France is famous for its architecture, its history, its gastronomy, but did you know that it is also famous for its incredible gardens? French formal gardens (Jardins à la française in French), Japanese gardens or exotic gardens are not to be missed if you are visiting France.
1. Château de Versailles’ garden, Versailles
The gardens of the Château de Versailles probably are the most majestic gardens of France and one of the best examples of the French formal garden style (Jardins à la française) : symmetrical gardens, in which nature has to be perfect whatever the season is. The castle and its gardens really are worth a visit when traveling to Paris, as indicated in this article. They definitely belong to the places to visit once in a lifetime.
2. Bamboo plantation of Prafrance, Anduze
How unexpected is it to find a bamboo plantation as one of the most beautiful gardens of France? You will discover this bamboo plantation in the south of France and it will actually bring you to Asia. A two-hour walk among the bamboos can only have a relaxing effect. Enjoy!
3. Ephrussi de Rothschild’s gardens, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, located 10 minutes away from Nice, is one of the most prestigious villas in the South of France and is really famous for its gardens. As a matter of fact, the diversity is striking : 8 different garden styles surround the house. You can even rent the gardens to host an incredible wedding or a very chic picnic!
4. Claude Monet’s garden, Giverny
More than 500 000 people visit Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny every year. Monet was fascinated by nature and most particularly by flowers. He simply loved gardening and it was a great source of inspiration for him, such as in the painting “The Artist’s garden at Giverny“. His garden can also be a real source of inspiration for flowers addicts : Nasturtium, daffodils, iris or narcissus are among the thousands of flowers that Monet planted and took care of.
5. Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris
Le Jardin du Luxembourg is the lung of the city of Paris. This is a lovely garden, especially on a very hot day. Paris can quickly turn into an oven in the summer and wandering through a nice park with fountains can really be life-saving 🙂 Walking through its alleys will make you feel like you are in one of Victor Hugo’s novel.
6. Château de Villandry’s garden, Villandry
The château de Villandry is not as famous as the other castles in the neighborhood but its gardens definitely are! There are several gardens but only one kind : Jardin à la française. There even is a maze to have fun with your children (or without!). If you are looking for gardening advices, you should have a look at the website as it is giving some gardening tips.
7. The remarkable gardens of Courson, Courson-Monteloup
Courson’s garden is one of the most romantic gardens in France. Imagine yourself wandering among more than 3000 trees with your beloved one or reading a nice book under the shade of a centenary oak tree… The main highlight of the stroll is the Giant Sequoia tree, not to be missed!
8. Oriental Park, Maulévrier
The Parc Oriental de Maulévrier is the biggest Japanese garden in Europe, located in the west part of France. It not only has Japanese plants and flowers, like the Japanese maple tree for instance, but also Japanese traditionnal decorations like a torii. You can also visit it at night, which must be quite an experience!
9. Château de Chenonceau’s garden, Chenonceaux
The Chenonceau castle is one of the most famous castles in the Loire Valley. Here again, the main style of the garden is French formal, where geometry is key. Water is also quite crucial here : the bassins and the river are an important part of the aesthetic of the gardens.
If you want to visit the castles in the Loire Valley, I suggest you read this article. It will help you with the itinerary.
10. Mansion d’Eyrignac’s garden, Salignac-Eyvigues
A two hour-drive from Bordeaux and you discover the Mansion d’Eyrignac and its beautiful gardens! The 6 gardeners literally sculpts the bushes to give them their original forms. This video will give you a glance of what the gardens look like. Watched it? Don’t you want to visit it now? 🙂
Have you ever visited one of those gardens? Let me know in the comments 🙂