Places to Visit
There are so many places to visit it is difficult to choose
From romantic magnificent Chateaux, set in medieval cities, visiting vineyards to sample & purchase the local Saumur and Chinon wines to simply walking or cycling in the countryside,
Here are just a few that we have picked out - you can find leaflets and information on many of these and other places on the first floor landing of the main farmhouse - Or just ask....
Along the Loire valley there are the famous chateaux; the vineyards of Chinon and Saumur produce some of the finest wines in France and there are numerous local wine producers, both small and large who welcome visitors; wine tasting ('degustation') is almost always available as they are rightly proud of their wines.
The L’Abbaye Fontevraud , famous as the last resting place of King Richard the Lion Heart and Eleanor of Aquitaine is just down the road. Founded by Robert l’Arbrissel, it unusually included a nunnery and monastery together. After the revolution it became a prison but is now being beautifully restored. L’Abbaye has been designated the ambassador site for the Loire Valley World Heritage by UNESCO. It is open all year except some public holidays and frequently hosts attractions, concerts and animations.
The walled town of Richelieu, founded by the famous Cardinal Richelieu, is only a few minutes away. The 475 hectare Parc du Chateau is set within 7 kilometers of wall and has enclosed areas of deer and other animals. This is an ideal location for walks, picnics, etc.
The zoo at Doué Le Fontaine is great, set in the shelter of an old quarry giving the zoo animals shade and quiet. It is committed to helping species that are endangered in their own environment. The zoo has the largest aviary in Europe. It is also interesting to learn how the quarry developed as the local tuffeau stone was extracted.
Futuroscope is about 40 minutes away by car and is a huge attraction within the Vienne and visitors travel from all over Europe to visit this futuristic theme park. The park was founded by M. Rene Monory (minister for education at the time), a neighbour of ours who sadly passed away in 2009.
Vallée des Singes (Valley of Monkeys) is further, about 90 minutes drive, but it is worth spending a whole day there. It is a conservation centre for endangered primates. Monkeys and apes live free on islands in family groups alongside different species they could encounter in the wild but not compete with, often living at different levels within the forest canopy.
A national monument now a wonderful place for the Arts