While visiting the Loire, we enjoyed the hospitality at the delightful B & B Le Clos Rabelais, in the charming little town of Langeais. Clean and quiet, and walking distance to excellent French bakeries and restaurants, we found it the perfect place for us to relax. Check out their details at bedandbreakfast.com
We particularly enjoyed our visit to the wonderful chateaus of the Loire valley in France. Each chateau presents to the visitor a time capsule of family and country history, architecture, fine and decorative arts, and gardening styles.
Chateau de Villandry

Chateau de Villandry

The stunning display of parterre planting at the Chateau Villandry is one of our favorites: acres of closely clipped box hedges enclosing color coordinated plantings of vegetables! You can’t believe that basil, leeks, and swiss chard can look so good! Really the ultimate in decorative vegetable gardening: even the fallow plots are decorated with carefully arranged pumpkins.

Other delightful chateau that we visited include Chenonceau with it’s arches built over the river. We also enjoyed the less known (and lightly visited) Chatonniere whose English style gardens are surrounded by flower carpeted woodlands. Of course, the Loire Valley is full of dozens of chateau: explore and find your favorite!

Where: Chateau de Villandry, 3 rue Principale, 37510 Villandry
What to do there: explore gardens and the chateau: art, tapestries, history
Company website: www.chateauvillandry.fr/en
Local Tourism Office: www.loirevalleytourism.com
Country Visa info: US citizens can visit France for 90 days without visa
Where and how to get there: 9 miles from Tours, shuttle bus in summer, or bike route
Cost: 10 Euros adult, 6.50 Euro children for chateau and gardens
Time: Daily, 9am to 7:30pm in summer
Food: snacks in the gift shop
Family experience: Enjoyable gardens for all ages