There’s nothing like a bit of Christmas glamour at a chateau in France to give you a great dose of fairy-tale splendour and style. Lots of the great chateaux dress up in all their finery with fabulous decorations, illuminations, trees, rooms decked out with toys and games of yesteryear.
One of the best places to go if you’re seeking to check out some real festive glamour is the Loire Valley with lots of Chateaux pulling out all the stops to create the wow factor. The entire city of Blois in the Loire Valley makes merry with its Winter Festival. During the weekends of December and the Christmas holidays, four châteaux in the region of Orléans celebrate every year with an old-fashioned French Christmas.
The Château de Meung-sur-Loire has a splendid candy factory and larger-than-life fairy tale characters.
Châteaux de la Ferté-Saint-Aubin is lit by candlelight and serves chocolat chaud in the château’s gorgeous kitchens.
The Château de Saint Brisson-sur-Loire, has a magnificent façade lit up at nightfall and a contest of Christmas tree ornaments.
Château de la Bussière puts on an enchanting nativity scene in the historic stables.
Blois Celebrates Christmas in a Big Way!
The royal city of Blois celebrates each Christmas with an annual Winter Festival. Shows and street theatre performances, concerts, choirs, sleigh rides, ice-skating – and more. There’s a lively St. Nicolas rummage sale and a fabulous Marché de Noël in Place Louis XII, with its cheerfully decked stalls and tempting aromas of gingerbread and mulled wine.
The streets and storefronts are beautifully decorated from the cobblestoned downtown area up to the Château Royal de Blois, perched majestically above the town and overlooking the Loire. Wander to your heart’s content, taking in the Christmas sights, sounds and magic.
Don’t miss a visit to the château, the home of 7 kings and 10 queens of France, and an impressive example of medieval, Renaissance and 17th century architecture.
There’s also a Maison des Vins de Tours in the centre of town where you can taste (and buy) Loire Valley wines selected each year by a group of specialists. You can also set out on your own with a map of the region’s vineyards in hand and buy them directly from the producers. Although the region’s white wines are already well-known in the UK the red wines are plentiful too and there’s even a sparkling wine from the area. As you serve the wine at Christmas dinner, you can always surprise your guests by telling them that only a few weeks before the bottles were carefully preserved in a Loire Valley troglodyte cellar!
Christmas at the Chateau of Vaux Le Vicomte, Ile de France
The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is a baroque French château located in Maincy, near Melun, 55 km southeast of Paris in the Seine-et-Marne department of France with the most fabulous gardens. Wander down a tree-lined avenue festooned with lights to get you in the mood. Inside this beautiful chateau you’ll find fairy tale decorations and beautiful garlands adorning the chandeliers, chimneys and tables. In the centre of the Great Hall an 8 metre high tree bedecked with around 5000 (yes we did say 5000 – it’s not a typo) decorations can’t fail to cause a “wow” from everyone who sees it. At dusk, the famous gardens, designed by French gardener André le Nôtre, are illuminated, and there’s even a theatrical production each year. The carousel and a snow flurry at the entrance are just two of the festive touches that make this a special place each Christmas.
Chateau of Chenonceau, Loire Valley
At the Château de Chenonceau every room in the Castle is filled with sumptuous displays of flowers and garlands. The kitchen, bedrooms, hallways have beautiful Christmas trees, flower arrangements and thousands of gorgeous decorations.
The bedroom of Louise de Lorraine, wife of Henry II decorated with a luxurious and tasteful silver Christmas tree.
Christmas at Amboise Chateau Royale
The royal Château at Amboise in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France is decorated in style for Christmas and the rooms look as though they are waiting for their former royal occupants to come back and enjoy the toys and games laid out!