From Paris (north): motorway A 10 towards Blois, exit n° 16 towards Mer, then secondary road D 112 to Chambord. From Tours (south): motorway A 10, exit n° 17 towards Blois, then secondary road D 33 to Chambord. From Blois: bus [dead link] Parking - There is a large free car park available near the Château.
- Château de Chambord. Jan 2 to Mar 21: 9AM-5:15PM, April 22 to July 11: 9AM-6:15PM, July 12 to Aug 17: 9AM-7:30PM, Aug 18 to Sept 30: 9AM-6:15PM, Oct 1 to Dec 31: 9AM-5:15PM.
This second most visited château in France (after Versailles), is a dream place to visit. The château to end all châteaux, a masterpiece of the French Renaissance. Climb the double-helix open staircase to the royal hunting exhibits. Higher still are the terraces, where roofs and chimneys form a strange fairy-tale village up in the air. Look down along the canal and beyond the canal to the wildlife reserve.
Be sure to visit the 3D-movie room on the ground floor (accessible to disabled people). A virtual visit of the château using computer animation, giving you a fantastic insight into the château's construction, history and architecture.
Enjoy the magnificent 1000 hectares (2,500 acres) of the National Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can picnic, cycle (rental available everyday April to November) or just stroll to the free observatories and watch the animals. Maps are available at the reception.
A twice daily Horse Show takes place in the stables of the Marshall of Saxony near the château (11:45AM & 4:45PM May to September daily, except Mondays - 2007). Entrance fee - The royal castle is so impressive that it takes at least one hour to visit (€8.50 low season, €9.50 high season - 2007).
Audio commentary - Hand held audio devices are available in many languages to guide you around the Château (€4.00 - 2007). You will need one per person as they are held against the ear - just enter the 3 digit codes shown around the Château to listen to very informative commentaries of the areas you are in.
- There are a number of souvenir shops near the Château.
There are a number of cafe's and a restaurant in the grounds of the Château. The nearby town of Blois has good restaurants.
Drinks are available on site and there is a bar in the stable area.
- Travellers wishing to see more of the Loire Valley can continue further east into the adjoining Centre-Val de Loire region, studded with additional historical cities and chateau's at sites such as Bourges and Saint-Benoît-du-Sault.
- The nearby town of Blois is well worth a visit. Enjoy a 25 minute sightseeing trip around the town in a horse-drawn carriage (€6 adults €4 children - 2007), starts from the Place du Château in Blois. Also here you will see the most incredible clock ever! - Maison de la Magie. The clock was designed by Robert-Houdin a famous French diplomat and inventor (Houdini was named after him). A short walk to the Cathedrale Saint Louis will be rewarded by its gargoyles and the gardens behind, with views of the Loire river.