There’s an air of sparkly Parisian sophistication in Saumur but also a sense of relaxed contentment. The local wines are world famous, the restaurants may be the Loire Valley's best, the spot is gorgeous – and the Saumurois know it. The town is renowned for the École Nationale d’Équitation, a national riding school that’s home to the crack Cadre Noir equestrian corps. Soft white tufa cliffs stretch along the riverbanks east and west of town, pierced by habitations troglodytes (cave dwellings).
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