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Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Anna Brooke

Considered by some to be the world’s most beautiful garden, the grounds of this UNESCO-listed chateau are a must-see.

Created and owned by the Carvallo family, the terraced Renaissance gardens include an ornamental garden, with sculptured hedges, a medicinal herb garden, and a tranquil water garden.

The undisputed star of the show, however, is the stupendous kitchen garden, transformed into a geometrical feast of cabbages and pumpkins, zigzags of leeks, patches of peppers and other colourful vegetables.

Don’t miss 

Although the gardens take pride of place, also stop by the 16th-century chateau, which has a marvellous carved wooden mudejar ceiling brought from Toledo.

Time it for Millefeux

For two nights in July or August, the fabulous gardens at the Villandry chateau are illuminated by thousands of candles – an event known as the Nuits des Mille Feux (Nights of a Thousand Lights). It’s a magical night-time spectacle, culminating in fireworks.

Logistics

Price from: £6
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Villandry Chateau is 15km west of Tours, and close to the Loire à Vélo (Loire by bike) cycle route. It’s about an hour by train from Paris to Tours station.

Audio guides in English for the gardens and chateau are available at the entrance (small fee). The chateau’s restaurant, La Doulce Terrasse, serves up excellent food employing Villandry’s own fruit and vegetables, alongside local cheeses and home-made desserts.

When to do it

The gardens are open all year round, seven days a week. The chateau is open between mid-February and mid-November. The Nights of a Thousand Lights event takes place over two nights usually in July, sometimes in August.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Loire Valley Half Day : Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau from Tours

Tours

Loire Valley Half Day : Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau from Tours
During this morning, visit the unique and elegant gardens of Chateau de Villandry and the lovely Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. Your passionate guide will stay with you all along the tour, sharing with you funny anecdotes and all his knowledge of the region. An unforgettable experience !

Price: €109

Min age: 4

Rating 4.72 / 5 [29 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Loire Valley Day from Amboise : Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Winery

Tours

Loire Valley Day from Amboise : Azay le Rideau, Villandry, Winery
Enjoy a complete Loire Valley experience with the visit of the unique and elegant gardens of Chateau de Villandry and the lovely Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. Your passionate guide will stay with you all along the tour, sharing with you funny anecdotes and all his knowledge of the region. An unforgettable experience ! During the afternoon, make the most of a Loire Valley wine tour and go to meet a wine producer of the Vouvray Appellation, well-known for its sparkling and white wines. All along the day, your passionate and local guide will stay with you, a day that you will never forget!

Price: €189

Min age: 4

Rating 4.95 / 5 [24 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

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Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Loire Valley

Loire Valley, France

Exterior of the front of the chateau, with a tree-lined driveway in foreground

Northern France’s beautiful UNESCO-listed valley, home to heart-stoppingly beautiful historic chateaux, authentic village life, world-class wines and fascinating troglodytes.