Game of thrones: 14 of the best castles you can visit in France

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Laura Millar

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While many visitors head straight to landmarks south of Paris, there are plenty of beautiful fortresses and palaces in Brittany, Normandy and the Atlantic Loire Valley that are not to be missed

  • National restrictions may apply, please consult government advice before planning travel

There are said to be between 1,000 and 7,000 castles, or chateaux, in France. They range from medieval fortresses to grand royal palaces, with various mansion houses and aristocratic residences also claiming the title of chateau – and many of them are open to the public.

Those in the Loire Valley – including the Atlantic Loire Valley – are often considered the most spectacular. Many of the chateaux there were built or renovated during the Renaissance, resulting in some spectacular architecture. Towers, turrets, helix-like staircases, vaulted ceilings, moats, formal gardens … the more ornate and opulent, the better.

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