Here are some ideas for how to spend your days out and about - of course you can always just lie back and relax.

Many places are closed on Monday, particularly out of the main season, and others can be busy on Wednesdays when children are off school - so the day you visit can be important.

Sunday

  1. A lazy day - After breakfast take a short drive to nearby Montsoreau (20km) to visit the small market - a larger flea market every 2nd Sunday.
    Enjoy a coffee sat by the river Loire.
    Return via Saumur to get your bearings.
    Ask us where to park in summer.
  2. After lunch take a relaxing walk into Brézé, through the vineyards take a look at the chateau and taste their wines - a red fizzy is a speciality.
  3. Alternative - take a drive to Montreuil-Bellay 10km and stroll down by the river Thouet and admire the chateau.

Monday

  1. Visit Doue la Fontaine, (20km) there is a market on Monday morning.
    Try a low-cost lunch at La Roma.
  2. Vast Doue Zoo.
    This is a WWF breeding zoo set in a picturesque former stone quarry so all the animals have good space and often have their babies with them.
    In summer the animals can be lazy so better to go in the cooler morning.
  3. Alternative - visit the rose garden, Rose exhibition in July, or the Japanese gardens at Maulévrier.

Tuesday

  1. Visit the market at Bourgueil, (20km); treat yourself to a coffee and slice of galet at the cafe opposite the indoor market.
    Drive on to Villandry (another 20km) and have fresh picnic by the river Cher.
  2. If you only visit one chateau in the region, we believe that the chateau and gardens at Villandry is the one to choose.
    The chateau has been owned by the same family since 1910 and contains their art collections and furniture.
  3. The gardens are the most elaborate planting that you are likely to come across - you will not fail to be impressed.

Wednesday

  1. Drive to Angers (50km) following the touristic route along the Loire via Gennes - this route passes the best champagne style wine producers of the Loire - can you pass them without stopping?
  2. Park in Angers near to the castle, there are many nice bistro style restaurants in the ancient city.
    There are some very nice boutiques for shopping as well as visits to the chateau; tapestry of the apocalypse as well as many galleries and museums.
    Spending more time in Angers would be very easy.

Thursday

  1. Visit the market at Chinon following the scenic route via Roifee and Lerne
  2. Spend the day in Chinon the rallying point of Joan of Arc fight against the English visit the Chateau with its views along the river Vienne.
    Return following the Vienne to Candes St Martin, where it joins the Loire.
    Alternatively visit the Cadre Noir in Saumur, we can organise tickets, if you wish.

Friday

  1. Visit the abbey at Fontevraud (10km).
    Richard the Lionheart and Elinor of Aquitaine are buried here, but it is the sheer scale of the restored architecture that you will remember.
  2. Perhaps in preparing for your return journey, you may want to buy some wine.
    Why not try the local co-operative Caves de Saumur at Saint Cyr en Bourg just 5km away.