Maine Et Loire Geography and Natural Beauty

River Loire at Saumur, Maine et Loire, Western Loire, France

Anjou Bleu

With 3 navigable rivers, Mayenne, Oudon and the Sarthe, crossing Anjou Bleu, water activities are impossible to bypass: walks along the towpaths of the Mayenne and cruising in boats, then visits to a water mill or museum, etc.

Less than an hour from Nantes, Rennes or Angers, leave on a tour of this authentic area rich in warmth and relaxation.

Anjou Bleu has a preserved natural ladnscape, vegetation and lots of nature sprinkled with a rich heritage. Succumb to the gentle life of Anjou Bleu, and taste its tranquility and authenticity.

River Loire

At the heart of a lush and fertile landscape so loved by French kings and nobility, poets and writers, the magnificent River Loire, France’s longest river, and its tributaries weave their magic, watched over by ancient castles and chateaux built originally for defence and later for private pleasure.

No longer commercial, the river, which flows over 1,000km from the Cevennes to the Atlantic, was once a major transport route for timber, fruit and wine before the coming of the railways.

The Central Loire Valley (Touraine) is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its exceptional beauty, architecture and history.

You’ll find no mountains and gorges, but gentle undulating vine-covered slopes, market gardens and limestone cliffs - topped by fantastic architecture.

Along the Loire’s path are created some of the finest white wines in the world. Wine lovers and historians should follow the Touraine-Loire Valley Vineyards route or take the Valley of the Kings Historical Trail.

Cycling and walking are easy on the flat terrain. Roads built on embankments to prevent flooding follow the Loire’s course or walk the GR3 Loire path. Enjoy fishing and boating in places, although canoeists and walkers should be aware of whirlpools and quicksands between some of the river islands.

Montsoreau Centre and Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nataural Park

The Loire Valley between Tours and Angers has been a Regional Natural Park since 1996. The centre at Montsoreau, opened in May 2008, has information on activities such as kayaking and cycling following the Loire a Velo route.

Installations show the changing landscape of the Loire over time, interactive exploration and temporary exhibitions. Open every day with free entry June to end Sept and closed Dec to end Feb. Tel (00 33) 2 41 53 66 00 for other opening times.

River Maine

The River Maine is one of the shortest rivers in France. It has no source, beginning where the rivers Mayenne and Sarthe meet north of Angers and endings some 12km further downstream where it joins the River Loire.

Nevertheless, la Maine appears alongside France’s famous longest river in the naming of the department of Maine et Loire. Though short, importantly, it is spanned by 6 bridges and flows through the department’s capital, Angers, past an enormous chateau as magnificent as any on the River Loire.

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