Auvergne’s Prettiest Castle: Château de Val

Posted on 13. Apr, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France

When people think of European castles, one of the first images that come to mind is the elegant, feminine Renaissance castles of France. While most of them are located around Paris and in the Loire Valley, Auvergne has a handful of them that are worth the detour -Château the Val being on top of the list!

The Château de Val

Located on the limit of Cantal and Puy-de-Dôme departments, it’s an hour and a half away from Clermont-Ferrand. As you can see from the photo, the castle is surrounded by water, but winter apparently isn’t the right time to visit, because the water was very low and kind of ruined the effect. Normally, the castle looks like this:

Nonetheless, the visit was very fun. The castle doesn’t have a very dramatic history, nor lavish furniture - and I like it because of that. The true luxury here is the surroundings, not fancy drapes!

The castle has several rooms spread on three different floors. The first one is fully furnished with authentic furniture of the time, and represents very well how life was like then. I particularly liked the mini-chapel adjoining the dining room!

The second floor isn’t furnished, but is entirely dedicated to local artists. All the rooms are filled with paintings, photographs and art, and the theme changes every few months. A nice window into the local arts scene!

The third floor is actually a bit weird - it has tiny, tiny corridors (as in I had to walk sideways), and really creepy empty rooms. I guess that was the unofficial haunted part of the visit - every castle has its ghosts, even Château de Val!

It’s not the most impressive, nor the most luxurious. But it makes up for a pretty good daytrip in the country, through the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes. The scenic drive alone is worth the trip!

Do you prefer huge elegant castles or simpler country ones? Have you been to Château de Val? What’s your favorite castle in Auvergne?


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6 Responses to “Auvergne’s Prettiest Castle: Château de Val”

  1. Jeff Titelius

    16. Apr, 2012

    Wow…another French castle to add to my list!! Your photography is stunning!!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Laura @Travelocafe

    29. Apr, 2012

    It looks lovely from outside and amazing inside. Wow!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Turtle

    27. May, 2012

    The photos are stunning - the castle looks amazing.
    Did you see any ghosts in the ‘haunted’ bit :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      27. May, 2012

      Unfortunately I did not encounter any ghosts, otherwise that post would have been much more dramatic!

      Reply to this comment


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