Sunday, 6 December 2009

12 More Things To Do in the Loire Valley Around Saumur

Back in August I started a series of "12 Tips for Things to do in the Loire Valley" around Saumur. It's now December the days are shorter, darker and colder but in between we get some beautiful blue sky days which provide a great opportunity to explore the local area which is so rich and varied in it's history and culture. So here are some ideas for day trips from La Grande Maison along with some places to visit a little closer to home.

1. Fontevraud Abbey is a must see especially the tombs of the Plantagenêts, Aliénor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, Henri II and Isabelle d'Angoulême

2. The beautiful medieval city of Loches with it's imposing 11thC Dungeon built by Foulques Nerra. It's a long climb up and not for those with a fear of heights!

3. The 17thC (New Town) of Richelieu with it's stunning Baroque church and mathematical town planning. The chateau and gardens a worth a visit too.

4. The City of the Plantagents in Le Mans with it's glorious St Julien Cathedral

5. The light in the David d'Angers Sculpture Gallery in Angers is amazing and the Beaux Art gallery has a great permanent collection along with innovative exhibitions.

6. The old LU (Lieu Unique) biscuit factory in Nantes converted into a funky bar and has a great book store and theatre space.

7. It's worth getting up early enough to see the sunrise over the Loire

8. Take the Amarante boat along the river for a great view of Candes St Martin

9. See Joan of Arc ride her horse into Chinon or visit the house of Rabelais La Deviniere.

10. Brewing beer is becoming popular locally. Tastings can be arranged at Brasserie des Fontaines just across the vineyards from La Grande Maison.

11. Fine dining in the many of the local restaurants just ask us for a recommendation.

12. ...and certainly don't miss the wooden alterpiece (misericord) in the local church of Le Puy Notre Dame. The carved stall of the monk drinking out of the barrel has become the symbol for one of the latest wine appellations Saumur - Le Puy Notre Dame AOC !