Loire cycle route. Tours – Villandry

The section of the Loire cycle route from Tours to Villandry deserves a your attentioin, even if you’re not a big fan of cycling. Idyllic landscapes, not too tiring road through the fields with poppies and cornflowers along the slow river and at the end of a beautiful castle with Renaissance gardens.

Villandry combines fine with other castles – as a bicycle, car or bus route to several points.

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Weinheim

Weinheim

Weinheim is located in a densely populated strip along the Rhine from Mannheim to Frankfurt. Two autobahns, industrial areas along them, the Mannheim – Heidelberg – Weinheim circular tram – having traveled back and forth to Frankfurt and Mannheim, I never imagined that such a cozy town could be hidden at the foot of the mountains.

Extensive green belt around the old town – Hermannshof Garten, turning into the city park and Exotenwald – makes the visit especially lovely. The picture is complemented by two castles: the picturesque ruins of the 11th century and a fresh one from the 20th century, in the style of historicism.

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90+ parks and gardens in Germany on the map

In France, there is a special website that lists all available gardens and parks, down to the smallest amateur ones. It can be difficult to assess the level of the garden there. In Germany, there is no such site, and finding gardens and parks is not so easy: gardening farms will come up with a search.

In this topic I collect German gardens, parks and flower fields that I know. Gardens at palaces, if they are important as an independent unit, are also indicated.

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Potsdam park Sanssouci

Potsdam, a satellite of of Berlin that smoothly turns into Berlin itself, is associated primarily with the Sanssouci park and palace. This is a very green city, with huge expanses of water around, there are not one or two palaces in it, although it is not necessary to visit all of them.

Potsdam can be a good base from which to explore Berlin and the surrounding area. It is cheaper to live here than in Berlin, you can rent a good apartment. But you need to settle either not too far from the station, or have access to highways, that is, do not go deeper into the city center.

Since the reunification of Germany, the complex of gardens and palaces of Brandenburg and Berlin is constantly being restored. For current openings and closings, see the site of the palaces.

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Stuttgart zoo Wilhelma. Flowers

Stuttgart Wilhelma Blüte

The zoo-botanical garden, unique in Germany, was built in Stuttgart in the middle of the 19th century for King William (Wilhelm) 1 of Württemberg. Therefore the name Wilhelma. About 9000 thousand animals are represented. Greenhouses are open to the public: among the most important are collections of orchids, magnolias (March), camellias (winter).

It would seem that over the years we have studied Wilhelma inside and out. And nevertheless, each visit brings at least small, but discoveries.

Wilhelma is a large park. It will take 3 hours to examine it at a fast pace. As it turned out, it also takes time to talk about it, so the topic was divided into botanical and zoological parts.

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Around Venice. Villa Pisani and other Brenta Villas

Some villas with the Villa Pisani are located around Padua, and the picturesque Euganean Hills stretch to the south. From Padua, you can easily get by train to the walled cities: Montagnana, Cittadella, Castelfranco; to Vicenza, Bassano del Grappa, Treviso, not to mention Venice.

But here we will only talk about the immediate vicinity – more about Villa Pisani and short about other villas.

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Baden-Baden rose garden

Baden-Baden Rosengarten

Baden-Baden rose garden is called Rosenneuheitengarten – that is, rose’s novelties.

There is a garden above the Kurpark – straight from the Kurpark along the street, a rather steep climb. It is very difficult to get there by car along some strange narrow road. There is probably some more “human” road there, but newcomers to this city will have a lot of emotions trying to get to the garden and parks. You can park along the street near the garden, although this is not indicated anywhere. However, there are a lot of people who wish, and free places fly away immediately.

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Luneburg Heath

Luneburg Heath Schneverdingen

Before, I did not understand why tourists visit the Luneburg Heath in such an amazing amount. But now I know and I will always be glad to come back again.

Heath is something amazing. It would seem that it should be just depressing: swampy landscape, clusters of trees here and there. But instead, you have a sense of freedom. The smell of pines and heather, the buzzing of bees – you can walk endlessly.

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Ascona / Locarno. 2. Island Brissago

On the lakes of Italy and in Ticino, there are many former villas with gardens created by their wealthy owners and opened to the public after their death. There are also just parks without villas. In the vicinity of Locarno, lovers of parks and gardens can see: the camellia park in Locarno (it makes sense only during the flowering season), the tea plantation in Ascona, the botanical garden on the Brissago island, the botanical garden in Gambarogno.

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Attractions of Tours city

Tours

If you are traveling through the Loire Valley by public transport, the Tours city will be the best choice for accommodation. It is a very pretty city in itself. There are enough hotels in it. Tours is also located in the very center of a large group of castles – getting to any of them will not be difficult:

  • upstream of the Loire – castles Chambord, Blois, Chaumont, Cheverny, Ambois;
  • downstream – Langeais, d’Usse, Saumur, Angais, Brissac, Montsoreau, Fontevraud;
  • on the river Cher, also passing through Tours, – Chenonceau, Loches, Villandry и Azay-le-Rideau;
  • on the river Indres – Chinon

They are not all that far from the Tours and from each other. But combining several places in one day is not so easy if you are without a car, due to the unconvenient transport system in the region.

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Brittany. Paimpol. Côte de Goelo

Bretagne

The last day in Brittany was disgusting. The weather didn’t just turn bad. Cold, if not frosty, june morning began with thick fog combined with light rain. But sitting in the same bottle, that is, in the house, with a little genie was not possible. So we set off towards Paimpol and the island of Brehat in the hope that the weather will improve.

On the way, we stopped at Pontrieux and the Roche-Jagu castle. This part of Brittany left the impression of being wild and more authentic than the nearby resorts of the Pink Granite Coast. Although, perhaps, the weather is to blame for this.

In this post all interesting, what you can visit around Paimpol.

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Dennenlohe. Rhododendron Garden

Germany has magnificent botanical gardens. And many of the front gardens delight the eye with their continuous flowering. But the garden as an art is a rare phenomenon here. Garden exhibitions (BuGa), which are supposed to show garden art, demonstrate much more gardening here. And there are certainly few large picturesque gardens.

One such phenomenon is the garden of Dennenlohe Palace.

Dennelohe Park

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Schwetzingen. Cherry blossom garden

Schwetzingen

Not far from Speyer or Mannheim, on the way to Heidelberg, is the city of Schwetzingen.

There is a summer residence built for the electors of the Palatinate in the 18th century. The palace with the rococo-style theater has been partially preserved, but the main attraction, which claimed to be included in the UNESCO list, is the palace park, modeled after Versailles. In my opinion, UNESCO is maybe a little too much for them, but the park is really picturesque.

A French regular park with a perspective, parterres, trimmed alleys and fountains – gradually, the further from the palace, the more, – transforms into an English landscape park with ponds, picturesque bridges, exotic garden buildings, including a mosque, a temple of Mercury, a bathing house in the style of an Italian villa.

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Bayreuth. 3. Rock garden Sanspareil

We continue the story about the creations of the Wilhemina of Prussia. This time about the rock garden Sanspareil in Wonsees.

The area around the castle Zwernitz served as hunting grounds for the margraves. The name Sanspareil comes from the words of one of the court ladies about the new rock park (Felsengarten) – “This is something incomparable!” The lady spoke in French, and these French words Wilhemina used to rename the place.

Bayreuth Felsengarten Sanspareil

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Bad Teinach Zavelstein Crocus fields

Bad Teinach Zavelstein

Once the inhabitants of the small town Zavelstein thought about the fact that the use of the land kills wild crocuses, and decided to fix it. First, they fenced off a piece of the fiel. Then they achieved that almost the entire field near their village fell under protection. They did not give it away for the construction of houses, did not build a nursing home, did not plow it up for rapeseed. But simply guarded so that once a year you could look at purple fields.

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Jungrau region. 8. Lake Thun (Thunersee)

Thunersee Oberhofen

Region Jungfrau has too much interesting. What to choose – Lake Thun or Brienz? Lake Thun is larger. The relief here is more varied, the picture is changing all the time. There are several interesting places on the lake: the Beatus caves, Spiez and Oberhofen castles, Thun and the Thun castle. Lake Brienz is rather monotonous in relief and boring, but Giessbach waterfalls are very impressive. So I would choose Lake Thun cruise, but also Brienz and Giessbach waterfalls with car or public transport.

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Ludwigsburg palace and gardens

Ludwigsburg is not so well known. However, apart from Wilhelma, this is the most interesting thing in the region. It is a must-see wenn you are staying in Stuttgart. In this post we see Ludwigsburg palace, gardens around, Favorit park up to Monrepos palace. In the end I tell about Ludwigsburg palace pumpkin festival.

Be sure to check if there are any extra activities. The city hosts a street music festival. While the park hosts musical fireworks and a great pumpkin festival.

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Bayreuth Eremitage

Bayreuth

The summer residence Eremitage Wilhemina was presented by her husband. There was already a palace and a park in a style reminiscent of the English landscape garden. Wilhemina expanded the palace, added more buildings and turned the park into a mixture of English and Baroque styles.

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