A region within a region, Sologne is a gigantic forest area with a long tradition of hunting and fishing. It is a rich and wide area home to countless animals and birds, and extends across the Cher, Loiret and Loire-et-Cher departments. Originally a bog, then-President Napoleon III ordered it to be dried up by planting countless conifers, turning it into the massive, lush forest it is today.
Covering more than 5000km², ¾ of this already large area consists of forests, making it the perfect place for many species of trees, including rare fruit trees, and animals, a lot of it good game for the hunters of the region, although some species are now protected due to their endangerment.
The ground being very dry meant it was the perfect area for many ponds to form, although many of them were man-made. However, despite being kept and cared for by humans, they remain wild areas for both fauna and flora. Pond fishing is one of the oldest traditions in Sologne.
Besides its wild and unbridled nature, Sologne, and most specifically, the area in the Cher department, hides many noteworthy buildings. The Blosset, Aubigny-sur-Nere and Chapelle-d’Angillon ancient Castles are all located within this territory. Churches and museums such as Saint-Barthelemy Church of Brinon-sur-Sauldre or the Water House of Neuvy-sur-Barangeon are also part of the history of the area and are open to the public.
Located near the medieval district of Bourges, the marshes of Bourges, despite their names, are a collection of lovingly and beautifully cultivated gardens covering 135 hectares. Located near the heart of Bourges, those gardens make for a relaxing journey across canals, rivers, flowers and vegetables gardens.
As it is in the city itself, it is an important part of the life of the inhabitants, bringing them nature, peace and tranquillity, with the buzzing city centre remaining a few steps away.
Guided visits around the marshes are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and an entire festival dedicated to the area takes place every September, with a floating market, illuminated boats, and beautiful lights all around to celebrate the arrival of autumn.
The oldest historic route in France, the Jacques-Coeur Road travels the Berry province and is the perfect opportunity for people to discover the most ancient of castles lying in central France. This road is now over 60 years old, and joins together more than 15 castles and noteworthy historical sites in a circuit at the heart of the region.
Symbol of the historical value of the department, the castles of this circuit are almost all in the Cher – all but one, the Gien castle, which also happens to be the literal end of the road in the Loiret department. Moreover, to rekindle interest in the area, the owners of the different castles have come together to organize events, night shows and many animations in their properties. For one wishing to visit the Cher department and see the ancient, beautiful historic monuments it has to offer, the Jacques-Coeur Road is the perfect way to go.