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Take a break in one of the remarkable gardens of Auvergne, perfect for a family outing to discover the castles and landscapes of the region. While Auvergne is most known for its wild rivers and volcanic landscapes, hundreds of gardens are waiting to be discovered. French, English or unclassifiable, a visit to the gardens of Auvergne are a must on your holiday in France.
The Auvergne is home to 9 gardens of the prestigious "jardin remarquable” label. These public and private gardens are exceptional either in design, the types of plants represented or both. Many of them are attached to chateaux and make for a great afternoon visit. Make sure to call ahead or visit their websites for hours, times and prices.
Just north of Moulins, the capital of Allier, you’ll find the Arboretum de Balaine, in Villeneuve-sur-Allier which is the oldest private botanical garden in France, created in 1804. The chateau, La Demeure d’Aglaë, is a five-room guest house with views of the park.
The Domaine Royal de Randan was the last royal estate created in France, and one of few found in the provinces. With French, Italian and English influences, the gardens of the Domaine Royal de Randan are a must-see visit in Auvergne. A discovery trail gives information on the history of the site and of course of the plant life. The estate is a venue for concerts, shows, night-time and theme-based tours, as well as exhibitions and festivals.
In the heart of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes, the French gardens of the Château de Cordès, in Orcival include two formal gardens with basins and a labyrinth with a rose garden.
Also overlooking the volcanoes is the Château Dauphin in Pontgibaud. This fortress is surrounded by an impressive estate, including an abundant vegetable garden.
Just fifteen minutes from Clermont-Ferrand, the Château d’Opme in Romagnat offers French gardens with a magnificent fountain as well as a vegetable garden and an orchard.
At the foot of the famous Gergovie plateau, the Château de la Batisse in Channonat is surrounded by French gardens, their main highlight being the fountains and waterfalls.
This 14th century Chateau de Chavaniac-Lafayette fortified chateau was the birthplace of the celebrated General the Marquis de La Fayette. The French gardens have hundreds of varieties of trees two ponds as well as a rose garden.
The medievally inspired contemporary garden Le Verger de Déduit of the Château de la Trémolière in Anglards de Salers is a representation of two stories: the story told in a tapestry collection entitled “The Fantastic Bestiary” and of “The Novel of the Rose”.