Chenonceau: The French Château of My Dreams

“OMG OMG OMG”

“I can’t believe how beautiful this place is!”

“Look at all these flowers.”

“No, but, seriously, look how beautiful it is!”

These are roughly the sentiments I had upon arriving at the glorious Château de Chenonceau. I had seen photos, of course, and had always wanted to visit…and luckily enough, the place really lived up to my high expectations.

Chenonceau is vast, and you definitely need a plan of attack for your visit. My mom and I started our explorations inside the château, which features all the greatest hits from the grand-European-palace genre: luxurious carpets, stately painted portraits, gigantic fireplaces, the works.

But by far, my favorite feature of the château’s interior was the fact that literally every room had beautiful floral displays, in just about every color and variety imaginable. I took tons of photos; these are just a few of my favorites (it took great restraint on my part to pare it down this far).

Though it was gorgeous inside the château, I thought the outside – with its impeccably manicured and designed gardens – was even better. On either side of Chenonceau, you’ll find a lovely garden: one, the garden of Catherine de Medici (King Henry II’s wife); the other, the garden of Diane de Poitiers (King Henry II’s mistress).

We were lucky enough to visit Chenonceau at the height of wisteria season (hashtag wisteria hysteria, obviously). I was completely obsessed! Seriously, is there anything more charming than a building covered with wisteria?! (No.)

Further away from the castle itself, there are still more gardens, just in case you haven’t yet gotten your fill of flora. Spoiler alert: I had not. There are various outbuildings, lots of climbing ivy, and a huge field of tulips. Swoon.

The Bottom Line: Chenonceau lives up to the hype! I was a huge fan of the château and would recommend a visit to anyone. Two tips: go early (before gigantic tour busses start dropping off people) and go in springtime (because FLOWERS).

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