The Chinon Region
Visit Chinon and its surroundings
Welcome to the Chinon region, the home country of Rabelais and land of bountiful produce. This is the place where the bawdy humanist philosopher Rabelais was born, and his works, such as the novel Gargantua and Pantagruel, have their roots in this region. From châteaux to abbeys, from vineyards to villages built from white tuffeau limestone, the list of things to see and do here can only be described as gargantuan!
After visiting Chinon and its château, one of the few medieval fortresses in the Loire Valley, discover the magnificent vistas that the numerous viewpoints overlooking the Vienne Valley provide. To the south, the village of Seuilly is home to the Musée Rabelais. This museum is situated in La Devinière, the house where the writer was born. Just a few kilometres away, Fontevraud Royal Abbey is a place like no other, with its rich history intimately woven into the history of France, as well as the history of Europe more generally. Discover 13 hectares of peace and quiet, where age-old buildings go hand in hand with bountiful green natural surroundings.
Just 13 km north of Chinon, you’ll fall under the spell of the Château d’Ussé, which inspired Charles Perrault when writing his version of the story of Sleeping Beauty. A bit further afield, the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau is a real gem of French Renaissance architecture, built under the patronage of Francis I.
Further up the Loire, you’ll see the high walls of the feudal fortress of the Château de Langeais. Built by order of Louis XI, this château was the place where Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany were married. Just 10 km from Langeais, the Château de Villandry, nestled amid its famous French gardens, is one of the most remarkable châteaux in the Loire Valley. It's renowned for the elegance in its proportions, for the unparalleled view that you can enjoy from the keep’s terrace, for the beautiful shades that its tuffeau limestone walls exhibit in the sun, and for the gardens, which only a human could design so brilliantly.