Things to do in Chinon
Chinon is a town located in the Loire region of France overlooking the River Vienne. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, this region was a favorite area for the French kings and nobility. Chinon is best known for its wine, the castle, and the historic center.
The city is perfect to visit as part of a tour of the Loire region.
Visit Chinon castle
Despite the fact that the castle is not the most beautiful of the Loire region, it has retained much of its medieval character as a fortress while most of the castles in the region have been renovated in Renaissance style. During a visit, you can explore the many towers and buildings. Moreover, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city of Chinon and the river.
The castle has a very rich history. It was the primary residence of the kings of England and later that of the kings of France.
It is also here that Charles VII met Joan of Arc in 1429 before she liberated Orleans. But Chinon is also the place where many Templars of the Templar Order were imprisoned and tortured during the trial against the Order in 1307.
A visit to the castle is possible every day and costs €10.50 (free for children under 7; discount for children 7-18 and students). You can only visit the castle of Chinon with a Histopad or you can participate in a guided tour. With a histopad you can see how the castle used to be; a fun way to explore the castle.
Chinon is also mainly known as a wine region. The confluence of the Loire and the Vienne creates a mild Atlantic maritime climate. The slopes are oriented from east to west, so they enjoy a sunny south-facing position. This microclimate is ideal for the Cabernet Franc grape with which the majority of red and rosé wines are made. But the Cabernet Sauvignon grape is also grown here and used for these wines. The Chenin grape is used for white wines.
In and around the city you can go to several winegrowers to buy and taste the wines. We booked a tour with tasting at Pierre et Bertrand Couly. After the guided tour explaining the whole process, we enjoyed a tasting of 6 different wines along with regional specialties. Highly recommended. Oh yes, they also have an escape room dedicated to wine.
Stroll through the streets
Strolling through the narrow streets of Chinon is like traveling back in time through the beautiful half-timbered houses and old houses that you can admire. One of the oldest buildings in the center is the red house (Maison Rouge). But the former Bailiwicks Palace and the House of the States-General are also beautiful buildings.
Some of these links are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, Travel Eat Enjoy Repeat will earn a small commission. This will cost you nothing extra.