There are so many chateaus in Loire valley - one is spoilt for choice!! some are big and impressive, some smaller and more cosy ....whatever it is, i suggest to do some homework before coming -- so at least you have an idea of what you want to visit.
I did my homework and had an "itinerary" planned!! BUT.... hahaha, after talking to our hosts on arrival, threw my homework out of the window!!
Initially, i had thought that we could simply drive past some of the chateaus, take some photos and move on ;p but my brilliant plan to save us some money backfired cos one simply cannot catch a glimpse of some of the chateaus on my to-visit list without paying for the entrance fee to enter the estate ;p
In the end, these are the chateaus we saw/visited :
Chateau Chambord -- my favorite!! the approach towards it was very impressive and this was also one chateau we can admire without paying to enter ;p
Chateau Amboise -- we were able to get a good shot of this chateau without entering it. since it was nearby we took a walk to the Château of Clos Lucé - Leonardo da Vinci Park. but decided in the end not to visit it cos don't think kaira is old enough to appreciate it yet. maybe next time.
Chateau D'Azay-Le-Rideau -- i liked this too. altho not very very big, it was impressive, cosy and had nice grounds.
Chateau D'Ussee -- "sleeping beauty" castle. can't get a good view/shot of this without entering it.
Chateau Loches -- can't get a good view/shot of this place without entering it.
Chateau de Chinon -- this was actually a fortress. case of me not doing my homework properly ;p good view of the surroundings from this fortress and we were lucky we found the lift bringing up right up to it! didn't have to trek our way up ;)
Chateau Villandry -- having seen the inside of a few of the chateaus, we visited only the gardens of villandry. nice change and kaira enjoyed it very much :)