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The Loire Valley Itinerary

Day 6

Chateau Chambord - The Highlight of the Week

Spectacular photo of Château Chambord, Loire Valley, © LDS-ChambordA short ride beyond Montrichard, on Thursday morning, are the fascinating mushroom caves of Bourré, where they grow Blue Foot, Shitake, Oyster and Paris mushrooms.

Mushroom mycelia need a stimulus to prompt growth - European mushrooms tend to need a light or heat stimulus, but the shitake mushroom from Japan grows naturally on trees and responds to earth tremors common in that neck of the woods. Earthquakes are simulated in the caves using the state-of-the-art device of slapping the bin-liner that contains the mushroom compost. Result? Lots of 'shrooms. It's true, honest!


Bring something warm for a visit of around an hour underground. As well as mushrooms, there are a few spectacular galleries where you can see fantastic sculptures of local village scenes through the ages carved from solid rock. If you’ve never seen a sheet of paper carved in limestone before, complete with curled up corners and the heads of the nails pinning it to a wooden notice board (also carved in limestone, complete with wood grain), then you’re in for a treat.

The end of today is my favourite part of the whole week, the enormous Château Chambord. This is by far the largest of all the Loire château and was originally built by Francois 1 as a hunting lodge. It lies inside a huge park contained by the longest wall in Europe, all 32 km of it. The château itself contains a famous double-helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci, where two people can ascend or descend at the same time without meeting.

Our hotel tonight is the Hotel St Florent, 10km further on from the château in Mont-pres-Chambord.



Distance = 36 miles / 57 Km

Click this link for Day 6 route map on mapometer.

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