably and harmoniously perfect that it surely respects some aesthetic law of the universe. Diane De Poitiers created gardens and put the bridge across the river, so that she might hunt on the other side.