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Saumur in the Loire Valley

Saumur on the banks of the river Loire in the Loire valley in France

In the bright summer sun the pretty town of Saumur on the banks of the Loire river, gives off a yellow glow as its buildings of white tufa stone reflect the light. Whatever way you choose to enter the town it is the graceful chateau you will appreciate first because of its dominant position overlooking the Loire. You cannot fail to be impressed when walking along the riverside with the chateau overlooking you on one side and the river on the other.

Old town house in Saumur France

The town itself is one that immediately gives you a welcoming feeling and a desire to stop and rest a while! There are a number of restored older town houses and around Place St-Pierre you will find several inexpensive restaurants with menus to suit most pockets.

 

Saumur has a long history with horses as it was home to the French Calvary Academy, and is home to the Cadre Noir horsemen, based at the French National Riding School, whose performances of riding tricks and skills only helps confirm their status as some of the best horsemen in the world. The annual Carousel (an equestrian show that takes place in July) draws thousands of visitors.

Website : http://www.cadrenoir.co.uk/

Saumur is also home to the Armoured Academy (which replaced the Calvary) and there is a tank museum- Musee des Blindes- with the largest display in Europe and perhaps the world. The collection offers an opportunity to have an uninterrupted technical and historical overview of the tank since its first appearance on the battlefield.

This is a fine town rich in history which delights in celebrating it, every year its  'Vintage Velo' weekend in June proves very popular.

Photo courtesy: http://www.anjou-velo-vintage.com/

Within the Anjou region 28 different wine labels happily live together with two grape varieties dominating the scene: Chenin for white wines like Saumur, Saumur-Champigny as well as rosés: Cabernet d'Anjou, Rosé de Loire and Rosé d'Anjou. The Saumur wines never fail to please with their sparkling variety being just what you need, well chilled, on a hot summer’s day to get that light feeling that allows you to slip into ‘French mode’ easily. About 7km from Saumur at Parnay, you can taste and buy red and sparkling Saumur-Champigny wines from the troglodyte caves of the Château du Marconnay. 

Also, for two nights only, under the banner of 'The Grande Tablée of Saumur Champigny' at the end of July the biggest restaurant in the world is formed using two kilometres of tables. 3 tonnes of galia melons and red fruits, 2.5 tonnes of cold meats and 3000 bottles of Saumur-Champigny are served. Numerous musical presentations help make this evening one to remember.

 

 

 

 

 

Chateau de Saumur

 

Cadre Noir

 

Tank museum

 

For kids around Saumur