The Loire Valley has been the playground of kings and noblemen for three centuries, spurring the construction of countless castles, each more opulent than the last. The result is a collection of architectural treasures spread across a beautiful natural setting. Chambord is certainly the best example of this excess, with 77 stairwells and 282 chimneys. Chenonceau, nicknamed the “Chateau des Dames” (Castle of the Ladies), is notable for its location, spanning the Cher River, and for its magnificent gardens. The region also hosts imposing medieval cities, a majestic religious history marked by cathedrals and abbeys, and remarkable cuisine and vineyards.