The name France comes from the Latin word “Francis” which means the country of the Franks. While there are many legends surrounding the name of the country, the places are a delight to visit and are among the major tourist attractions around the word. Connected to both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coastlines, France is one of the most economically stable countries in the European Union League. Apart from the sprawling landscapes, France also had adventure sports to offer. The country majorly believes in the concept of “parks”. While it has been bestowed with a lot of natural beauty, there are many man-made parks that the French have developed to increase the sightseeing and walking spaces in the area.
Saumur is the area between the Loire and the Thouet rivers and is a place of historical importance. Pretty important form the strategic point of view, this place was hugely exploited in the World War II. The best wines in the world are produced in Saumur and it is also known as the City of Quebec. This is one city which you should definitely visit if the love for horses can drive you crazy. It is known for the horse festivals and carnivals held throughout the year.
When to Go:
You can enjoy France the best in spring and autumn. Winters between November and February are a bit harsh for the outdoor excursions and the sight-seeing tours. The peak summers are too hot to be out in the sun.
So, plan your trip from March to May every year. Alternatively, you can have loads of fun between mid of August and Mid of November every year. Considering the place is a virtual tourist hub during this time, many wine festivals and tours are organized annually.
These are the top
things to do
in Saumur, France…
A Walk in the Old Town
While there are many things that may capture your fancy in Saumur, a
walk through the old town
is definitely an insight in to the history and origins of this place. This part of the region is famous for its historical monuments and churches. A deep relaxing stroll is what you need here. So hold hands with your loved one and take a long walk through the city, basking in the sun and seeing the parks in full bloom.
Most of the monuments here were demolished at the time of the World War II and the old town has all remains of the war memories. This place will show you the exact differences between the old town and the new modern developments. It takes just 15 minutes to reach his place and a walk is a memorable part of the trip. You may even hire Bicycles, single and twin sweater both, to enjoy your time in this area.
This place is a French Military Riding Academy, located in the western part of Saumur. The first Military Troops in France were founded in 1828. And the Cadre Noir derives its name from the jet black uniforms that they were using. This place is also considered to be one of the most famous Riding Academies in the world.
offers excellent horsemanship and expert riders –with an aim of providing training to Officers and Noncommissioned employees of the French cavalry.
There are many horse shows and competitions that are held here and it is an amazing wonder to see such trained horses and horseman beating the hoofs at the blow of a light whistle. While the shows are in French, you would still be able to enjoy the energy of the horses to the fullest. Not only can you see the horses from a distance, but you can also, go closer to the horses, feed them and caress them after the races finish. It is definitely the most beautiful way to spend the mornings.
There is also a national school built here around the Cadre Noir School. Called the National School of Equitation, this school provides world renowned teaching staff and the teachers here excel in their capabilities to teach .So if you love riding the horse back, this is the place for you. Don’t waste your time being cooped up at the hotel and move out and learn a trick or two with the horses.
Musee Des Blindes
Now this is a sight to ponder upon. A tank museum, this display of power and authority is located in the Loire Valley in the Saumur Region. Also recognized as one of the largest Tank museums, the permission to build this museum was granted to Colonel Michael Aubery who deeply convinced the French Military hierarchy and the political Authorities to allow him to build it.A world class museum,
Musee Des Blindes
place attracts the maximum footfall of the tourists. A proud home to 800 military vehicles, these vehicles have been brought in from different countries. This is the only museum in the world that keeps all its artifacts in the working condition.
The world’s largest collection of fighting vehicles is being housed here. The German Tiger 2nd is a fully functional tank and this tank is functioning and the operations of the Tank are demonstrated here, during the Carrousel that takes place every year.Saumur had gained repute for being a training center specialized in providing training to the armor specialists. This museum also has a magazine and you can even apply for a membership. The museum encourages you to become a member and make frequent visits to the museum. Also, the expert historical guides take you through the place explaining each aspect of the history behind each vehicle, making your journey through the museum and everlasting experience.
Caves Louis De Grenelle
Located in the heart of Saumur, this place is famous for wines and aromas. A perfect display of metamorphosis from one generation to another and then to another is shown here. A guide can easily take you around the place and explain every nook and cranny. You may also enjoy being introduced to the wine tasting concept. Tasting fine wines through the traditional method is not only fun but actually makes you fall in love with the drink. Open on all the weekdays,
Caves Louis De Grenelle
is differently scheduled for the different days of the week. Rates are based on the age group you belong to. You may even be lucky to get a complimentary gift to yourself. The surprise complimentary gifts would include a free tour around the place, a bottle of wine of world class taste and a bottle of Saumur Brut also at times.
Caves Louis De Grenelle
, they understand that you may not always be carrying the cash and so you can make the payments visa credit card or a debit card, as per your choice and convenience. Apart from the entire range being show cased, exclusive wines like Saumur Brut, Saumur Rose , Cerement de Loire and many more red sparkling wines are also available for the perusal of the tourists. Call up your friends now, make a plan and visit this place. If you do not love wines so far, you will fall in love with them once you visit this place.
Abbaye Royale De Fontevraud
Founded almost 1100 years ago, this place is now a central museum and a cultural center for the public. This beautiful and well maintained building also includes a beautiful church with many royal Tombs. Though this place is pretty ancient, the upkeep and maintenance of this place will blow you mind. Amazingly neat and no wear and tear makes this place as old as yesterday; almost unbelievable that this structure is so old. While this building was built in a remote location, however the steady fame of this monastery attracted many preachers around it. Robert D’ Arbissel was the founder of this place and he was a travelling preacher at that time. Over the time it also attracted the patronage of the Bishop of Poitiers and the Counts of Anjou. This escalated the pride of this place to another level altogether.
Several members of the Royal Family have been buried in this Church Cemetery of
Abbaye Roayle De Fontevraud
, including the likes of King of England, Henry the 2nd, the Count of Anjou and his Queen also. After the French revolution this place was shut down and declared a national heritage site. After some time in the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon used this place as a prison. The abbey of this location was used as a Prison for two centuries and the last prisoners were released in 1985. There are many things that you can see at this single spot as well. This place is totally built with the Romanesque style. The main attraction is the Abbeye Area which contains the four royal tombs. These tombs have the paintings of the effigies and the occupants.
Another main attraction is the Chapter. The Chapter house was used as a prison and was very huge in area. Thomas Pot had painted the walls of the chapter house in 1563. Another of the heritage sights which you should not miss when you are visiting this place is the Romanesque Kitchen which is made of the Byzantine Style Cupola. A fish scale pyramid roof lines this Cupola. While some suggested that this place be turned in to a cemetery Lantern or be used for Baptistery, none of the suggestions actually worked. You may be able to see this church in full swing at almost any time of the year.
A small path less frequented by travelers leads to the
. And this path has become an excellent spot for the runners. You would have to walk through a very narrow street to get here. A bit of preparation is necessary to start this little jog to this place. You need to eat and drink well before you start the jog. There are a huge number of stairs that need to be climbed upon to reach the Chateau.
Primarily famous for its sparkling wines which are rich in aroma and texture, this Chateau is known for excellent services and hospitality. Founded by Edward Langlois, and his loving wife, it became a wine making estate in 1885. After a few generations, this morphed into a commercial setting and the building became one of the finest and a representative Vineyard in this area. Very well known for the quality and the originality of the wines, this place has some of the best productions. The Bollinger Family had always displayed a keen interest in the ownership of this Chateau and the son of the family finally became the President. The most exclusive pick for you here is the Cremant de loire Sparkling Wine. You would not be able to match this wine with anything else.
Gratein and Meyer
Old tufa Galleries with Side cellars installed in them are a classic design of this place. This was done by Alfred Gratein. In the 12th century, stone was dug by the Perreyeurs and this stone was then used to build the historical structures in the area. Then the quarries of the stones were abandoned for many years and Alfred Gratein then became the proud owner of 20 Hectares of lands over the Vineyards and bought the estate. After this he completely immersed himself in the production of wines and then chased his dream of lending and exclusivity to his produce.
Alfred Gratein also started the construction of the Gratein Castle but he was not able to complete it. This structure is still present here. Today
Gratein and Meyer
have completed 150 years in business and looks to be in very good fortune. This tour can take you back the history lane of the place and can also acclimatize you to the ancient cultures prevalent in this area. Apart from this you can experience the manufacture and production of the best wines and champagnes in the world.
The bonus is that you can taste the wines too and be entitled for complimentary gifts too!
Pierre Et Lumiere
You may classify this as a museum but it is not. What if you could see all the major tourist attractions and the historical sites all under one roof only? What if you did not need to go anywhere and you could just come to one place and experience the grandeur of the historical monuments right at one location?
This is what exactly
Pierre Et Lumiere
does to you. Beautifully lit sculptures made as exact replicas of the originals greet you when you enter this place. A very unusual attraction, this place should not be missed if you are touring France. A fascinating place to visit, most of the replicas here has been carved on the spot! That means the sculptures had to work there, inside the caves, for creating their masterpieces. One of the most beautifully crafted is the replica of the river which also has the reflection of the town cathedral over it.
Crafted in Tofu Stones, these sculptures are mind blowing and speak volumes about the sculptors who may have put in the last bit of their efforts in to this.
Club Saumurois de Canoe Kayak
A boat tour and an excellent outdoor activity, this is one thing that is a must if you have France on your tourist destinations list. Everything from the equipment to the life jackets to the small training session before you jump in is what you would get here right up to your expectations. Suited for all age groups this activity is a must for grownups and children alike.
The splashing waters chilling you down to your bone, along with experts to help you through, you cannot think of a safer adventure anywhere. The staff is pretty helpful and they try to speak in English for you to make you feel comfortable and at ease. This club takes care of the smallest requirement that you could have.
Club Saumurois de Canoe Kayak
even provides you with the water proof camera containers to keep your cameras safe and keep your belongings protected. A day full of activity with leave you exhausted. Enter the club and relish awesome food to nurture your hunger and elevate yourself with the aroma of food.
So now that you have had fun and have been tiring yourself out, one of the last spots you visit in this place has to be the
Beaute Bien Etre
. World class technology of this spa will make you feel divine. There is nothing better than a good relaxing spa treatment that you can gift yourself after being an adventurous tourist. This spa has all the amenities to make you feel pampered is not heavy on your pocket too. Visit this spa for the breathtaking spa treatments and lucrative packages and feel as fresh as a bird before ending your vacation and resuming the stressful hectic life again.
France has a lot to offer in terms of entertainment and tourism. But the highest selling point of this destination which makes this place the most loved by all is the hospitality of the people here. Enjoy France with the French is what is commonly said!