The architecture of Chambord is certainly interesting – it will probably be the first things that strikes you when you see it for the first time. Although it draws on many aspect of castle design – central keep, corner towers and a moat it was never meant to be somewhere that would be defended from attack so much of the design is decorative rather than functional. It was meant to embody renaissance ideas. Some features such as an open roof area are perhaps more at home in the warmth of Italy than the cooler and damper Loire Valley. The exterior views are stunning and best viewed from a slight distance.
The interior is equally impressive. The open double spiral staircase supposedly designed or at least inspired by Leonardo da Vinci is a highlight where you might glimpse other visitors walking up the staircase but you won’t actually meet them on the way. A selection of the 440 rooms and 84 staircases are available for you to explore. Most visitors report they get quite the workout when visiting.
Visit the Nature Reserve – a guided tour in an all terrain vehicle of the woodland estate. A chance to see close up the wild boar and red deer and other flora and fauna that live in the forest. There are up to six departures a day during peak season and pre-booking is advised. Price is €18 ($22) for adults and €18 ($15) for under 18
The Horse and Bird of Prey Show – as befits a hunting lodge is an outdoor demonstration of the horse and birds of prey that would have been an essential feature of the Châteaux de Chambord in it’s day. The show is schedule to run everyday (except Mondays) from 28th April to 30th September. During the peak holiday season from the 4th July-28th August it runs everyday.
There are a range of options in terms of guides for visitors.