Loire Anjou Touraine Regional Natural Park 21.10.2016

Rochemenier © Village troglodytique de Rochemenier
Montsoreau, bateau traditionnel © A.Laurioux
Sternes Pierregarin © D.Drouet
Le Parc Loire-Anjou-Touraine à vélo © S.Bonniol-Visuelles
La Loire © S.Bonniol-Visuelles
St-Mathurin-sur-Loire © Thorsten Brönner

Established in 1996, the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park sits in both the Anjou and the Indre-et-Loire between Tours and Angers and harbours a rich and diverse natural, cultural and historical heritage. The focus is on preservation and development of local resources. Located at the heart of the Loire Valley, the landscape is also influenced by the Vienne, Thouet and Indre rivers. It offers a mosaic of natural landscapes with rivers, grasslands, forests, crops, troglodyte sites, hills, hamlets and vineyards. This protected park offers sanctuary to wildlife, flora and fauna. There are over 200 varieties of birds and it is a stop-over for migratory flocks including waders and terns. 

One of the most authentic ways to explore the park is by canoe or kayak. Those who prefer dry land, such as cycling enthusiasts, can follow the course of the Loire river and make a stop at the Maison de la Loire (tourist and nature centre) located in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire. The rivers are teeming with salmon, shad and lamprey migrating upstream to spawn whilst beavers build dams and create their lodges in the banks.

Travelling around you should take the opportunity to visit the beautiful and historic towns and villages like the village of Montsoreau, on the river with its lovely castle, which inspired Alexandre Dumas’ novel ‘La Dame de Monsoreau’. It’s the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat in a restaurant with river views and you can visit the ‘Maison du Parc’ to find out all about the natural park.

The village of Turquant is a ‘must-see’. The troglodyte caves are home to local craftsmen and artists who have set up shop there. You can dine or even cave or sleep in a cave. One hotel even has an underground swimming pool!

There are many activities on land and on the water including walking and heritage tours, themed trails, cycle tours, horse riding, vineyard tours, boating, canoeing and fishing. There are 10 trails presenting the heritage of the Loire Valley, famous for its castles, the river, wines, gastronomy and historic figures. There are also less well-known treasures like Troglodyte caves with visits designed for adults and children in both English and French. It’s all about awakening your curiosity and imagination!

> Further information Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park