The Parks and Gardens of the Loire Valley

Nicknamed the “Garden of France”, the Loire Valley has cultivated the art of gardens since the beginning of the 16th century. From the first Renaissance gardens to the contemporary creations of Chaumont-sur-Loire, including the essential gardens of Villandry, you will often find them serving as a setting for castles which they sublimate with their geometry or their fantasy, their colors and of their perfumes.

© Bike trip

Visit the most beautiful parks and gardens of the Loire Valley

From the first days of spring to the golden days of autumn, the numerous parks and gardens scattered throughout the bike routes invite you to stroll. Renaissance gardens, English-style parks, vegetable gardens, labyrinths, rose gardens, there is something for everyone! Here is a little preview of what awaits you in four gardens:

1. The gardens of Chaumont-sur-Loire

A castle overlooking the Loire, like something out of a fairy tale, and all around a vast English landscaped park.
The Gardens of Chaumont-sur-Loire are a place of creation and innovation in gardens. They offer a unique experience of art and nature, allowing visitors to discover new shapes, new colors and new ideas.
Not to be missed under any circumstances, the International Garden Festival, where since 1992, from April to October, landscapers, architects, artists and gardeners from around the world have been invited to design ephemeral gardens on a theme renewed each year. Around thirty original creations that we never tire of coming to discover every year!
In the Vallon des Brumes, you walk in the shade of a garden that looks like a tropical forest, to be surprised by the water misters that are found all along the route. A refreshing and unmissable experience when visiting the park!
Further on, in the meadows of Goualoup, we find the lasting creations of international artists and landscapers, such as the work Square and Round by Yu KongJiang, a body of water over which a wooden footbridge winds, decorated with long red bamboos.

2. The gardens of Villandry castle

About twenty kilometers from Tours, following the banks of the Cher à Vélo, here is Villandry, the latest Renaissance castle in the Loire Valley.


His Renaissance gardens, whose reputation is well established, are the result of meticulous reconstruction work initiated at the beginning of the 20th century from the study of archival documents. Spread over three levels of terraces, they illustrate the idea of the ideal garden imported from Italy at the beginning of the 16th century.


THE ornamental garden is made up of several “lounges”. There we find the Garden of Love made up of boxwood beds divided into four squares which symbolize different forms of love: passionate, tender, tragic and fickle. In the Music “living room”, the boxwoods take on the appearance of harps or lyres.


As to decorative vegetable garden, it is undoubtedly the highlight of the visit. In its nine squares of identical size, various flowers and vegetables come together to create unique geometric and colorful shapes. During the year, 40 species of vegetables are grown each year. Here's something to give ideas to amateur gardeners!
In Villandry, a labyrinth, a water garden, a simple garden and a garden of the sun complete this magnificent ensemble.

3. The gardens of the Château de Chenonceau

The visit of Chenonceau Castle and its park is pure enchantment, an unmissable escape on the road to Loire's castles. Nicknamed the Château des Dames, it is known to have been the subject of rivalries between Diane de Poitiers, a royal favorite, and Queen Catherine de Medici. Both lived there in turn and contributed to making Chenonceau a mecca of refinement and celebrations.
The new art of gardens, which came from Italy during the Renaissance, took hold particularly in Chenonceau where on either side of the entrance to the castle, these Ladies had raised terraces built to accommodate two sets of exceptional gardens and the protect from the floods of the Cher.

The garden of Diane de Poitiers

Offering a view of the east facade of the castle, this garden with a perfectly symmetrical layout is planted with climbing roses, yews, spindle trees and other shrubs including hibiscus on stems which in summer complete the flowering of the paths. In the center, as originally, a basin and a water jet add a delicate touch.

The garden of Catherine de Medici

Following the accidental death of Henry II during a tournament, Queen Catherine de Medici hastened to take back Chenonceau from her rival. From then on, it undertook major development work, including the raising of the bridge spanning the Cher on 3 floors as well as a garden for walking and pleasure, with a view of the west facade of the castle. Five lawn beds decorated with boxwood, lavender and flower beds frame an adorable circular pond.

Yew maze, green garden and flower vegetable patch

It would be a shame to leave Chenonceau without having experienced the yew labyrinth, inherited from Catherine de Medici, or taking advantage of the shaded spaces offered by the centuries-old trees of the English-style park.


As for the immense vegetable garden, it is inseparable from the discovery of the gardens. Its 12 squares of cut flowers are used to compose the magnificent bouquets placed in all the rooms of the castle.

4. The gardens of the Château d’Amboise

Amboise Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in the Loire. Built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Loire, within its ramparts it houses a landscaped area labeled “Remarkable Garden” since 2017.
On the embankment leaning against the rampart at the eastern end, in an Italian-inspired decor, hundreds of boxwoods cut into balls flow down in rows to the terrace of the Garden of Naples. This terrace is located on the site of the first castle garden designed in the 15th century by Dom Pacello Da Mercogliano, Italian Master Gardener in the service of Kings Charles VIII and Louis XII.
The terrace is now made up of 6 lawn beds bordered with purple lavender and terracotta pots. It offers one of the most beautiful views of the Loire Valley.
The gardens of Amboise are designed as a place of pleasure and comfort and they are discovered like a mirror of History, in a contemporary definition. They wonderfully combine the charms of an Italian atmosphere with the sweetness of life of the Loire Valley.
Let us salute the eco-responsible management of the site and its commitment to an LPO refuge approach.

Your most beautiful photos of parks and gardens 🌷

Continue discovering the Loire Valley...

The castles

The Loire Valley is known worldwide for its great Renaissance castles: Blois, Chambord, Amboise, Chenonceau and many others! There's nothing like a bike trip to discover this unique architectural heritage in the world.

The landscapes

Around the Loire and its tributaries, discover multiple landscapes where nature and man have coexisted for 2000 years. Troglodytes, game-filled forests, majestic rivers, bucolic rivers... Welcome to the Loire Valley!

Vineyards and gastronomy

A large French wine region, the Loire Valley is renowned for the quality and variety of its wines: Vouvray, Chinon, Saumur… It offers a gourmet gastronomy of savory or sweet specialties. A region to discover by bike!

Discover our selection of turnkey tours around the Parks and Gardens of the Loire Valley.

From 830€
From 925€
From 1160€
From 280€
From 360€
From 460€
From 675€
From 810€
From 1050€

Your questions about the Parks and Gardens of the Loire Valley

Here is some more information to answer your most frequently asked questions:

Parcs et jardins

  • Which gardens to visit with the children?

    All the parks and gardens can be visited with children! Here are some ideas to entertain young and old.

    • HAS Cheverny, after a visit to the castle and the “Tintin and the Secrets of Moulinsart” exhibition, set off to discover the 6 thematic gardens. Tulip garden, garden of Love, apprentice garden, orchard, vegetable garden and a laurel maze to have fun getting lost or coming out with a stopwatch in hand! 
    • HAS Chaumont-sur-Loire The International Garden Festival will undoubtedly amuse children who will be able to flit from one garden to another without ever getting tired. A treasure hunt is offered to accompany them on their journey.  
    • At Clos Lucé, you can request a free game booklet at the entrance to the manor. It immerses young explorers in the world of Leonardo da Vinci to allow them to discover the area while having fun. In the park, they will be able to experiment with life-size models of the inventions of the Renaissance genius.
  • How to discover the parks and gardens of the Loire by bike?

    The Loire Valley castles are home to the majority of parks and gardens along your cycling routes in the Loire Valley. You just need to cycle ten to thirty kilometers to go from one to the other. 

    You will often have to combine your visit with the purchase of a castle and gardens ticket. However, in Villandry or Beauregard, you can buy a Gardens ticket only. 

    Some sites only offer visits to their gardens. This is the case of the Gardens of the Château de Valmer, the Château de la Bourdaisière or the Jardins de Roquelin in Meung-sur-Loire.

  • Are there bicycle parking spaces at the entrance to the gardens?

    Yes, all sites offer bicycle reception. Bicycle parking spaces are available to cyclists so that they can lock up their bicycles and fully enjoy their visit. You will find them most of the time at the entrance to the site or sometimes within its enclosure, such as at Clos Lucé in Amboise. Luggage lockers receive personal effects. 

    Note that during your stay with Trip à Vélo, you can leave your bike and your luggage in your hotel when it is close to the place of visit.

  • Can we eat in the parks and gardens of the Loire castles?

    It is not uncommon to find restaurants or fast food places within parks and gardens. Picnics, however, are rarely permitted but rest areas are often set up at the entrances. 

    Restaurants or fast food areas are present in the parks of Chambord, Beauregard, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Cheverny, at Clos Lucé in Amboise, at the Domaine Royal de Château-Gaillard, at la Bourdaisière in Montlouis-sur-Loire and in Villandry .

    Picnic in a park is possible in Chambord, Beauregard, in the gardens of the bishopric of Blois, or even in Cheverny for an entrance fee.

Do you still have questions about choosing your bike trip to the land of Loire castles? Do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help you choose the solution that suits you best, according to your desires and your constraints.

To find out more...

Parks and gardens of the Loire Valley by department

We have selected for you the most beautiful parks and gardens that line the Trip à Vélo circuits. Some, which we have identified with our pictogram, display the label “Remarkable Garden”. Awarded by the Ministry of Culture for a renewable period of 5 years, this label rewards parks and gardens of cultural, historical, aesthetic or botanical interest and of course carefully maintained.


Orléans-la-Source: Floral Park
Meung-sur-Loire: The gardens of Roquelin

Loir et Cher

Blois: rose garden of the bishopric terraces
Chambord: park and gardens of the Chambord castle
Cheverny: park and gardens of Cheverny castle
Beauregard: park and gardens of Beauregard Castle
Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire

Indre et Loire

Chenonceaux: park and gardens of Chenonceau castle
Amboise: gardens of the royal castle of Amboise , Château du Clos Lucé, Royal Domain of Château-Gaillard
Montlouis-sur-Loire: park and gardens of the Château de la Bourdaisière
Chançay: park and gardens of Valmer castle
Villandry: gardens of Villandry castle
Château du Rivau: gardens of Château du Rivau