Things to do in Blois

Things to do in  Blois

Say cheers in a chateaux

With its glorious riverside perch, hilltop castle, and backdrop of patchwork vineyards, there are lots of things to do in Blois, the quintessential Loire Valley town. The grand Château de Blois is the star attraction, but there’s plenty more to admire, from the cobbled medieval quarter and Gothic cathedral to the rambling woodlands of the Forêt de Blois. Nestled on the north bank of the Loire River, Blois’ central location also makes it the perfect basecamp for exploring the within-easy-reach Big Three châteaux—Cheverny, Chambord, and Chenonceau—and some of the region’s most prestigious wineries.

Top 1 attractions in Blois

Château de Blois

The exteriors of the castle are impressive in and of themselves, with four wings surrounding an interior courtyard. Inside, you'll find royal apartments spread across two floors, including the royal chambers of numerous erstwhile monarchs—Catherine de Medici is believed to have died in the Queen's Chamber. Nine rooms of the Louis XII Wing have served as a fine arts museum since the 19th-century. Single and multi-day Loire Valley tours, most of which depart from Paris, tend to make stops at Château de Blois.More

All about Blois

When to visit

Like most Loire Valley towns, Blois can get crowded—and pricey—in July and August. A better option is to come in shoulder season, when accommodation prices will be lower and, if you’re lucky, the sun will still be shining. April through June is an ideal time to discover the Loire châteaux, when the gardens are in full bloom, while Blois forest is a rainbow of fall foliage from September through October.

Getting around

Blois’ historic center and hilltop châteaux can be covered on foot, and walking is a popular way to explore the riverside town. The most scenic way to tour the surrounding vineyards and chateaux is by bike, and Blois is a key stop along the Loire à Vélo cycle route, with plenty of bike rentals options. If you don’t have a bike, it’s best to join a tour or rent a car—public transport among the Loire villages is patchy and infrequent.

Traveler tips

In summer, boat cruises set out from Blois along the Loire River on traditional wooden barges. Sit back and soak up the scenery as you cruise through the valley, or hire a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard and paddle yourself. Another top pick for outdoor adventurers is the forest of Blois, which has miles of shaded trails for walking and cycling.

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People Also Ask

What is Blois known for?

Perched on the banks of the Loire River, Blois is famous for its royal château, home to an impressive 17 French kings and queens throughout its 10-century history. The riverside city is also a popular gateway to the UNESCO-listed Loire Valley and the châteaux of Cheverny, Chambord, and Chenonceau.

What is there to do in Blois?

Blois is a popular basecamp for exploring the fairy-tale châteaux, vineyards, and medieval villages of the Loire Valley. The most popular activities include châteaux tours (Cheverny, Chambord, and Chenonceau are all nearby), wine tasting, hot air balloon flights, and bike rides along the famous Loire à Vélo cycle route.

How many days in Blois is enough?

Plan at least three days in Blois to see the highlights, including the Château de Blois, the Loire Valley vineyards, and the famous châteaux of Cheverny, Chambord, and Chenonceau. Or, stay for the week and explore Tours and Orléans—both just an hour away—on day trips.

Who lived in Chateau de Blois?

The Chateau de Blois was the house of the Counts of Blois and hosted a record 10 French queens and seven kings over 10 centuries. King François I, King Louis XII, and Gaston, Duke of Orléans, all lived in the royal castle, with a wing named after each of them.

What does Blois mean in French?

Blois is thought to have derived from the Old French word blais, which is a French surname, but today the word is most commonly associated with the eponymous city in the Loire Valley. The French surname of Blois was given to noblemen hailing from the city in the middle ages.

Is Blois worth visiting?

Yes, Blois is worth visiting. It’s a major city along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Loire Valley and the gateway to some of its most famous châteaux, including Cheverny, Chambord, and Chenonceau. The city is also renowned for its royal Château de Blois and the Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny wine regions.

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