Blois is situated in the center of France, between Orleans and Tours, at about 180 km from Paris. The small city of Blois is famous for its castle, but also for its charm and coquet aspect. I remember being a bit skeptic to the beauty of this place (simply because, the name Blois does not say much), but just a short visit there can make anyone understand why this area was preferred by so many French kings.
Things to see and do in Blois
Blois Castle is situated on a sort of a platform and in order to get here you have to climb a lot of stairs. The entrance of the castle is not very imposing and you might be tented to think this castle is not so big. But this impression will disappear once you see the fortress (hosting around 560 rooms) from another angle.
Blois castle entrance
Blois Castle seen from Place Victor Hugo
Once you’ve reached this place, you can pretty much have a view of the entire city and decide what you want to see. Right in front of the castle is the House of Magic(in French “Maison de la Magie”) dedicated to the famous illusionist, born in Blois- Robert Houdin.
Houdini House of Magic from Blois
At about 300m from the castle and The House of Magic you can find the Natural History Museum – Les Jacobins.
Natural History Museum from Blois
Other things you can see from the terrace of the castle are: the tower of the Cathedral Saint Lois du Blois and let’s not forget the Saint-Nicolas Church .
Glimpse of Cathedral Saint Lois du Blois
Saint-Nicolas Church seen from the terrace of the Blois Castle
But in order to see anything you have to go down the stairs and trust me, this city has plenty of them.
Take a walk through the garden called Jardin Augustin Thierry situated near the castle, at Place Victor Hugo. This place offers a chance to relax a bit before you go further in the heart of the city .Large cedar trees, willow and the Church of Saint Vincent positioned right next to this park , increase the charm and the calm of this place.
Garden Augustin Thierry from Blois
Church of Saint Vincent from Blois,France
From here you can continue your visit and walk on Rue Porte Cote and Rue Denis. These 2 streets from the center of the city have shops with clothes or souvenirs, but also small restaurants serving traditional French food or simply fast food. Pretty soon you will see the Cathedral Saint Lois du Blois and the Loire River.
Cathedral Saint Lois du Blois
Blois offers the best view over the Loire River .
Loire River and the bridge Jacques Gabriel from Blois
Blois is also great because is situated very close to many other castles on the Loire Valley( for example- at just 17 km from the colossal castle Chambord and 16 km from the refined castle Cheverny).
More on the things to see near Blois, you can read on the next article.