Loire Valley

    • Angles-surl'Anglin Jours

    Angles-sur-l’Anglin is on the borders of Berry and Touraine ; it gets its name from the Angles, the Saxon tribe that invaded England in the 5C, and from the river that separates the upper part of the village from the lower one. As for its reputation, that has been established for the past 150 years thanks to its "jours" – a wonderful form of hand-made drawn-thread embroidery. The village is also famous for its 15000 year old Magdalenian sculptures of the "Witches’ Rock"...

     Themes

    • By the wateride : The river Anglin
    • Castles and ramparts : The fortress
    • Unusual sights : The "Witches' Rock" and its Magdalenian sculptures

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    • Apremont-sur-Allier Parc Floral pont chinois

    Apremont is nestled in the heart of Berry, in a bocage landscape criss-crossed by hedges and copses on the banks of the Allier. The village is overlooked by its castle which is surrounded by a flower garden inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s landscaped garden in Sissinghurst ; the village was completely restored in the last century.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Allier
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle

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    • Candes-Saint-Martin vue depuis la Loire

    A former fishing and inland water transport port that sprang up where the Rivers Vienne and Loire meet, Candes-Saint-Martin displays great contrast with its black slate roofs and its white tufa walls that adorn the houses and the Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Collegiate Church of Saint Martin
    • By the waterside : The Rivers Vienne and Loire
    • Wine : AOC Touraine wines

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    • Crissay-sur-Manse maisons

    In the heart of Touraine, in the Manse Valley, this former lord’s domain belonging to L’île Bouchard and the archdiocese of Tours has kept the ruins of its 15C castle, its 16C church that houses the tomb of poet Joachim du Bellay’s cousin and its white tufa houses where square turrets, mullioned windows and finely sculpted windows are key features.

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Wine : AOC Chinon and locally produced wines

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    • Gargilesse tours château

    In the leafy valley of the River Creuse, this Berry village that George Sand was so fond of has played host to many painters all of whom were charmed by the romantic sight of its steeply-roofed houses, clustered harmoniously around the Romanesque church and the castle. Gargilesse still enjoys a wealth of cultural events today that take place in a welcoming, easygoing atmosphere.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Creuse
    • Abbeys and churches : 11C Byzantine and Romanesque church
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle
    • Unusual sights : George Sand’s house

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  • A gothic bridge spans the Loir to get to this village that lies nestled at the foot of a fortified castle that withstood an attack by Richard the Lion Heart but was taken by Henri IV’s troops. Today, visitors can admire what is left of the walls and towers and the 26-metre-high keep. There is a mix of architectural styles and periods in the village, from cave dwellings to gothic and Renaissance houses.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Church of Saint Genest
    • By the waterside : River Loir
    • Castles and ramparts : Fortified castle
    • Wine : Coteaux du Vendômois wines

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    • Montrésor balade à pied

    50 kilometres southeast of Tours, Montrésor stands on the banks of the Indrois which reflects the remains of the double enclosure walls of this old fortress and its Renaissance castle. In the village, the houses with their white tufa walls or half-timbering mix with semi-cave dwellings.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Indrois
    • Abbeys and churches : Collegiate Church of Saint Jean Baptiste (15C)
    • Castles and ramparts : The remains of the double enclosure wall (11C), the Renaissance castle

     

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  • Montsoreau lies between Anjou and Touraine and has the River Loire as prestigious setting. The 15C castle made famous by Alexandre Dumas’ novel "La Dame de Montsoreau" is reflected in the waters of this legendary river. All around, flower-decked streets with slate-roofed, white tufa houses and green pathways lead to the Saumur vineyards.

    Themes

    • By the waterside : The river Loire
    • Castles and ramparts : The castle (15C)
    • Unusual sights : The mushroom farm, cave dwellings
    • Wine : AOC Saumur wines, Saumur-Champigny, Crémant de Loire

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    • Saint-Benoît-du-Sault Portail

    This old medieval settlement is situated at the crossroads of Berry and Limousin. It was built on a granite rock around a Benedictine priory and overlooks the river. Enjoy a charming stroll through its steep streets and discover its 15C and 16C houses, its church and priory along with the Portefeuille valley which visitors get a lovely view of from the village.

    Themes

    • Abbeys and churches : Benedictine priory, 11C Romanesque church
    • Castles and ramparts : Ramparts, fortified gate, rampart walk

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  • Situated between Laval and Le Mans, Sainte-Suzanne is perched at a height of 70 meters above the Erve valley. Known for having braved William the Conqueror, the medieval town has kept a rich patrimony from this time. The origins of Sainte-Suzanne are older though. The Erves dolmen (the oldest monument of Mayenne) and recent archaeological excavation prouve that the site existed five or six centuries B.C...

    Themes

    • Castles and ramparts : the ramparts and the medieval dungeon, the Renaissance castle
    • Panoramas : view from the dungeon and the castle
    • Unusual sights : the Erves dolmen

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