Description: Possibly the best Loire chateau for the family, as it has something for everyone. Villandry is known worldwide for its gardens which combine flowers and vegetables in intricate beds, best viewed from the castle tower. There are lots of rooms to see in the castle, all beautifully decorated. The gardens are vast with lots of walkways taking you to high viewing points and along the parterres. Make sure you get a map at the ticket desk which will show you all the possible routes around the gardens.
Location: 15km west of Tours on D7 road south of the Cher.
General info: Chateau open from mid Feb-mid Nov and during Christmas school holidays (but please check exact details on the official website). Gardens open every day. Free for under 8’s.
Our recommendation: Don’t miss the climb up the tower from the top of which there are wonderful views over the gardens and beyond. Care must be taken with very young children as in typical French style there are areas of unfenced waterways and moats. It’s worth checking the official site for dates of special events.
For the children: There is a childrens’ playground and a maze to get lost in! Villandry is also part of the ‘Sur la piste de l’enfant Roy’ in which 7-12 year olds can get booklets with puzzles and games to increase their enjoyment of the chateau and its grounds. The restaurant has special baby and childrens’ menus including home made ice-cream.
Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Loire Valley: