France has over 500 golf courses and the Loire region boasts its fair share of these. The most renowned is Les Bordes in St Laurent Nouan, which was voted second best in Golf World's 'Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe' and awarded the 'Best Maintained Course' by Golf Européen. Nearer to our homes however, is the highly acclaimed Golf de Bauge and the scenic, less challenging, Sept des Tours. There is also the scenic Anjou Golf and Country Club and an excellent 9-hole course in Saumur which is as enjoyable for the novice golfer as it is for the more experienced. Described as 'Millionaires Golf' because of the quiet undulating fairways, and with magnificent quality greens and superb views, golfing in the Loire offers so much more than just a game.
Cycling through the Loire Valley is a fabulous way to explore this most magnificent region of France. Because of its relatively flat landscape, whether you're an easy level cyclist or an experienced one, cycling in the Loire is good for all ages and fitness abilities. And with over 400km of signposted cycling routes, known as the 'Loire a Velo', travelling along the banks of the Loire and through its UNESCO World Heritage trail, is a wonderful way to come across some of the unexpected places and sublimely beautiful countryside. In the areas surrounding our properties, cycling is a great way to get around, with little traffic on the roads and wide open countryside. Discovering neighbouring villages, or just simply cycling to a nearby restaurant. All our properties have bikes available, although if you are a serious cyclist we do recommend that you bring your own bike.
The Loire region is famed for its magnificent chateaux of which there are more than 300. These date back to the early 1100's and were homes to the Kings, Queens and nobility of France. Many of the smaller chateaux are now hotels or private houses, while others have become international tourist attractions. Among the most notable are Chenonceaux, the famous Chateau straddling the River Cher about 1 hour from Tours; Amboise, the beautiful chateau built by Charles VIII in the 15th Century which has magnificent views over the River Loire; Chinon, which dominates the town, is now ruined but provides a fascinating history back to the days of Jeanne D'Arc; Azay-le-Rideau has a pretty chateau that straddles the river Indre just south of Tours; and Usse, the fairy-tale chateau west of Tours, which is said to be the home of Sleeping Beauty! Near to our region, the chateaux of Saumur and Le Lude provide a great insight into life during these periods. In our holiday homes are information leaflets and details of some of the nearest chateaux which are well worth a visit. Click here to visit a list of Chateaux and help in planning your trip.
The Loire Valley's rich landscape and temperate climate give it the ideal conditions in which its expansive vineyards have been producing some of the world's finest wines since Roman times. Divided into three growing regions - Pays Nantais, Anjou-Saumur and Touraine and Centre Loire - the region has over 70 appellations producing an excellent variety of red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Our gites and holiday homes are all located in the heart of the Anjou-Saumur & Touraine region, which boasts some of the greatest wines in France - including Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Nearby, the towns of Chinon, Bourgueil and St Nicholas de Bourgueil make wines that set international standards, while the sparkling wines produced from some of the finest viticulturists in the world can be found in Saumur. Whether you are a serious and experienced wine taster, or a complete novice, a tour of the local vineyards will give you the opportunity to meet the local viticulturists, and to taste and buy their wine at a very reasonable price. You can book a day or evening wine tour with a local English couple who specialise in wine tasting at letastingroom.com
The open and inviting countryside in the Loire makes it a walkers paradise. From flat terrain to rolling valleys and forests and from quiet country roads to footpaths along the rivers, the Loire is a popular choice for ramblers, as well as those who just want to get out and explore this glorious region on foot. While walking there is so much to see - the abundance of wildlife and many species of birds that bring colour and vitality to the region, and to the wonderful variety of flowers and golden fields that adorn the countryside. All directions from the doors of our properties will lead you on a different path - some through fields, along country roads, and some through magnificent forests. Whether walking for pleasure or to the local shop or restaurant, or driving out further a-field and taking a more adventurous route, walking in the Loire leads to an enjoyable trail of discovery.
The Loire Valley has many rivers, streams and ponds where a large variety of fish await their fate. The Loire river itself - sometimes widening to over half a mile, has alluring waters for fish and anglers alike. The river does, however, break down into much narrower streams running between islands, especially in the summer when the levels are quite low and it's much more easy to contact fish. The area between Tour downstream and Vierzon up river is a good region for fishing, and it is also here that a major tributary, the River Cher, joins the Lot which is also worth a trip. Click here for more information on fishing lakes and rivers in the area.
Kayaking and Canoeing is a great way to see the Loire Valley at its best. Ambling down the River Loire or any one of its tributaries offers the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, see river-side villages, enjoy the architectural history and natural wildlife habits, and to stop and picnic in many beautiful spots along the way. The rivers can be challenging at times, but the calmer environment of many of the regions lakes also provide the opportunity for kayaking. Close centres include Saumur and La Fleche.