Saumur and the surrounding area of the Loire Valley
has lots to offer its visitors, the Loire is an ideal location for cycling and walking enthusiasts to holiday, there are some first-rate golf courses nearby, historic towns
, stylish cities
, magnificent chateaux and fine museums to visit plus many more attractions to entertain you.
If you are planning a holiday in this region of France Saumur may suit your requirements.
Saumur with its fairy-tale chateau, towering above the town and the River Loire was built largely in the 14th century by Louis I Duc d’Anjou. It houses the Horse Museum and the Decorative Arts Museum, parts of the interior may be closed to visitors at the moment due to renovations taking place. You might want to see the Gothic church of St. Pierre and the towns oldest church Notre-Dame de Nantilly which contains a 16th century tapestry collection.
Saumur is principally a city of stone it was built in the chalk tuffeau stone, it has many imposing buildings as well as some well restored half-timbered buildings.
The Old Town is where you will find some good restaurants, bars and some interesting buildings. At the Place de la Bilange is the Tourist Office the staff will give you information on popular visitor attractions
in the town and surrounding areas. There are many cafes here where you can enjoy a coffee before setting off to see the sights!
At place St. Pierre you can sit at one of the outside tables have a glass of the local sparkling wine and watch the world go by, a pleasant relaxing way to start your holiday! If you need a little retail therapy there are some fashionable shops that may appeal to you and a vast selection of wines and cheeses on sale to tempt you.
Saumur is home to the French National Riding School and stages famous equestrian events and riding galas, the Cavalry museum may be of interest to some. You can take a guided tour of the Riding School, see the stables and watch some of the training sessions, if you are interested you get the opening hours and details from the Tourist Office in the town.
Another nearby attraction is the Musée des Blindès; if you are interested in military history this will suit you. Here there is an amazing display of over a 150 tanks from WW1 onwards; you will discover the history and uses of these armoured vehicles.
There are a variety of interesting places and attractions in this area; if you are holidaying with children a visit to the Zoo will probably interest them.
There is a zoo here which is well worth visiting the Doué la Fontaine or the Zoo de Doué (slightly different name) sometimes called one or the other it is the same zoo, there are over 500 animals many are endangered species. The site is in an unusual interesting setting, once an old quarry it has been suitably modified, the animals have plenty of room and space to roam in their enclosures.
A visit to the Troglodyte Village de Rochemenier approximately 20km from Saumur is worth doing, this unusual museum of Troglodyte dwellings carved out of the local stone give an insight into a unique way of life. There are furnished dwellings, a wine cellar and an underground church to name some of the interesting sights here.
There are collections of Troglodyte dwellings carved in the cliffs around the Loire River in the 12th century many of the population would have lived in such dwellings.
If you have some time and energy to spare there are other places of interest you may like to see. The Parc Miniature Pierre et Lumièe underground in galleries carved deep into the hillside is where you will find many of the Loire’s popular sites, carved by a Breton sculptor of tufa stone, there are chateaux, churches and towns all in the most superb detail. You may prefer to visit some wine growers caves in the charming villages
east of Saumur.
You will find Saumur and the area around makes a good holiday location with plenty of activities and attractions to suit most age groups.