After five days in Normandy we headed to France’s beautiful Loire Valley to visit some châteaus. Our first château was the beautiful Château de Villandry. This Château is beautiful inside and out as it is home to some of France’s most iconic gardens.
We arrived in town where the Château and parking are very well marked. We walked onto the main street and had a quick lunch before walking a very short distance to the Château. The gardens are kept hidden as you walk in to get your tickets and head towards the Château. As you walk past the Château you are rewarded with a beautiful view of the intricate gardens. They are so iconic it is like you are standing in a postcard.
We chose to tour the Château as this was our first château in the Loire Valley on our trip. You can definitely skip this interior if you are going to a few other châteaus on your trip. At the end of the tour you are on an elevated second level outside (that you can access with a garden only ticket as well). We had a full view of the gardens from here – our cameras were busy trying to capture memories!
We walked through the Water Garden, the Sun Garden, the Herb Garden, and the Vegetable Garden. This sounds like it was a quick walk, but we spent perhaps 2 hours walking through these gardens enjoying them and taking photos. I am sure we are not the only people who walk through these grounds thinking “when we get home we should weed our flower beds and create a beautiful flower bed around our house”.
These gardens are a marvel in planning and vision. You stare at gardens that are intricately planned to be individual, and yet symmetrical with each other. They are full of vegetables (that are used by the Château, herbs, and flowers. We stood there in awe of the beauty, planning and fragrance all around us. It takes dedication and vision to create grounds that look like these beautiful grounds and gardens.
To close out our trip we went to the far corner of the property and tried to walk through the Maze garden. This was a fun adventure. My husband and I are both six feet tall and taller. This maze was not designed for tall people. The funniest part came when we tried to exit the garden through a low archway. It was quite amusing, and likely one of those “you had to be there” moments to understand how funny it was!
- You can skip the inside of the Château if you have other châteaus on your itinerary.
- Allow plenty of time to fully enjoy these gardens. They are worth the time to sit and unplug for a while, as well as try to take some photos.
- Don’t miss the maze, it is in a distant corner of the gardens, but a fun time.