Could these be France’s prettiest gardens?


If you’re a sucker for all things horticultural you’re bound to love the beautiful landscaped gardens of France. We pick 7 places we think the green-fingered should visit.

Claude Monet’s Garden, Giverny

Nestled in the village of Giverny in Normandy are the breathtakingly beautiful gardens of Claude Monet which you will instantly recognise from his paintings. The gardens are separated into two sections: the Clos Normand and the Japanese water garden. Features of these gardens include pretty flower beds, fruit trees, an archway made of roses and a Japanese bridge covered with wisterias. The gardens inspired several of Monet’s paintings.

The gardens are open to visitors 25 March – 1 November, 9.30am – 6pm. Admission for adults is €10.20 and €7.20 for children over seven years old.

Jardins de Versailles, Île-de-France

One of the most famous landscaped gardens in Europe, the gardens of the Palace of Versailles are made up of immaculately formed parterres, impressive water fountains and a vast collection of outdoor sculptures. Regular events are held in the gardens throughout the year and the fountains are lit up creating a wonderful atmosphere.

The gardens of Versailles are open to visitors between April and October. A ticket to both the palace and gardens cost €18 for one day and it is truly worth the money.

Jardins de Marqueyssac, Dordogne

With breathtaking panoramic views across the Dordogne valley and beyond, is it any wonder the overhanging gardens of Marqueyssac are some of the most visited in the Périgord? They are easily recognisable due to the winding paths of carefully maintained topiary, designed to compliment and imitate the rolling landscape that surrounds the grounds.

The gardens are open to visitors every day between 10am and 9pm. Adult admission is €8.80 and older children (10-17 years of age) are charged €4.40. Children under ten years old can visit for free.

Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Are you a garden enthusiast on a budget? Not to worry, as Jardin du Luxembourg in the centre of Paris has free access to the public all year round with guided tours taking place on a weekly basis. There are over 25 hectares to explore, split into gardens of French and English design. Keep an eye out for the rare orchid collection and the pretty rose garden. There are over 100 statues, can you find them all?

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Côte d’Azur

This stunning villa on the French Riviera has nine different beautiful gardens offering anything from ornamental ponds and temples, to gargoyles and colourful rose gardens. Annual events include ‘The Musical Fountains’ when the fountains are choreographed to music and spectacular lighting effects. The Rose Festival takes place 6-8 May, bringing together craftspeople and horticulturalists alike.

The garden is open 365 days a year, 10am-6pm. Adult admission is €13.50 and children (7-17 years) is €10.50.

Ch?teau de Villandry, Loire Valley

The grounds of this enchanting castle play a large part in its history, beauty and appeal. Designed by Joachim Carvallo, the gardens are a well preserved and romantic piece of Villandry’s history. Despite the ever-changing fashions of French culture throughout the years, the gardens have never lost their beauty.

The opening times of the gardens change throughout the year so it is advised to check online before arrival. Admission to the gardens cost €6.50 for adults and €4.50 for children. Children under eight years old can visit for free.

Ch?teau des Milandes, Dordogne

At Ch?teau des Milandes you’ll find formal French style gardens with carefully landscaped gardens spread across several terraces. A leafy park surrounds the grounds and they’re a pleasant place to walk and get an outsider’s view of the gardens throughout the year. The gardens you see today have been present for almost 200 years.

The gardens are open to guests between March 26 and November 13. Adult entry is €9 and children’s admission is €5.80.

Don’t leave us just yet! Sit back, relax and stay for a while with…

Enchanting French castles you’ll really want to visit

Dordogne’s most beautiful villages

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