On our recent road trip where we were exploring the west of France I discovered that this area is full of amazing castles. We pasted the beautiful Loire Valley twice on this road trip, so we made sure we timed our lunchbreak with a chateau visit. I had read about the famous gardens of Chateau de Villandry before and when I noticed that we would be in the neighborhood I of course had to plan a little visit. The landscaping of the gardens of Villandry is done exquisitely and if the gardens of Villandry do not impress you, I don’t know which gardens will.
Chateau de Villandry is located in the Loire Valley, which is famous for the chateaus and the white wine. Tickets for the gardens are € 7,50 per person and tickets that also include the chateau are € 12 per person. We didn’t book our tickets in advance, but bought them at the counter when we arrived. We had to show our COVID passport to be able to visit. There is a regular parking lot and a parking lot for vans close to the entrance which you can use for free. Chateau de Villandry has two options for food, one is a sit-down restaurant and they also have a little snack corner where you can grab a quick bite such as a baguette, crepe or panini. You are not allowed to picknick in the gardens. The chateau often hosts art exhibits, so make sure to check the website to see what’s on.
The chateau is located at the “Loire à Vélo”. This is a 900 kilometer long cycling route through the Loire valley. If you would like to do a cycling holiday, this is a very interesting route!
Chateau de Villandry’s history
Chateau de Villandry was built in 1536 as a Renaissance style castle along the Loire Valley. Over the course of the years several buildings were added to the castle. In the 19th century the traditions garden was replaced by an English style park. The scientist Joachim Carvallo bought the castle in 1906 and dedicated his time to restore the garden in the original French style. He also arranged that the castle was opened again to the general public.
The gardens consist of several levels with terracces that all offer a unique landscape. I have never seen gardens that were maintained this well, you could argue that the gardens looked too perfect. I cannot imagine the amount of work that is put in maintaining the gardens in this state. Even the vegetable garden was decorated with flower beds, making this the loveliest vegetable garden I have ever seen. Villandry also has a very special and decorated ornamental garden, which uses a lot of symbolism for love. Because the garden consists of many layers you can access several viewpoints offering wide views over the gardens. One thing that would be good to note is that you cannot walk on every path in the garden. You are not allowed to enter the flower squares and can only walk around them, this is to protect the garden. I was a bit disappointed at first, but later on learnt that it is much easier to take unobstructed pictures because other visitors also admire the garden from the sides. I loved the gardens at Chateau Versailles, but I have to say I enjoyed my visit to Villandry more, because it is grand enough to offer spectacular sights but not too overwhelming as it is much smaller.