Nestled in a picturesque spot, close to the River Indre and the Forest of Chinon, Château d’Ussé epitomises the image of a fairy tale castle – so much so that it was allegedly the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty. Families flock to the dungeons, where the main scenes of the story are re-enacted. The site dates back to 1,000AD, when a fearsome Viking warrior known as the Devil of Saumur built a fortress on the site. Over the years it shed its military identity and became an elegant Renaissance residence. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the Duke of Blacas and his family. The elegant French-style garden features century-old orange trees and each year 10,000 pansies are freshly planted in the grounds.
Château d’Ussé, 37420 Rigny-Ussé, France, +33 2 47 95 54 05