If the Loire Valley is known as the garden of France then at Chateau Villandry we must have
the garden of the Loire Valley.
and its gardens is
probably one of the most family orientated chateau within the LoireValley
in that it has a children’s maze (not terribly difficult!) and play area
as well as the chateau and gardens for the adults. If you only have time
to view a couple of chateaux on your visit to the Loire Valley make sure
this is one of them.
chateau Villandry dates from circa 1536 when it was built by one of Francois
1’s finance ministers, Jean le Breton. Le
Briton was also responsible for overseeing the construction of the royal
‘flight of fancy’ that is chateau Chambord.
The tower which looks a little out of place is all that remains of the
old fortress he demolished to make way for the chateau. As with most chateaux the French Revolution saw Villandry
being confiscated before eventually being acquired for
Joseph Bonaparte (brother of the
Emperor) in the early 1800’s.
The chateau and gardens you
see today, which combine
flowers and vegetables,
are courtesy of a Spaniard, Dr.Joachim
Carvallo who purchased them in 1906. He poured a great deal of time and money into the project the results of which are breathtaking, especially when viewed from the top of the tower
The combined ticket for visiting the chateau and gardens is
10.50€ for adults (free to children under
8) is, in our opinion, the best value for money
visit in the Loire Valley as the inside is also well worth a look as it is beautifully decorated and very well presented.
Take a useful map from the ticket desk to help you with your visit.
As well as well appointed
rooms your interest is
retained by other
distractions like the
ceiling of the Oriental
drawing room or the artwork
on display in the gallery.
For us it is the climb to
the top of the tower (not to
be missed) that is the
defining moment of the
There is ample free parking
in front of
the chateau plus a
restaurant which is both friendly and efficient. There is also a choice of restaurants in the town itself - though not a lot else!
Villandry is open all the year round
(opens 9.00am) and
the gardens stay open until
during July and
Tips: Visit early morning or evening to avoid the tourists !
if the day starts of cloudy take some means of providing shade for
the kids as if the weather changes there is little in the way of
natural protection within these vast gardens.
that it can be quite a walk from the car park to thechateau at the height of the