When we started preparing this section we had in mind all the fantastic chateaux that the Loire is famous for, but as we started thinking about the places we had visited in the region, it became clear that the area has equally as much to boast about when it comes to tourist attractions. Coupled with the chateaux…. caves, museums and delightful towns this makes for one of the most attractive regions for active holidays.

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
– good for ‘culture vultures’!

Description: Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud has a long and varied history and amazing architecture, not really surprising given that it was founded over 900 years ago in 1101. Apart from its time as one of the main abbeys of France it has also had a long history as a prison, which probably saved a lot of the abbey from dereliction. Thus the major restoration programme over the past 40 years has resulted in an opportunity to visit not only the main abbey Church but also the cloisters, kitchens and refectory. Today the abbey is a cultural centre for Western France and has an excellent musical programme with a series of summer concerts.

Location: In the centre of Fontevraud l’Abbaye, between Saumur and Chinon.

General Info: Fontevraud l’Abbaye.Open all year without interruption except for French public holidays, from 10.00 am and 9.00 in high season. Guided and un-guided visits possible.

Website: http://www.abbayedefontevraud.com/

For the Children: Not a lot for children, – except some open space to run around – this is very much a cultural stop.


Here’s more information to make the most of your visit to the Loire Valley: