You’ve already visited some of France’s most famous castles and are looking for some lesser-known addresses? Visit the castle of Azay-le-Rideau! Ideally located, close to many other Loire castles, it offers a pleasant visit.
In this article, I give you all the information you need to find out.
Castle ofAzay-le-Rideau: a French Renaissance gem in the heart of the Loire Valley
Located in the Loire Valley, next to the Indre River, castle of Azay-le-Rideau is a magnificent 16th-century castle.
It is a perfect example of the refinement of the French Renaissance. As you contemplate it, you’ll be struck by the harmony of its Gothic style, visible in its buttresses and openwork windows, and the emerging classicism. It’s this subtle blend that gives the château its unique character and striking beauty.
Our favorite moment is when the château is reflected in the Indre River. The setting is reminiscent of the castle of Chenonceau.
Of course, you can also visit the interior of the château. The rooms are furnished with period materials. Several rooms, halls and the kitchen are yours to explore. Some have paintings hanging on the walls.
Around the castle, you’ll find an English-style park ideal for lovely strolls.
What can you see at the castle of Azay-le-Rideau?
One of the first places you’ll discover is the grand salon, an emblematic room of the castle. Its impressive dimensions and sculpted coffered ceilings are a pleasure to admire. The room’s rich, meticulous decoration gives you a glimpse of the splendor of seigneurial life at the time.
Continue your tour and you arrive in the king’s bedroom, a space of great finesse. Delicate woodwork, carved with precision and skill, surrounds a period four-poster bed.
The guardroom, with its thick stone walls and medieval tapestries, plunges you into the atmosphere of a time when war and knights were part of everyday life.
The château houses a small but impressive collection of Renaissance art and furniture. It’s not the most complete museum, but there are plenty of objects to pique your interest.
But that’s not all. The castle of Azay-le-Rideau seduces tourists with its exterior architecture, its location near a river and its beautiful gardens. You’ll probably spend as much time in the gardens as you do inside the château.
How much does admission to the castle of Azay-le-Rideau cost?
Admission is €11.50. Free admission for people under 18 (or 25 for Europeans).
An audio tour is available on request. It’s available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The cost is €3.
How long does a visit to the castle of Azay-le-Rideau last?
The castle’s interior is rather small. The tour lasts less than an hour. After that, how long you spend depends on whether you want to stay long in the gardens.
On average, visitors stay around 1h30.
Where is the castle of Azay-le-Rideau?
The Château d’Azay-le-Rideau’s exact address is 19 Rue Balzac, 37190 Azay-le-Rideau.
How do I get to the castle of Azay-le-Rideau?
By car, take the A10 freeway and exit 24.1 towards Chinon. Follow the D751 to Azay-le-Rideau.
By public transport, Azay-le-Rideau station is served by TER “Centre-Val de Loire” line from Tours.
What are the opening hours of the castle of Azay-le-Rideau?
Azay-le-Rideau Castle opening times are
- April 1 to June 30: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- July 1 to August 31: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- October 1 to March 31: 10 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
- September 1 to 30: 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
My opinion about the castle of Azay-le-Rideau
As a true lover of French history and castles, I had to visit the castle of Azay-le-Rideau, less than an hour’s drive from my parents’ home.
I wasn’t expecting a magnificent castle and was positively surprised during my visit.
As soon as I entered the castle, I was astonished by the quality of the interior. The grand salon, the king’s bedroom, the guard room… each room is richer than I expected. The short visit was a wonderful experience.
My biggest surprise is probably the roof. You can see the roof timbers. The work carried out by the craftsmen of the time is remarkable.
But “short” also means there’s a downside. Even taking my time, reading all the information available and admiring every detail, the tour of the castle’s interior takes an hour maximum.
If you’re passing close to the castle, be sure to visit. But if you’re planning a long drive to see it, you may be disappointed.
Where the castle of Azay-le-Rideau really shone for me was on the outside. The castle is simply magnificent. And what about the park that surrounds it? It’s a pleasure to walk around the château, to admire its reflection in the water, to feel the freshness of the air and the tranquility of the place. It’s a soothing, enriching experience that you don’t get in the most touristy places.
What else can you do near the castle of Azay-le-Rideau?
In addition to the castle, the Azay-le-Rideau region has a lot to offer. Here are a few activities not to be missed:
- Visit Saint-Symphorien church in Azay-le-Rideau
- Stroll through the charming village of Azay-le-Rideau
- Explore the Maison du Vin for a tasting of local wines
- Discover other Loire castles such as Château de Langeais or Château de Villandry
- Cycle along the “Loire à Vélo” itinerary.