La Ménitré , D. Darrault©
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The Loire Valley, a UNESCO treasure in Anjou
Anjou Loire Valley is the perfect destination for nature and culture lovers alike! You’ll find here one of the finest stretches of France’s longest river and its remarkable surroundings. A living cultural landscape, honoured by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
A heaven for nature lovers
Superlative natural beauty enhanced by the numerous architectural splendours adorning the Loire Valley has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. With the largest network of rivers in France and a host of islands, Anjou provides exceptional shelter to flora and fauna.
If you’re curious about nature, pop into the Maison du Parc naturel regional Loire-Anjou-Touraine in Montsoreau for information and events. The hillsides around Saumur offer magnificent views over the Loire - as does the Corniche Angevine, west of Angers.
You can also follow the Loire à Vélo cycle paths or try some canoeing or riverboat trips. Though for a truly exceptional bird’s eye view, why not opt for a hot air balloon! Did you know that it was a Plantagenet, the English King Henry II, who first made the fertile plains habitable and prosperous with a protective levee ? Built from local limestone known as tufa, the gleaming white chateaux at Saumur and Montsoreau dominate the Loire from the south, as does the abbey church in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil. Romanesque churches, caves and traditional ports are just so many invitations to discover traditional Loire lifestyle!
From Renaissance castle to vineyard, the uncompromising beauty of the Loire Valley has inspired poets and artists, not least William Turner.