Versailles: the grandest
Do we even need to introduce Versailles, the titanic project implemented during the reign of Louis XIV in order to represent France in all its glory? Today a national estate, the site stretches over 800 hectares (1976 acres), the palace was once a place where Marie-Antoinette loved to take walks.
Versailles' gardens were created in about forty years with the help of André Le Nôtre. They embody the «French style», where order and symmetry reign. Versailles is a setting of greenery punctuated by flowerbeds, numerous groves, statues and fountains. Let's dream and escape from reality in this magical setting!
Video tour of the gardens (External link)
Château de Versailles (External link)
Giverny: the most picturesque
Discover one of the most emblematic French gardens, shaped by one of the masters of Impressionism: Claude Monet! In 1883, the artist created a flower garden called the "Clos Normand" as well as a Japanese-inspired water garden. The wisteria-covered bridge, the weeping willows and the famous Nymphéas (visible at the Orangerie) are true masterpieces. Want to dream? Let yourself be tempted by the tour of the house and gardens! Before discovering the experiences to live in Normandy in the footsteps of the Impressionists
Virtual tour (External link)
Monet Foundation (External link)
Villandry: the most elegant
The last castle built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley, Villandry is surely not the least impressive, especially thanks to its gardens. Built and restored by the Carvallo family, the gardens are spread over four levels and represent French elegance. There are six of them, laid out like a painting: a decorative vegetable garden, an ornamental garden, a water garden, an herb garden, a maze of hornbeams and sun garden. Don't forget your sunglasses!
Discover them through the eyes of photographer Alex Mclean
Discover the garden in photos or videos (External link)
Château de Villandry (External link)
Roseraie du Val-de-Marne : the most aromatic
Set up by Jules Gravereaux and Edouard André at the end of the 19th century, the Roseraie du Val de Marne was the first garden dedicated to the queen of flowers: the rose. It contains one of the most important collections of ancient roses in the world. World famous and labeled "Jardin remarquable", it now has nearly 2,900 species and varieties of roses, arranged in a 1.5 hectare (3 acre) French garden. This garden promises a relaxing and peaceful walk perfumed with the most pleasant scents!
Video presentation (External link)
Roseraie du Val-de-Marne (External link)
Rothschild Villa & Ephrussi Gardens: the most exotic
Between Nice and Monaco, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is one of the most beautiful palaces on the French Riviera, surrounded by its equally beautiful gardens. Overlooking the Mediterranean sea, it was built in seven years during the Belle Epoque by Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, a rich heiress of the wealthy family. While strolling around, you can admire its nine gardens: Florentine, Spanish, French, exotic, lapidary, Japanese, Provençal, the rose garden and finally the Garden of Sèvres. You can admire the colonnades, waterfalls, ponds and other flowering beds for a visual and olfactory journey! To put on your must-see gardens list on the French Riviera.
Villa and gardens in video (External link)
Villa Ephrussi (External link)
Bambouseraie de Prafrance: the greenest
Listed as a "Jardin Remarquable et Monument Historique" (historical monument remarkable garden), the Bamboo Garden was created in 1856 by Eugène Mazel, a horticultural enthusiast. He brought back many exotic species, including bamboo, from one of his trips to the Far East. Now spread over 12 hectares (30 acres), the park is dazzling for its centuries-old trees, as well as thanks to its aquatic garden, its plant maze, its Laotian village and its Mazel greenhouses. It's a unique garden in France and an unexpected change of scenery in the Cévennes Gardoises.
Chenonceau: the most magical
Built on the Cher river, The Château de Chenonceau stands out as one of the jewels of the Loire Valley and a symbol of Renaissance architecture. Nicknamed the «Château des Dames», so much its history has been shaped by women. It offers a balance between architecture and landscape, through a beautiful equation of water, stone and plant. These elegant French-style gardens are a feast for the eyes: climbing roses of the Diane de Poiriers garden, flowering beds of the Catherine de Medicis garden, circular maze, flower garden, green garden and recently, tribute garden to Russell Page.
"Découvrir Chenonceau" App (External link)
Château of Chenonceau (External link)
Bagatelle: the most bucolic
Nestled in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, it is one of the four poles of the botanical gardens of Paris. The Bagatelle castle and park were built in 1775, following a bet between Marie-Antoinette and her brother-in-law the Count of Artois. The park offers a pleasant and romantic stroll among the waterfalls, small bridges and other water mirrors dotting the grounds. It is also known for its rose garden with 1,200 different varieties and hosts classical music concerts during the summer.
Domaine du Rayol: the most Mediterranean
Located between Le Lavandou and Saint-Tropez, the Rayol estate was originally designed by businessman Alfred Courmes, who bought 40 hectares (98 acres) of wild scrubland in 1909. Later abandoned, in 1989 the Conservatoire du Littoral decided to entrust it to the landscaper Gilles Clément, in order to protect the wild shores of the Corniche des Maures. There he created a garden featuring landscapes from the Mediterranean world: Mediterranean Basin, South-East California, Central Chile, Cape Town Region in South Africa and Southern Australia. This garden is an invitation to travel the world in a protected natural area of 20 hectares (50 acres)!
Jardins Albert Kahn: the most soothing
When he bought this private mansion in 1895 in the Hauts-de-Seine, banker Albert Kahn devoted himself to botanical arts, his true passion. With the help of the head gardener Louis Picart, they created a "stage" garden, a peculiar genre typical of the 19th century. You can admire a French garden, an English garden, a Japanese garden and a Vosges forest. The Albert Kahn Gardens, peaceful and contemplative, echo the ideal of universal peace the philanthropic banker defended during his life, through the study and knowledge of different cultures. Closed for renovations until this year, the Musée Albert Khan has now reopened to the public.