CHATEAU MONTSOREAU AND PROMENADE DE “BATEAUX SUR LOIRE”!
We had never visited this Chateau and so when we received an invitation by the Chateau to share an afternoon with other partners in tourism, it was a perfect opportunity to visit. There were lots of friendly staff to welcome us (with excellent English too) explaining the planned afternoon events, which included a tour of the Chateau with its great views from the turrets and gardens, followed by a river boat trip on the Loire. Well that was just going to be great!
Our guests holidaying this week, Jim and Sue from Plaxtol, were taken by surprise when we invited them to join us and they didn’t hesitate to accept our offer!
Drive from Saumur along the Loire and you will find this Chateau, built in the 15th century and known as “La Dame de Montsoreau”. It’s another well preserved medieval ‘gem’ beautifully situated on the confluence of La Loire and La Vienne so you can see where the rivers meet. It was a strategic fortress controlling river traffic between Chinon and Saumur.
In fabulous sunshine we strolled around and enjoyed the Chateau’s wealth of history. Although it has a sparse interior we did find that the many well presented displays of sound and vision transported you into the past life of the sailors and their typical Loire boats were really interesting. The turrets are a great place to take photographs of the Loire and enjoy its magical and panoramic views too. We were reminded throughout the castle that Alexandre Dumas‘s novel La Dame de Montsoreau is based upon the amorous escapades of two ladies who occupied the castle during the reign of King Henri III!
If you are visiting the Loire Valley then this a lovely day out. So easy to combine a Chateau visit with the historical village of Montsoreau with its great walks up and around the little rues, not to mention along the top side of the coteaux in the vast and stunning vineyards which are a reminder that we are in the wine producing area of Saumur Champigny. Held each second Sunday in the month is a Brocante (flea market) which swarms all day with visitors. There are several nice bars and restaurants where you can chill out a little and rest your feet, not to mention the boulangerie where you can buy sandwiches and picnic on the banks of the Loire which we do sometimes. It’s not hard to see why the village has been awarded two labels: “Village of Charm” and a “Plus Beaux Village de France”. As a bonus for our Clos des Guyons visitors this year we will passing on to them a 10% entrance fee discount on their day out!
What better way to enjoy the Loire scenery than to cruise along the river! We embarked on the little traditional wooden cabined boat known as a ‘Toues Cabanées’ seating just ten passengers! Have to say I was a little alarmed when I first saw it sailing down the river to collect us as I had been expecting a bigger boat(?!) and with my background of feeling anxious on water, Brian was having a bit of a giggle especially when I had to mount the steep little plank and be gripped tightly on either side to stop me from wobbling and falling in. (Won’t mention the joke that just at that moment a Pompiers (Fire Brigade) speedboat came rushing past causing lots of waves, so Brian was laughing and jesting that they had arrived because they had heard Sheila was here and their emergency services could be required at any moment)!! BUT … I boarded and disembarked safely and fooled everyone of course!!! So nothing to worry about and I do recommend this to our visitors this year. As we quietly moved along the water and the side of the beautiful Chateau we enjoyed excellent views including the little houses at Candes St Martin. It was one of the most relaxing things I have experienced in France. What made it more memorable was the hot sunshine temperature of 25 degrees! Apparently these boat trips will be running certain days of the week in June, July and August from Candes St Martin. Other boat trips are available throughout the season from Saumur, La Ménitré, Saint Mathurin and Angers, offering more extensive programmes.
We are looking forward to doing more Loire scenery cruising this summer!
Sheila and Brian
Why not take a look at our NEW website giving extensive details of our charming and well restored Gites “Le Sauvignon” and “Le Chenin” well situated in the pretty little medieval wine producing village of Saumur Puy Notre Dame in the Val de Loire known as the Cité de Vignerons and on the route to St Jacques de Compostelle. The Loire Valley is a fantastic place to take a relaxing holiday and can be combined with a Wine Tasting and Wine Tour with us if you wish. At Le Clos des Guyons we offer One day ‘Vineyard Discoveries’ and other ‘Wine Tours and Tastings (with or without accommodation) enabling both amateurs and professionals alike the opportunity to taste the diverse wines of the Loire with its 69 appellations AND it’s always made enjoyable for everyone!
Please contact us for more details. Thankyou.