Spring in French is ‘printemps’ which is translated as ‘prins’ or first, and ‘temps’ as in weather, and that sums up the season up just perfectly.
The weather is getting warmer, and flowers are beginning to shoot and show themselves. The blossom is appearing on the trees, and spring days are getting longer. Now is one of the most special times to visit France, the countryside is green, and lambs are in the meadows and the last remnants of winter is all gone.
We’ve written a blog on the many wonderful châteaux of France, but many, if not all of them have stunning landscaped gardens which are all coming into their own at this time of the year.
So here are our recommendations on some of our favourite gardens to visit, which, beginning now, will be some of the most beautiful gardens across France.
Of course, we can’t write a blog about gardens in France without mentioning the Palace of Versailles.
These stunning gardens are just out of this world, and really came into their own when Louis XIV commissioned a gardener to begin renovating, and those renovations lasted over 40 years. Carving out the canal and fountains were a massive undertaking. The gardens have been maintained since then, and roughly every 100 years are replanted. Damage from a storm in 1999 led to the latest round of replanting and so the garden is fairly young at the moment, giving it that authentic look how it would have appeared in Louis XIV’s time.
With plenty to see, you could easily lose a few hours in these gardens!
Our Royal Ride to Versailles cycling tour allows you to stop at Versailles on the itinerary, and has been newly updated for this year:
Monet’s Gardens at Giverny
Giverny caught Monet’s eye through a train window, and he was so entranced that he moved here, and set about creating wonderful gardens for him to paint. And what gardens they are. You will probably recognise many of the sights, including the wonderful little bridge over the water lily pond, you know the one!
The House and Garden became a museum in 1980 after a huge restoration project was completed. Now, thousands of visitors can walk among the plants and smells and sights that so inspired Monet to paint some of his most fascinating pieces of art.
If it’s good enough for Monet, then you know it’s gotta be good, right?
You can visit Giverny as part of our Commemorative Cruise which sails through Northern France.
Château de Chaumont
Situated in the Loire Valley, these gardens play host to the International Garden Festival, think the French version of the Chelsea Flower Show. Gardeners all over the world put forward proposals to be one of 30 display themed gardens. It really has made its mark on the gardening calendar.
Aside from being a host to this amazing festival, the gardens themselves are worth visiting outside of the festival. From April the gardens play host to the Arts and Nature Centre which invites artists to submit visual and photographic exhibitions which are displayed all throughout the garden making it a wonderful place to explore.
Our Château to Château walking tour through the Loire Valley stops off here and other gardens too, a real treat for any nature lover.
Of course, this is just a small slice of the thousands of gardens to see, and many of our walking and cycling tours stop off at wonderful houses and castles throughout the whole of France. If you’d like to talk to us about putting together a tour where you can visit more of these stunning gardens, then get in touch.