A leisurely few hours from Paris, you come upon the kind of place dreams are made of, a place that has long epitomized fairy-tale romance. Here, in the legendary region of the lovely Loire Valley, one legendary château after another recalls with its own unique beauty the glorious royal eras of France. The most distinguished of those available at the moment is a French Historical Monument whose origins date to the fifteenth century but whose splendor derives from its Renaissance embellishments from the sixteenth century. Crowning 75 acres along a river, with a full complement of outbuildings as well as a donjon, swimming pool, and tennis court, the resplendent demesne is noted for its formal French gardens. But it is inside the towering masterpiece, amid the salons ornamented with à la française ceilings, stained glass, and regal fireplaces, that you experience fully the glory that was—and is—France.