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Best things to do in Amboise

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Centre-Val de Loire  /  Indre-et-Loire  /  Amboise

Top 15 things to do in Amboise

1. Chateau Royal d'Amboise

With sweeping panoramic views of the Loire valley, it's no wonder why Chateau Royal d'Amboise was a favorite royal residence of several successive kings. Balconies overlooking the valley create an air of grandeur. The tomb of Leonardo da Vinci resides in the Saint Hubert chapel, renowned as a masterpiece of extravagant Gothic architecture. An armored tank designed by Leonardo da Vinci sits on the grounds of the château.

The architecture quintessentially represents the French Renaissance with gardens and the Minimes and the Heurtault towers. The towers, which served as the royal residence, are available for you to explore, but you need prior permission. After the lavish royal pomp, with permission again, you can descend to the mysterious underground, a place few royals ever saw.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. Le Chateau du Clos Luce - Parc Leonardo da Vinci

Famous as the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci at the end of his life between 1516 and 1519, Le Chateau du Clos Luce - Parc Leonardo da Vinci is now an interactive museum with forty models of visionary machines designed by Leonardo. You can experiment with Leonardo's inventions by steering his tank, paddling his boat, operating his fan-style machine gun, and spinning Archimedes' screw used to lift water.

Pick up a brochure in English and 14 other languages at the entrance that includes a map of the garden, the park, the château, and the countryside.

Discover the first automobile illustrated in Leonardo's innovative mechanical drawings and the machines he developed using his knowledge of botany and zoology. His studies of body mechanics inspire the workings of many of his machines. View his illustrations for flying machines that parallel modern technologies for helicopters, gliders, and propellers. Explore Leonardo's plan for a functioning city and his famous geometric drawing of a dodecahedron.

Enter Leonardo's universe in the park containing 20 huge interactive machines. Float around the lake in the boat Leonardo designed, walk along the paths with 40 oversized translucent canvases depicting diverse works, and walk across the two-level bridge Leonardo designed to reach his garden that brings his botanical drawings to life. Your children will love this fun exhibit so much they'll forget it's also educational.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Chateau de Chenonceau, Chenonceaux

Protected and loved by prominent women in Renaissance history, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médici, Chateau de Chenonceau, is the second most visited château in France, other than the Royal Palace of Versailles. French Renaissance architect Philibert de l'Orme designed the castle and built it on the site of an old mill on the River Cher in the 11th century. The château later saw renovations during the 16th century due to its destruction in the 15th century.

All of its gardens and grounds are open for you to explore, including the castle's architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance. Old masters’ paintings, as well as an extremely rare selection of Flanders Tapestries from the 16th century, comprise the art collection. Visit Catherine de Médicis’ bedroom to view the recently restored Corrège’s painting on wood, "L’Education de l’Amour."
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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4. Balloon Rides

Glide slowly across the sky during a balloon ride from Amboise, allowing you to gaze over the majestic landscapes of Loire Valley in central France. Put your confidence in an experienced guide to carry out all safety precautions while informing you about the UNESCO-listed valley along the way. The flight will allow you to marvel at luxuriant forests, rolling hills embellished with vast vineyards, and meandering waterways. Moreover, the European architectural jewels, such as Chateau de Chenonceau, surrounded by lavish gardens and waterworks will lay there for you to admire. After an hour-long flight, treat yourself to a glass of French champagne.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. ZooParc de Beauval, Saint-Aignan

Not only is this zoo dedicated to protecting endangered species, ZooParc de Beauval is ranked among the top 15 beautiful zoos in the world. Bring the whole family to learn about conservation and the facility's endangered species breeding program that sends animals to other zoos around the world. Then, visit the tropical greenhouse that houses a rainbow of tropical birds. The raptor show features 20 large birds of prey, with a starring Andean condor with a wingspan over 3 m (9.8 ft) wide. More than 4,600 animals are featured here, including white lions, manatees, tigers, kangaroos, koalas, and giant pandas.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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6. Chateau de Chambord, Chambord

Chateau de Chambord is the quintessential monument to the flamboyance of French kings; all the grandeur with a dash of delightful whimsy. A dreamscape of turrets and towers rises from the terrace, resulting in its trademark silhouette that has often been likened to the skyline of a city. François I built it to serve as his hunting lodge and it is surrounded by forests that serve as a perfect lead-in to the jaw-dropping first glimpse. The Castle is a perfect example of sixteenth-century Renaissance architecture. When inside, don't miss the famed double helix stairways, rumored to have been designed by Leonardo da Vinci. Explore its vaulted hallways, 400 palatial rooms, decorative staircases, and end your visit by taking a walk in the sprawling gardens.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. Chateau de Cheverny, Cheverny

Renowned for magnificent interiors and the collection of furniture, tapestries, and objets d'art, Chateau de Cheverny has belonged to the same family for over six centuries. They own a pack of about seventy hunting dogs that live on the grounds, and you can watch them being fed on the live video feed. Guided tours offer added fun as you drive an electric car or boat to discover the grounds. A walk down to the guardroom leads you to a collection of arms and armor, while venturing further brings you to the Chambre du Roi that is richly hung with five Parisian tapestries designed by Simon Vouet to represent the story of Ulysses. Your visit to the castle includes a look at the fictional castle by author and illustrator, Hergé, the creator of the "Adventures of Tintin," who used Cheverny as his inspiration.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Plou Et Fils, Charge

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Food Tours

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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11. Chapelle Saint-Hubert

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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12. Troglo Degusto, Bourre

Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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13. Le Tasting Room Wine - Day Tours, Noizay

Le Tasting Room Wine - Day Tours are a wine lover’s dream. Spend an entire day touring the Loire Valley with Cathy and Nigel, two British expatriates who are wine connoisseurs. Tours focus on one region of wines, so you’ll get to taste the spectrum that represents the fruits from a specific landscape. After the tour, Cathy and Nigel will serve you a candlelit lunch in the cellar of their 16th-century home, complete with local cheeses and vines. Plan for a long lunch while they educate you on the cultivation of the grape.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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14. Conservatoire de la Confiserie

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Chateau Royal de Blois, Blois

With several wings to explore, Chateau Royal de Blois is sure to peek your curiosity about everything from archaeological texts from the Middle Ages to the massive collection of restored murals. Discover French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, then visit the chamber of secrets, whispered to be Catherine de Médici's secret hiding place for poisons.

As the residence of several French kings, in 1429, the Archbishop of Reims blessed Joan of Arc before she departed with her army to drive the English from Orléans. Your visit is complete with an audio tour, in English available for download to your mp3 player, of the on-site Museum of Fine Arts. It is located in the royal apartments of François I and the Louis XII wing and contains more than 30,000 works.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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