A land traversed by one of France’s mightiest rivers has created a landscape where nature is clearly in charge.
Through it flows the Loire
From Orléans to Angers, the scenery along this giant flow is bathed with a light sought by artists and a white backdrop created by the limestone cliffs that rise from its regal banks.
Frequented by the Kings of France, the Loire Valley is punctuated with their châteaux, castles, churches, abbeys, churches and quaint river ports. River traffic loaded to the gunnels with salt, slate, limestone and wine made this a once bustling waterway. UNESCO now recognises it as a World Heritage Site, awarding it the classification in 2000.
An irreplaceable wildlife
The Loire and its tributaries are a natural nesting ground for many species birds such as the grey heron, the great cormorant and Kingfisher. But that’s not all, if you are lucky you could also see the beaver and the European otter taking a leisurely swim.
On the hillsides overlooking the Loire, flourish the vines of the Anjou and Saumur. Some of the great wines are made here - applauded by the nobility of France and now lovingly produced for all to enjoy. The wine route meanders through the pretty villages of the Aubance area and here you can see how the grape is grown and harvested.
The plant for passion
The Anjou is the most important region of France for horticultural production. Recognised throughout the world and awarded for its excellence, horticulturalists, gardeners and nursery growers produce over 1000 different varieties of plants. A plant research co-operative, Vegepolys, has further extended the area's reputation.
In the horticultural Valley, another landscape offers to you but still very connected with the Loire, it is as well as the municipalities of the edges of the Authion (Brain-sur-Authion, Andard and horny), in the heart of the angevin vegetal pole, invite you to relaxing walks in nature and colored by its fields of flowers.
The river is constantly changing and over time, many islands have formed along its flow. Perhaps the best known of these is ‘l’île de Béhuard’, classified as ‘une petite cité de caractère’. Known since the Middle Ages as a point of pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary, today visitors enjoy its tranquillity, strolling around its shores or just sitting on the river banks fishing or enjoying the sun in an open-air café.
Sitting in the centre of the river, off the shore of Ménitré is ‘l‘île de Baure’, a popular place for students of the School of Fine Arts in Angers to practise their skills – by appointment only!