Ten Favourite Parks and Gardens in Paris Region
If you're traveling to Paris, take advantage of the region's numerous parks and gardens to enjoy a relaxing moment while also soaking up French culture, history and art…
Paris and its region are endowed with a rich history and a visit to a castle and its estate can provide the opportunity for some magnificent strolls. The most majestic of the castle gardens is of course the Château de Versailles. Created by Le Nôtre to glorify Louis XIV the Sun King, the gardens of Versailles represent the pinnacle of formal French-style gardening, with classic groves and geometric perspectives. From spring through autumn, visitors can also enjoy the Musical Fountains and the Musical Gardens shows here.
For a long time thought to be the work of Le Nôtre, the gardens at the Château de Courances were in fact created a century earlier. They are emblematic of Renaissance water gardens and offer a bucolic setting for a promenade. In the summer, the pools, canals and numerous fountains provide welcome coolness.
The Domaine de Coursonis a Romantic garden, designed by some of the best landscape architects of the 19th and 20th centuries. Here, throughout the seasons, nature and design coexist in perfect balance. The bright and open brick-and-stone castle, as well as its décor and furnishings, are also inspired by this harmonious philosophy.
Paris is packed with botanical treasures. Still today, the Jardin des Plantes, home to the National Museum of Natural History, upholds its four-century-long mission to spread botanical knowledge. Originally the Royal Garden of Medicinal Plants, the park divides its rich natural heritage across 11 different gardens.
At the heart of the Domaine Départemental de la Vallée-aux-Loups – Maison de Chateaubriand, 12 kilometres from Paris, the exceptional Arboretum is home to 500 species of trees and shrubs. Its unique botanical heritage is epitomised by the famous weeping cedar, which stretches up over 14 metres high and whose branches cover an area of nearly 700m2. The park is organised into themed gardens : fruit, flowering, chestnut, and alder trees, etc.
Created by Jean -Baptiste de La Quintinie to supply the tables of the Sun King, the King's Kitchen Garden at Versailles grows an impressive number of fruits and vegetables, often rare or little-known, and maintains historic pruning techniques for its fruit trees.
With its square beds planted with vegetables and flowers typical of the 17th century, the Saint-Jean de Beauregard Kitchen Garden is one of the rare flowering kitchen gardens to have survived intact up to the present day. The rare or forgotten flowers, fruits andvegetables grown here have brought the estate wide renown.
At the gothic Royaumont Abbey, the largest Cistercian abbey in the region, the medievally inspired gardens contain aromatic and medicinal plants and also a vegetable garden and orchard.
In the 19th century, the first garden entirely dedicated to roses, the Val-de-Marne Rose Garden, was born. Famous throughout the world, it cultivates varieties from East Asia as well as modern French roses, across thirteen collection gardens.
The great park of the medieval city of Provins is home to the Provins Rose Garden, which offers visitors a chance to wander among 450 varieties of ancient and modern roses. The most famous, Rosa gallica officinalis, also known as "Rose de Provins", was brought back from the Crusades in 1240 by Thibaud IV of Champagne and has become one of the symbols of the town.
And for a unique way to discover Paris's most beautiful gardens – from the garden of the Rodin Museum to the Parc Monceau – and while admiring the Eiffel Tower or the Champs-Élysées, treat yourself to a ride in an historic Citroën 2CV with the specialist tour company 4 Roues Sous 1 Parapluie.