This is a region of vineyards, hunting forests and limestone cliffs into which curious troglodyte dwellings have been carved, fortresses, French gardens but also chic sea side resorts on the coast.
It is also the garden of France, thanks to its mild climate. It is a land of colorful markets.
There are superb wines to be discovered in a region with more than 100 AOCs (appellation d’origine contrôlées) and a special cheese: Sainte Maure de Touraine, a popular crumbly goat’s cheese.
Harvest Sea Salt
“Flower of salt” is harvested in the Guérande salt marshes, late in the afternoon. Discover how crystals form on the surface of the œillets. Witness the harvesting of this pure white salt that never touch clay. It is carefully gathered by the salt workers using a special rake known as the lousse à fleur. The small quantity produced makes it a rare and popular product.
Visit a troglodyte Mushroom Museum
To understand more about mushrooms, and later to taste some of them, a visit to a Mushroom “Farm” in caves is a must. The amazing diversity of troglodytic cellars has allowed the Saumur region to become mushroom capital of France, especially for Paris button mushrooms of which it produces about 70%.
Take a Traditional Loire river Boat
Enjoy a lunchtime cruise on the Loire River, near Saumur. Indulge on locally produced food, drink local wines while admiring the sweeping views of the banks of the Loire Valley.
Visit a submarine
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea… In Saint-Nazaire you can visit a very real submarine. During her military career, the Espadon (“Swordfish”) sailed on – or rather under – the seven seas.
You will visit it from one end to the other, along the central gangway, which is quite narrow at places, and discover an exceptional maritime heritage.
OUR FAVORITE HOTELS
5-star hotel – La Baule
Le Castel Marie-Louise
5-star hotel – La Baule
This upscale hotel in a Belle Epoch-era manor house is across the street from a beach along the Bay of Biscay. It’s 2 km from La Baule-Escoublac train station and 11 km from the Océarium du Croisic sea life center.
Relais du Silence Chateau de Verrière Hotel & Spa
5-star hotel – Saumur
An 11-minute walk from the banks of the Loire river and 1.2 km from the medieval Château de Saumur, this upscale hotel occupies a stately 19th-century mansion with a grand staircase and wood-paneled walls.
Chateau des Briottières
4-star hotel – Champigné
Set in an 18th-century chateau surrounded by 50 hectares of parkland, this upscale hotel off the D190 road is 7 km from Anjou Golf and Country Club and 27 km from the theaters in the center of Angers.
Warmly decorated rooms have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some feature antique furnishings and/or claw-foot tubs. Plush upgraded rooms add sitting areas and minibars, and 1 adds a balcony. A 1-bedroom cabin adds a living room with a pull-out sofa. In-room massages are available for a fee.
There’s an ornate lounge with a bar, and a library, plus an outdoor heated pool and a tennis court. There’s also a game room and a play area.
La Mare aux Oiseaux
4-star hotel – Saint Joachim
In the marshland Brière natural park, this cozy, thatched-roof property with chic decor is 9.2 miles from Ranrouët Castle.
Bright, individually decorated rooms and suites feature stylish furnishings and contemporary en suite bathrooms. All have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and tea and coffeemaking facilities; some have private terraces and/or free-standing granite bathtubs. A few of the rooms are in a hut on stilts.
There’s a stylish restaurant with garden views and a terrace, plus a chic lounge. A spa area includes a pool, a whirlpool and sauna.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR TRAVEL AGENT FOR A QUOTE
Operations & Reservations
3477 Rushbrooke street, Suite 302
Verdun, QC, H4G IS8 CANADA
107-27 71st Avenue, Suite 403
Forest Hill, NY 11375
Toll free: 1-866-285-8758