OFFICE DE TOURISME - SAUMUR VAL DE LOIRE
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Nature and Leisure

At the heart of the natural regional Park of Loire-Anjou-Touraine and the UNESCO Loire Valley World Heritage Site, the Saumur area distinguishes itself by an outstanding architectural heritage in an exceptional natural setting.





Nature and Leisure
Walking, cycling, mountain biking or on horseback, signposted paths take you through the Loire, its forests, market-gardening plains and vines. The scenic beauty of the wild Loire proves even better from the water, on a traditional or modern boat or up, with the breeze in a hot-air balloon.
Whether on an organised outing or simply fi shing by the water, it’s always a time to encounter the beautiful, flora and fauna of the area. In parks and gardens, nature is tamed and off ers an explosion of colours, shapes and scents, through the seasons. Even more exotic, the Bioparc of Doué-la-Fontaine takes you on a journey across all the continents, to see endangered species in a maze of shelly-sand quarries and lush vegetation. In Saumur, you are invited to a real meditation on nature, whether wild or shaped by humans.

Bioparc

Nature and Leisure
The Bioparc is internationally recognized for its participation in the conservation of endangered species. The setting, in the old, troglodytic, shelly-sand quarries covers 14 acres and is completely unique. The zoo off ers exceptionally close contact with animals in environments that replicate their original habitats. Over 1,000 animals from sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South-East Asia, East Asia, Europe, the Himalayas and Madagascar are here for the conservation of endangered species. They are witnesses to the disappearance of their natural habitats and the solutions implemented in the field by the zoo team. Bioparc also has a wonderful safari-style restaurant and a shop which is worth a visit in itself.

Not to be missed: - The Okapi sanctuary - Great South American Aviary: Entering the largest aviary in Europe is an unforgettable experience. There are more than 500 birds: macaws, flamingos, ibises, penguins, not to mention the Andean condor with its unique flight.
- Valley of the rhinos and giraff e camp, for a meeting with the African giants.
- Vultures feeding on carrion in the scavengers pit.
- The giant otter tank.
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Les Chemins de la Rose Garden

Nature and Leisure
Les Chemins de la Rose welcomes you to its 4-hectare rose garden, a space dedicated to the conservation of roses with over 10,000 diff erent varieties. Hundreds of rose species light up the park, from the oldest to the most original. Seasonal events and conferences, gardening tips, roses for sale and an on-site shop and restaurant are also on off er. You can also learn all about rose cultivation by embarking on a truly unique tour in a vintage Citroën 2CV.
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Land of Roses

Nature and Leisure
Everything about roses, all on the same site: rose garden, a rose water distillery, an unusual rose museum. This site is also an eco-museum with troglodytic cellars, the old farm, cave-windmill and of course, the animals: donkeys, goats, rabbits, pigs etc. A wide range of rose products in the shop.
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Mansion of Châtelaison garden

Nature and Leisure
The grounds of the Gothic manor have been ideally designed and laid out for strolling by the owner since 1985. Composed of various plantations, it uncovers at every bend a new atmosphere, directing you to constantly renewed spots of interest: fountains, waterfalls, statues, sculpted hedges, perennial flowers, shadowed undergrowth, etc.
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Saumur, Golf course

Nature and Leisure
With its two courses, one on the heights of the city (9 holes), the other at the gate of Fontevraud-L’Abbaye (18 holes), Saumur is a sure bet for golf in the Loire Valley. Beginners and experienced practitioners appreciate complementary technical and landscape features. Two golf courses, 30 minutes away, the legendary sweetness of Anjou, the vineyards ... What are you waiting for?
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A bird’s-eye view of the Saumur region

Nature and Leisure
This is an original way to discover the Saumur region, get the bigger picture! A hot-air balloon flight is a magical adventure. Following the breeze in a relaxed atmosphere, the most beautiful landscapes and sites of the Loire unfolding before your eyes in the soft light of dusk or dawn. Emotions guaranteed!
You can also fly over the royal river, the vineyards and the châteaux of the Loire in a small plane, a helicopter or a glider. Finally, a parachute jump over Saumur, for the thrill seekers!

La Loire à Vélo

Nature and Leisure
The “Loire à Vélo” trail passes through the Pays de la Loire and Loire Valley regions from Cuff y in Cher to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins in Loire-Atlantique (800 km). Take the time to discover a rich and diverse heritage by bike alongside the majestic river and recharge your batteries in the heart of an exceptional thriving cultural landscape! Designed for effortless cycling with your family, the route helps you discover the Loire and its surroundings, the river’s natural banks with gardens to gaze at, characterful towns, the Loire châteaux and other remarkable sites, as well as vineyards set in unspoilt natural surroundings. Services along the route are developing: adapted rest areas, train accessibility, tailor-made visits etc. The sign “Accueil vélo et La Loire à Vélo” designates accommodation, restaurants, bike rentals and repairers, sites to visit and Tourist Information Centres that are committed to hospitality and quality services specific to cycling: luggage lockers, bike supports, repair kits, hearty breakfasts and more.
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La Vélo Francette

Nature and Leisure
From the English Channel to Ouistreham, towards the Atlantic and down to La Rochelle, cycling enthusiasts will discover the diversity of landscapes that the Saumur region has to offer. Just follow the Loire à Vélo cycle route between Angers and Saumur until you reach the Thouet à Vélo cycle route.
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Thouet à Vélo

Nature and Leisure
The Thouet Valley bike paths stretch along 140 km of marked trails and roads, from the source of the Thouet (le Beugnon - Deux-Sèvres) to Saumur, where it joins the Loire à Vélo cycle route.

Saumur Trails

Nature and Leisure
Along the paths of Saumur you can explore a world of small villages, vineyards, Loire, forests, châteaux, megalithic sites, churches, abbeys, not to mention a memorable foray into the troglodytic cellars along the rivercliffs of Saumur. Walking, mountain biking or on horseback, you can choose amongst the thirty trails sorted by level of comfort and scenic interest or heritage. These trails are clearly signposted and regularly maintained. Information sheets available on the website, Tourist Information Centres and town halls of departure points. The discovery trails of the Natural Regional Park combine exploration of the landscape and enjoyment of the walk. Signposted and punctuated with educational and fun information stations, they explain the history of a place through a theme. Free activity-game sheets available in Tourist Information Centres and on the website.

Equestrian Tourism

Nature and Leisure
Many equestrian centres off er courses and outings for all levels, while the pony clubs are adapted for younger riders. Three, marked, equestrian trails are a way to explore different environments: “Loire and the vineyards of Saumur” in Turquant, and ‘the forest’ in la Breille-les-Pins and confluence of the Loire and the Vienne with departure from Turquant. Whether on a short circuit or a longer ride, there are rest stops, watering points and shelter for riders and horses alike. Carriage rides, to the comfortable rhythm of cart-horses, are a real pleasure. The donkey is also an ideal companion for family excursions.
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Park Centre

Nature and Leisure
The Park Centre is a place of reception, information and a starting point to explore the Natural Regional Park of Loire-Anjou-Touraine. The building has been designed according to an environmental charter. A sensory scenography (touch and smell boxes, audio, films) presents the Loire landscapes and the people who shaped them. The Park Centre is also a place brimming with exhibitions, workshops for families, a tourist information point, resource center, shop and picnic area.

Fishing lakes and rivers

Nature and Leisure
The Loire boasts forty species for experienced or novice fi shers: pike, perch, pike-perch, carp, mullet, not to mention whitebait. For those who enjoy a challenge… the catfi sh is known for its combative nature. All species of carnivores and white fi sh are also found in the Authion. The Thouet is characterized by the presence of black bass. Municipal lakes, many with leisure areas, are ideal for a family day out: Mouliherne, La-Breille-les-Pins, Vivy, Distré, Gennes, Epieds, Vernantes, Louerre, Grézillé. Information about fishing regulations can be found in the fishing guide, available in Tourist Information Centres and on the website www.fedepeche49.fr
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Water sports

Nature and Leisure
Mysterious, capricious, immutable, unpredictable, the Loire is considered to be the last wild river in Europe. And so traditional sailing-rowing boats (seils), canoes and kayaks can all navigate the royal river in peace. And why not also explore one of its tributaries – the Vienne or Thouet – by canoe?
Sailing clubs in the area can offer boats from a few hours to a whole day, even with camping trips. The service includes transportation of participants, usually to the point of departure, equipment-hire and insurance.

Well-being

Nature and Leisure
There is so much to do in the Saumur area! Visit historical sites, explore the world of troglodytes, travel through the vineyard, walk, cycle, paddle ... After all these activities, you may also want to take a break for well-being and relaxation. Whether you choose a whirlpool bath, the dry heat of a sauna, the steam of a hammam, or complete treatment in a spa, relaxation is guaranteed.

Emilie Arribas

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