I remember the first time
we drove through Candes-Saint-Martin on the way to
Saumur how we were taken by how pristine it looked under
the bright summer sun - almost too much so - like a film
set. Yet that wasn't our lasting memory, no, what we
remembered was how difficult it was to negotiate by car.
This is of course partly due to its popularity with
tourists and the fact that its main street is very
On our many visits since
we have learned the patience necessary to
give-way at the appropriate priority
markings and if we want to visit, stop of at
one of the car parks at either end of the
village and walk - the best way to
another Loire Valley village listed as one of the 'Most
beautiful villages in France'
along with it neighbour Montsoreau.
In summer you will find it
busy with tourists but off-season you can
have it all to yourself ...perhaps the
rumours are true and all the houses are
holiday homes for Parisians?
One of the main draws of
Candes-Saint-Martin is its fortified collegiate church
where Saint Martin de Tours (thus the village name) was
laid to rest after taking ill and dying here on a visit
around the year 400. His body was taken back up the
There is a charming
restaurant /cafe on the steps of the church
There are two other views
you should take in while visiting the village - take a
walk down the main street until you come to Rue de la
Vienne which will take you down to the old port on the
...where you will get a
great ground level view of the confluence of the river
Vienne and the mighty Loire
To get another view you
take the marked out walk up to the panoramic view above
the village where you will find the remains of an old
wind mill and another great photo opportunity.
A high ground view of
the confluence of the two great rivers.
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