Inspired by his conquests in Italy, the young King Charles VIII returned to France in the late 15th century with dreams of constructing his own Italian-inspired palazzo. The result is the Chateau Gaillard, built in the Italianate style in the town of Amboise, and famed especially for its gardens, which included some of the first orange trees planted in France; its Orangery once hosted hundreds of citrus specimens.
The Chateau Gaillard has welcomed famous guests throughout its history: Mary, Queen of Scots spent her honeymoon here, and Catherine de Medici also visited the palace. To simplify your visit to the fully renovated chateau, book your admission online before you travel.
Things to Know Before You Go
Family passes offer a price-saving way to visit the palace, and entrance is free for children ages 7 and under.
The entry fee includes a guided tour, provided in the French language only.
Dogs are allowed on the grounds and at the picnic area.
How to Get There
The Chateau Gaillard is located in Amboise, in the heart of the Loire Valley. From the Gare d’Amboise—the town’s main train station—it is just a 10-minute trip by taxi. Parking spaces are also available on site for those who plan to drive independently.
When to Get There
The palace is a seasonal destination, and is open for part of the year only: from March 29 to November 12. During that period, the Chateau Gaillard can be visited daily from 11am–7pm; last admission is at 6:30pm.
The Castle Grounds
The Chateau Gaillard occupies 37 acres (15 hectares) of land. During your visit, be sure to explore outside as well as in: the palace gardens are host to seven different walking trails, including ornamental gardens, scenic overlooks, sculptures, and more.