Places of interest
Candes-Saint-Martin is an old fishing and inland waterway port , at the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers.
Stroll through its streets, admire the white tuffeau stone facades, discover the river's heritage at the Comptoir du Confluent, visit the collegiate church, go for a boat trip on a “toue cabanée” (traditional boat)...
Located in the heart of the Veron woodland, in two former 19th century farms, this museum helps you to better understand the relationships between man and the environment in the Chinon region.
Exhibitions, guided tours for young people, a conservation farm with old breeds of animals... For all ages!
The abbey was founded in 1101 by Robert d'Arbrissel, on a 13-hectare site, it immediately became one of the greatest monastic complexes in Europe.
Benedictine at the beginning, it was a mixed-gender monastery under the leadership of a woman. It housed the Plantagenet royal family tombs.
36 abbesses from the Bourbon family succeeded each other at the head of the Order of Fontevraud, before it becomes a prison.
Fortunately, it has been restored since!
Chinon Royal Castle
The royal castle of Chinon, a fortress dating from the 3rd millennium.
It was the residence of the French king Charles VII where Joan of Arc met him in 1429.
The castle also presents the history of the Templars (Jacques de Molay)
King Arthur and Kaamelott enthusiasts can enjoy entertainment until 15 November.
A great visit with family!
Why we recommend it :
The castle-palace of the Dukes of Anjou in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Château de Saumur, in which King René resided, is the last example of the princely palaces erected by the Valois dynasty.
Residence of the city's governors, prison, then arms and munitions depot, it was bought by the city in 1906 to house the municipal museum, now the Musée de France.
Why we recommend it :
It was built on an island in the middle of the Indre under the patronage of François I.
A subtle combination of French traditions and innovative decorations from Italy, it is an icon of the new art of building in the Val-de-Loire in the 16th century.
Its landscaped park, designed in the second half of the 19th century, offers a real natural setting.
This renaissance castle built between the 15th and 18th centuries and owned by the Duke of Blacas would have inspired Charles Perrault to write Sleeping Beauty.
Its French-style gardens, designed by Le Nôtre, are very well maintained.
Langeais Castle and Park
The historic wedding of Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany took place here on the 6 of December 1491.
The Foulques Nerras dungeon is one of the oldest stone dungeons still standing today, a must-see!
Rabelais Museum "La Devinière"
Why we recommend it :
More than a writer's house, La Devinière is the only museum dedicated to this major figure in French literature.
Classified as a historical monument, this constantly evolving museum is made up of a group of remarkable buildings, with strong evocative power
- 15th century dwelling, barn-dovecote, troglodytic dwelling, vast cellars, winegrower's house...
- surrounded by a garden, an orchard and vineyards.
Clos Lucé castel - Leonardo da Vinci park
Former residence of the kings of France, and above all the last home of Leonardo da Vinci.
who crossed the Alps with his Saint John the Baptist, Saint Anne the Virgin and his Mona Lisa and died here.
It is now a well-known museum about Leonardo da Vinci's life, so meet one of the greatest minds of all time!
Troglodytic valley of Goupillières
From the Middle Ages, farmers used to live in these troglodytic farms.
They started to dig these famous tuffeau stone hillsides to make their living environment and extract this nice limestone which will be used for centuries to build beautiful houses and the Loire castles.
You enter Islette castel through a gateway dated from 1638, flanked by two square pavilions.
The castle situated on the left bank of the Indre consists of a long rectangular, amazing three-storey building flanked by two big towers built in 1530.
It was the home of Rodin and Camille Claudel.
In 1891 the Société des Gens de Lettres commissioned Rodin to create a monument to Honoré de Balzac, one of France's greatest novelists, and he worked here for 7 years on this masterpiece!
Wine and Cooperage Museum
Dédé la Boulange is behind this museum which opened 1 June 1979 in Chinon; he spent years collecting all the tools on display. and it took 2500 hours to make the 14 automata.
You should have a regional meal at the restaurant between fouaces and fouées…bon appetit!
Maurice Dufresne museum
At the "Moulin de Marnay", near Azay-le-Rideau, the Maurice Dufresne Museum houses an astonishing collection of former vehicles, machines and objects, a rare mechanic heritage from the 1850s to the 1950s.
You will be delighted to discover 3000 extraordinary inventions.
Chinon, the land of Rabelais where it is good to live, where people share and celebrate.
Located in the heart of the Loire Anjou Touraine regional nature park, the city has been listed as a "Town of Art and History" since 2000.
Its narrow winding streets, timber-framed houses, tuffeau stone mansions and Its fortress perched at the top of the hillside bear witness to its history.
From up there, on the way to the Sainte-Radegonde chapel, you will enjoy stunning views of the town and its slate roofs, the Grand Carroi and the crossroads of the puits des bans.
Inhabited since Gallo-Roman times, Chinon stands along the Vienne river and the steep limestone hillsides. Its location has benefited its development over the centuries.
Its hour of glory? The Middle Ages. The historical figures who lived or left their mark here bear witness to this.
Among them: in the 12th century, Henry II, Queen Eleanor, Richard the Lionheart... and of course, later on, Joan of Arc who for the first time met the Dauphin, the future Charles VII, in Chinon in 1429. Which is its era of great changes? The 19th and 20th centuries, when public facilities flourished.... and, in 1958, the first French nuclear power station was built, a few kilometers away.
But Chinon is also a country, an ideal place to stroll, to ride a horse and even to drive
All along the Lower Vienne Valley, the castle of Crissay, the ruins of the Abbey of Tranchelion, or the Romanesque church of Avon-les-Roches await you...
On both side of the river, we also recommend visiting the villages of Panzoult and Rivière! And don't forget to drive to Candes-Saint-Martin, Huismes, Lerné...
These surrounding areas have so many churches, wash houses, dovecotes and narrow streets to discover.
So many architectural treasures, castles, historical monuments, writers' houses...
Chinon is of course, and above all, renowned AOC wines!
Three colours : 85% of the production is red, 13% rosé and 2% white.
Three grape varieties : red and rosé are Cabernet Franc (minimum 90%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (maximum 10%); white is Chenin (100%).
The vineyard covers nearly 2,300 hectares on both sides of the Vienne River, in the heart of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About 200 winegrowers, 60 merchants and the Chinon producers' group where you can visit the estates, the vineyards or the troglodyte cellars dug into tuffeau stone rocks.
An original idea among others: at Château de la Bonnelière you can adopt a vine, see the making of your wine and participate in the estate works!
Le Puy du Fou (theme park and Cinéscénie)
Puy du Fou is a historical theme park in Les Epesses in the heart of the Pays de la Loire region of Western France.
The folly of the inhabitants of a small village in the Vendée region has been since its creation in 1977 a world-renowned theme park, the French’s favourite park, the best theme park in Europe and even the best in the world.
In 2014, nearly 2 million visitors came to the Puy du Fou and went back in time!
Some 60 shows are on every day showing to visitors different eras and civilisations of history, from the Vikings to the Great War.
Actors, dancers, stuntmen and even falconers and craftsmen are on stage or in the reconstructed village where the attention to detail and realism is astounding!
Thanks to pyrotechnics and special effects you will witness great battles and impressive scenes as well as amazing stunts and acrobatics, performed by our talented actors! (like in the Viking show).
With the knights of the round table, the soldiers of the first world war and the musicians of the 18th century: no matter how old you are, you will be amazed!
Between shows, go to explore the 4 villages from different times.
The Bourg 1900 takes us back to the Belle Époque, in the Médiévale city you will meet forgotten craftsmen and see charming 18th century stone houses. in the Fort de l'An Mille, you will admire the know-how of blacksmiths.
End of the day.
Night falls on this huge site. It's time for night shows! It starts with a pyrotechnics show on the pond where a multitude of costumed musicians play romantic music.
Then you will be very impressed by the Cinéscénie, a large-scale reconstruction with 1,200 actors on a 23-hectare stage.
Finally, a sound and light show to end your day with a bang at the Puy du Fou.
Do you know Françoise Delord? Perhaps not.
And the "becs d'argent"? Probably not!
However, thanks to this encounter, Beauval zoo, the most famous site in the Loir-et-Cher, exists nowadays.
In the 1970s, this former actress won a couple of African birds, the "becs d'argent".
She liked them so much that she bought another couple the next day.
Soon there were more than 300 of them!
In June 1980, she opened the bird park and in 1989 she bought the first feline.
35 years later, the zoo has more than 5,700 animals of 600 species spread over 32 hectares! If the couple of pandas loaned by China remain the star of the zoo, you will quickly fall in love with the colony of 100 Humboldt penguins, the white lion and the white Siberian tiger (which owe their coat colour to a genetic mutation). rhinos, giraffes, panthers, bongos, African antelopes…
The beauval zoo has 450 births a year, you will be very pleased to see baby elephants, baby manatees…
You will certainly spend the whole day at the zoo, so you will find on-site 9 places to eat and drink: crêperie, chinese restaurant, pizza and self-service restaurant.
If you want to have a picnic you will have to go out of the park.
You will enjoy a fantastic bird show where you will see 200 birds ( birds of prey, pelicans, cranes, marabouts…and a great sea lion show.
The vivarium, , monkey island, , koala hothouse…different place, different ambiance!.
Entertainment, audio guides and fun booklets for children are available.
A very great but expensive "caretaker for a day" activity, which allows you to spend 2 to 4 hours (depending on age and from 10 years old only) close to the residents.
It's expensive, but we guarantee you the emotions!
The futuroscope is a future-themed amusement park opened in 1987, one of the most popular parks in France.
Located about 10 km from Poitiers, it is based upon multimedia, cinematographic futuroscope and audio-visual techniques. You will enjoy many attractions and shows, some of which are unique in the world !
Enjoy 25 original experiences with family and friends , including star attractions such as The Time Machine with the raving rabbids and Arthur the 4D Adventure, but as well.
the extraordinary journey (in the footsteps of Jules Verne), Ice Age no time for nuts 4D, dances with robots, the Arena fun experiences, the kube mysteries, the mysteries of the unseen world, the explorarium, dynamic vienne with its hilarious 4D effects, the 8th continent, cosmic collisions…and much more !
Discovery and thrills guaranteed for everyone! So many things to see that you might come back another day !
To end the day with a bang, don’t forget the magical evening show by the light of the moon with La Forge aux Etoiles, the aquatic fairytale fantasy from Cirque du Soleil.
The Cadre Noir
Guided tours of this historic equestrian dressage school, public performances, exceptional galas : the calendar is always open and full to discover this fascinating place.
You can stroll through the stables, the saddlery, the Grand Manège, and soak up the atmosphere of the place.
And behind the scenes, you can watch the life of the school, among several hundred hand-picked horses...