"Château de Chenonceau: Expect Crowds" Top 5 Page for this destination Chenonceau Warnings Or Dangers Tip by von.otter
Chenonceau Warnings and Dangers: 2 reviews and 6 photos
“Though Chenonceau has no great height, its delicate facade stands up boldly enough. This facade, one of the most finished things in Touraine, consists of two stories, surmounted by an attic which, as so often in the buildings of the French Renaissance, is the richest part of the house. The high-pitched roof contains three windows of beautiful design, covered with embroidered caps and flowering into crocketed spires. The window above the door is deeply niched; it opens upon a balcony made in the form of a double pulpit, one of the most charming features of the front.”
— from “A Little Tour In France” 1884 by Henry James (1843-1916)
It is estimated that 850,000 visitors per year come to Château de Chenonceau. No other castle of the Loire Valley is as popular except for Château de Chambord.
Especially in the summer high season I would caution to be prepared.
Be patient! If you enjoy taking photos, as I do, you will need patients to wait and wait for other visitors to pass out your frame so that you can take photos that are not filled with strangers. You may find yourself pointing your lens up high, as I did in the accompanying photos, to avoid your fellow guests. Be patient. You can get some good pictures without others spoiling the view; see some of my other photos in the Chenonceau Things to Do Tips section.
When walking the grounds the crowd does not seem overwhelming. It is when you tour the castle’s interior that the full brunt, the crush of bodies can reach an uncomfortable pitch. The rooms are small; they were never intended to hold the number of people that tromp through them today.
It is suggested that a visit early in the day could help avoid the crowds. Maybe. We tried our luck at the end of the day, about 17:00. We did not succeed; the car park was still full; those gargantuan buses were still standing to gobble up their passengers to return them to their budget hotels.
Next time we will try the start of the day; that would be 09:00 in high season, and 09:30 in low. We have to return; all those other visitors got in the way the first time. We have to see the place with fewer bodies!
The double front doors of the castle display the the coat-of-arms of the original builders and owners Thomas Bohier, on the left-hand door (see photo #1) and on the right are the coat-of-arms of his wife, Katherine Briconnet (see photo #2).