My husband and I will be in Paris for about 5 days this May and we want to visit Vilandry. On their website it says this is possible as a day trip but doesn't say how long it will take. Is this possible from Paris or should we paln an overnight in the area. Also, we will not have a car. Thank you!
It can't be that hard. A TGV will run to Tours from Paris Montparnasee and probably take a bit over an hour. The closest train station to Vilandry that I can picture is across the river at Cinq-Mars. The train would have to get there from Tours. I don't have any idea what the taxi/bus situation is - - it's shrimpy place. There's bound to be either a taxi or bus (maybe both) from Tours which is only fifteen miles east. Figure two hours of total travel time each way. I have no idea how long it takes to see the chateau, I've only driven past it and was more interested in the river on the other side of the road.
If you stay the night you can see some of the other chateaus as well. I didnt find Villandry the most interesting of the chateaus we saw.
It can be a day trip... as mentioned, take the train from Gare Montparnasse to Tours and then you can decide how you want to get there (rent car/bike, taxi, guided tour offered at Tourist Office). I've been to Vilandry and offer 2 suggestions: 1) go on a sunny day... the gardens are the main attraction & if it's raining it will spoil your day (the chateau itself isn't all that great). 2) combine it with a visit to 1 or 2 other chateaux; Azay-le-Rideau is very close and Chenonceau is only a ½ hour away.
Tim hit the nail on the head; Villandry is known for its stunning gardens, not the chateau, so be sure it's a nice day. Also, if you can make it out of town a couple of kilometers, you can eat at the Goussier Sec, a restaurant in a cavern dug out of the hillside, a troglodyte in French. Great homemade terrine mmmm. Many people in the western part of the Loire Valley lived in cave homes dug out of the rock up until the beginning of the 20th C.
Thank you for your replies. The main reason I wish to visit is because the gardens, now that I know this is possible as day trip from Paris this will be part of my trip.