European Route d'Artagan, crossing Fontevraud-l'Abbaye
Horseback riding

The European Route d'Artagnan

  • Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

The European Route d'Artagnan

Cultural Route of the Council of Europe

The European Route d'Artagnan has been a "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" since 2021. It is the first European cultural equestrian route which connects Lupiac (1 - Gers), birthplace of the famous musketeer d'Artagnan, to Maastricht (Netherlands) where the latter died. Made up of six thematic routes, it crosses six European countries. Ultimately, more than 32 marked km will be open to riders, hikers and travelers of all disciplines across Europe.

The European Route d'Artagnan in Saumur Loire Valley

In Saumur Val de Loire, the Route des Cardinaux and the Route de Pinerolo are unified, allowing riders and epicureans to discover the emblematic places of the destination over approximately 80 km: Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, Montsoreau, Turquant, Parnay, Souzay-Champigny, Saumur, Chênehutte-Trèves-Cunault, Gennes or, The Thoureil. Enjoy a magnificent panorama and a unique experience by crossing the courtyard of the Château de Saumur, a historic highlight of the two routes and take the time to discover the Horse Museum within the Château de Saumur itself.

These two routes will allow you to enjoy the different riches of the places: troglodyte sites, castles, vineyards, banks of the Loire, forests, rivers, countryside, city, and much more...

The Route des Cardinalaux joins Paris at Lupiac, following in the footsteps of Richelieu and Mazarin. The Route de Pinerolo connects Nantes to Pinerolo following the route taken during the transfer of Nicolas Fouquet, who was arrested by d'Artagnan in Nantes.

From Fontevraud-l'Abbaye, agglomeration developed around the abbey; towards Montsoreau, one of the "Most Beautiful Villages of France" and in the direction of Saumur, the "Pearl of Anjou", you will enjoy incredible panoramas, in the heart of the famous vineyard of the AOC "Saumur-Champigny" . Over 15 km, you cross no less than 5 troglodyte and wine-growing Loire villages on this Saumur coast: Montsoreau, Turquant, Parnay, Souzay-Champigny and Dampierre-sur-Loire.

From Saumur, you can continue on the left bank, passing near the Cadre Noir where the famous galas known internationally take place. Along the way, cross Chênehutte-Trèves-Cunault located on the banks of the Loire. Also discover the many Gallo-Roman remains of Gennes or the preserved biotopes of the Joreau pond. Finally at the gates of the territory of Saumur Val de Loire, enjoy the wooded hillside offered by Le Thoureil.

You benefit here, within the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, splendid panoramas, unspoilt, protected and valued nature, remarkable fauna and flora. Observe the many islands along the route and the birds that nest there. Admire the exceptional heritage: castles, old stately homes, mansions or simple dwellings, mainly built in tufa stone and covered with slate. You are in the country of troglodytes: open your eyes wide to admire all these cavities from which the freestone has been extracted for several centuries; some are now inhabited, others have been converted into visit sites (wine cellars, mushroom houses, apples tapped), restaurants, discotheques, hotels: take a break and discover the rich past of these places! Also observe the flat-bottomed boats typical of our region: the toues cabanées, futreaux or other barges, after a golden age in the XNUMXth century, are back in service: water coaches, thematic cruises...

European Route d'Artagan, crossing Fontevraud-l'Abbaye
Horse riding on the banks of the Loire-Anjou Tourisme
Hitch ride in the forest in Saumur Loire Valley

Let's celebrate the inauguration of the European Route d'Artagnan in Anjou!

In Saumur, May 11, 2024

Three days of festivities over three stages located along the route in Anjou! And a final stop in Saumur Val de Loire in the courtyard of the emblematic Château de Saumur to end the event in style.

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