Top things to do

Top Choice Historic Site in Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

The highlight of this 12th-century abbey complex is the vast but movingly simple church, notable for its soaring pillars, Romanesque domes and polychrome gisants (funerary effigies) of four illustrious Plantagenets:…
Château in Saumur-Champigny AOC Area

Château de Brézé

Brézé sits on top of a network of subterranean rooms and passages, 1.5km of them open to the public, that include a boulangerie, wine cellars, defensive bastions and a troglodyte dwelling dating from at least the ti…
Chateau in Saumur-Champigny AOC Area

Château de Montsoreau-Musée d’Art Contemporain

Converted into a museum of conceptual art in 2016 – the focus is on the Art & Language movement – the Renaissance-style Château de Montsoreau, beautifully situated overlooking the Loire, was built in 1455 by one…
French in Turquant

L’Hélianthe

Carved into a cliff behind Turquant's mairie (town hall), this atmospheric restaurant has a hearty menu firmly based on local products and classic French flavours. Specialities include Loire fish casserole and dishe…
Cafe in Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

Chez Teresa

English expats Teresa and Tony offer a welcome as cosy-warm as tea at this frilly little tearoom, half a block from the abbey, which is stuffed with bric-a-brac from across the Channel. In the afternoon, pop by for …
French in Turquant

Le Saut aux Loups

A great place to tour mushroom caves (adult/child €7/5.50), whose informative exhibits – a great intro to 'shroom farming – were redone in 2018, and tuck into fungi, including galipettes (five for €14). Has plenty o…
Bistro in Turquant

Bistroglo

At this bistro-style restaurant, situated en troglo (troglodyte, ie built into the cliff face) – thus the name – artisanal beers and local wines are an excellent prelude to traditional French cuisine, including Loir…
Cave in Turquant

Les Pommes Tapées

This is one of the last places in France producing the traditionally made dried apples known as pommes tapées. You can see displays on how it’s done, visit the tufa caves, sample the wares (€1) and buy some to take …
Church in Candes-St-Martin

Collégiale St-Martin

This soaring, crenellated village church, built in the Gothic style from 1175 to 1240, venerates the spot where St Martin died in 397 and was buried for a while (his body was later spirited off to Tours). Enter via …
Winery in Turquant

La Grande Vignolle

Domaine Filliatreau offers wine tasting inside the cliff face. Bottles of organic Saumur Chamipgny wines, some grown atop the nearby cliff, cost €8.60 to €30; the best vintages come from vieilles vignes (grapevines …