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Loire Valley Chateaux - Villandry





  Our video of the gardens


If the Loire Valley is known  as the garden of France then at Chateau Villandry we must have the garden of the Loire Valley.   

Villandry and its gardens is probably one of  the most family orientated chateau within the Loire Valley 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.



The 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




Villandry tries very hard to involve children in its gardens and surroundings (question & answer book in English) and is involved in the Loire's collective 'On the track of the Infant King' programme. There are workshops for children a

nd the children’s play areas and the hornbeam labyrinth are good  places for families to relax and play.




The combined ticket for visiting the chateau and gardens is 8€  for adults (free to children under 8) and is good value for money 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.


There is ample free parking alongside the river and a restaurant in front of the chateau 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 and stays open until  7.30 pm during July and August.

Tips: Visit early morning or evening to avoid the tourists !

 Even 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.

Note that it can be quite a walk from the car park by the river to the chateau on busy tourist days.


Rates 2015

Castle and gardens

Gardens only




Children 8-18 (under 8 free)

  € 6.50  


Groups (15 pers. More)



Audio guide



View Larger Map




External links:


 http://www.chateauvillandry.com/       Official website


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"Author: Jim Craig"