Villandry is renowned for its magnificent French formal gardens which provide an enchanting setting for the last Loire château built during the Renaissance. The history of the domain is intricately linked to that of the Carvallo family, who restored it to its former glory. The gardens create a feeling of blissful contentment, while the residence enthrals visitors with its elegance. The spirit of Villandry inspires respect through its work to protect the environment and local heritage.
The gardens of Villandry are well known for their beauty, but even those who are aware of this fact are often blown away by the magnificent garden scenery. The Villandry estate, which has been restored thanks to the work of the Carvallo family, is a veritable opus and remains one of the finest testimonies to the Renaissance arts.
In 1532 the Villandry estate came into the possession of Jean Le Breton, who was Finance Minister to Francis I. He tore down the old fortress, except for the keep, in order to build a lavish château and gardens in the Renaissance style. His descendants remained the owners of Villandry until 1754, when it became the property of the Marquis of Castellane who modernised and embellished it in the Neoclassical style, which was in fashion in the 18th century.
After changing hands several times and undergoing multiple changes, the château was bought in 1906 by a Hispano-American couple, Doctor Joachim Carvallo and his wife, Ann Coleman. They fell in love with Villandry and devoted time, energy and their entire fortune to its restoration. It is thanks to them and their heirs that the residence and gardens are in their current superb condition. The interior testifies to the French lifestyle and includes a few unusual features such as a fountain in the dining room and a superb Hispano-Moorish ceiling in the Oriental room.
The estate is renowned for its exterior and its six picturesque French formal gardens framed by a series of terraces. They are all built according to a theme and layout. The ornamental vegetable garden is without doubt most impressive when seen from above, with its 9 square plots forming a multicolour chequerboard that looks like a piece of embroidery. The Ornamental Garden, which is planted in two sections, presents the theme of music with its harp-shaped box bushes and sings the praises of love through its allegorical vegetation which includes hearts, butterflies and fans. The Water Garden, which is laid out around a pond shaped like a Louis XV mirror, is perfect for reflection and meditation, whereas the Sun Garden boasts a dreamier atmosphere. Children’s laughter can be heard in the Maze garden, but does not disturb the calm of the Herb Garden in which aromatic and medicinal plants are grown. Each area has its own story to tell.
But this stunning scenery does not sacrifice ethics, since the estate is fully committed to sustainable and organic gardening. The beauty and virtue of Villandry’s Gardens remind us of the thoughts of Joachim Carvallo, who once said that the human spirit “endeavours to ennoble the simple things of life”.
Not to be missed

The ornamental Renaissance vegetable garden

In the 16th century, Villandry’s vegetable garden was already renowned throughout the kingdom and several centuries later, thanks to Joachim Carvallo, it has rediscovered its former splendour.
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Hidden treasure

The Oriental room

Every château has its own hidden treasure, and Villandry’s is tied to the East, with its large ceiling and airs of a Moorish palace.
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A stunning and sustainable garden

Villandry’s gardens combine visual beauty with good deeds, and have been tended using organic gardening methods since 2009.
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News from the château
Practical information


Château and Gardens of Villandry
3 rue Principale
+ prices
From € 13 /  person
Qualité TourismeJardin remarquableLa Loire à VéloDémarche d'excellence grands sitesEscapades aux jardins
Things to see in the area
How to get there
Villandry is 15 km from Tours and Saint-Pierre-les-Corps train stations, which both have 1-hour train connections from Paris-Montparnasse. In summer, a shuttle service runs between the château and Tours. Villandry is 2 hours from Paris by car via the A10 then the A85 motorways. Tours airport provides connections to Portugal, Ireland, Great Britain and Morocco.

Your journey