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Things to do in Chinon

Things to do in  Chinon

Welcome to Chinon

Chinon’s medieval and Roman roots are on display at the town’s royal fortress, the hilltop Château de Chinon, which presides over the western Loire Valley town. Some of the top things to do in Chinon include climbing the crumbling Tour de l’Horloge (Clock Tower) for views along the Vienne River, visiting the Joan of Arc Museum, and strolling through the cobbled lanes and half-timbered townhouses of the town below. Beyond that, be sure to escape to the surrounding vineyards, which produce some of the Loire Valley’s most notable red and rosé wines.

Top 1 attractions in Chinon

Rivau Castle (Chateau du Rivau)

With its medieval buildings and fairy-tale turrets encircled by landscaped gardens, lush woodlands, and bursts of lavender and roses—Chȃteau du Rivau is among the most underrated of the Loire Valley castles. Once visited by Joan of Arc, the 15th-century castle is also renowned for its Royal Stables.More

All about Chinon

When to visit

The biggest crowds descend on Chinon in July and August, so to avoid the droves of day-trippers—and the high season prices—opt for a shoulder-season visit instead. Visit between April and June for a winning combination of mild weather and the châteaux gardens in full bloom. Or arrive in September and October when it’s harvest time at the Loire Valley vineyards, and the cooler weather is ideal for outdoor activities.

Getting around

You can get anywhere you need to go in Chinon on foot. It’s a short walk between the hilltop châteaux and the riverside center, and the seasonal horse carriage rides offer a fun way to soak up the scenery. Taxis are available for short hops, but you’ll need your own transport or to join a tour to explore the Loire Valley châteaus and vineyards. Alternatively, rent a bike and pedal between the vineyards along the Loire à Vélo route.

Traveler tips

From April to September, the open-air venue known as La Guinguette de Chinon opens up along the south bank of the Vienne River. With a bar, restaurant, and snack bar, it’s a favorite among locals and hosts wine tasting evenings and live concerts throughout summer. Another riverside highlight is the monthly flea market held along the Promenade des Docteurs Mattraits on the third Sunday of the month.

People Also Ask

What is Chinon famous for?

The historic town of Chinon is renowned for its hilltop Château de Chinon, built by Henry II, its picturesque medieval center, and its acclaimed red wines. It’s perched on the banks of the Vienne river and is one of the most visited towns in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Loire Valley.

Who built the castle of Chinon?

The Château de Chinon was originally built by Theobald I, Count of Blois, in the 10th century. However, most of the present-day castle, which includes Fort Coudray, Middle Castle, and Fort Saint George, was built by King Henry II of England, who lived there in the 12th century.

What else can you do in the Loire Valley apart from visiting castles?

The Loire Valley isn’t just known for its châteaux—it’s also one of France’s most famous wine regions and renowned for its beautiful medieval towns and idyllic scenery. Visit the Loire’s many museums, go wine tasting, take a hot air balloon tour, and cycle along the Loire à vélo bike route.

Which region of France is Chinon in?

Chinon is located in the Indre-et-Loire department (the historic region of Touraine) within the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. Situated along the Vienne river between the cities of Angers and Tours, Chinon is a popular basecamp for exploring the western section of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Loire Valley.

How do I spend a day in Chinon?

With one day to explore Chinon, make your first stop at the hilltop Château de Chinon. After admiring Henry II’s castle, visit the Joan of Arc Museum, take in the views from the Clock Tower, and then stroll around the atmospheric medieval town and along the Vienne river.

Is Chinon worth visiting?

Yes, Chinon is one of the most popular towns in the UNESCO-listed Loire Valley, and it’s worth visiting to see its hilltop château and picturesque Old Town and to taste its red wines. Many travelers stay in Chinon to visit nearby Villandry gardens, Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, and Loire Valley vineyards.


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