Château and Gardens of Villandry
3 Rue Principale, 37510 Villandry, France
Photo by ADT Touraine Loãc Lagarde
Château and Gardens of VillandryAbout a 30-minute drive from Tours, the Château and Gardens of Villandry are a testament to the Loire Valley’s immense beauty. The castle—one of the last great châteaus built in the Loire during the Renaissance—is the stuff of fairy tales, but its gardens are even more spectacular. Once 22 acres of nothing but lime trees bordering a meadow, the gardens are now divided into six distinct areas, including the formidable Kitchen Garden (planted with vegetables in alternating colors) and the Sun Garden (complete with decorative apple trees, a sun-shaped pond, and several rosebushes). Totally free of pesticides, they’re maintained by a team of ten gardeners and open to the public year-round.