in the Loire valley
The Loire is famous for its châteaux and there are almost too many to mention. One or two of our favourites are: Chenonceaux spanning the river, the Villandry with its immaculate gardens and vegetable patches, Langeais which dominates the town and Rigny-Ussé where the fairly tale Sleeping Beauty hails, great for kids. Saumur is pretty imposing and the views are wonderful, whilst there is a lovely smaller château in Gizeux where the family offer a very interesting guided tour.
Fontevraud Abbey is well worth a visit, with its stunning architecture. It is just to the southwest of Candes-St-Martin, close to where the Lorire and the Vienne have their confluence.
Parçay les Pins is very proud of the fact that a friend of Rodin Claudel called Jules Desbois was born there and celebrates this by having a rather smart museum in the centre of the village, with the Café le Musée close by.
Le Lude is a pretty town and has some good places to eat, as is Baugé. Both have châteaux and are as interesting as the better known ones. Chinon is a beautiful old town, with its streets to walk around plus old fortress this can be a lovely way to spend the day.
Langeais is a beautiful town to sit and relax, with the chateaux in the main square you can sit and have a bite to eat then take a tour of the chateau and grounds.
Chateau Villandry is a must see whilst in the Loire, stunning gardens and tour of the chateau will keep you occupied for the morning before then getting some lunch in the town center.
Lac de Hommes, is a little hidden gem with natural lakes this is a great place to visit with kids, you can swim in the lakes but also they have an inflatable assult course as well as paddle boarding and other water sports. There is also a great little bar and restaurant to sit and have a bit to eat in.
Bioparc, just beyond Saumur is a wonderful zoo built into the old quarry. Unlike most zoo’s the animals here have lots of space to walk around in plus you are above the animals so get a great view of them, a definate for kids.
Saumur has some great little attractions also including boats rides and kayaking down the Loire river a lovely way to spend the day when the weather is good.
For bike rides there are a number of routes around the area being near a national park area its great for both road bikes and mountain bikes, please see local tourist point for information on routes.