The Rivers Maine and Loire are central to this department which bears their names. A holiday in Maine et Loire would not be complete without visiting the magnificent chateaux built by medieval kings and nobles around the River Loire in this glorious green countryside with its gentle climate. One of the most romantic is 'Chateau de Montsoreau'. 'Chateau d'Amour' at Saumur has museums dedicated to the arts and horses. In the cliffs around Saumur, long tunnels hewn along the limestone - known as 'tufa' - form caves used as wine cellars, mushroom farms and restaurants.
Price: £300 to £450