Visit Montsoreau (Pays de la Loire, France)
Montsoreau is a lovely little village not to be missed if you are exploring the Loire Valley near Saumur. The village is on a quiet stretch of the River Loire near the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers and at the base of a cliff. At this point, the Loire is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the largest area to be designated a UNESCO site in France.
Park your car in the Place du Mail and walk along the river front towards the château which rises up majestically above the water. Indeed this is the only one of the Loire castles which has its 'feet in the water' of the river itself.
Make your way up to the higher part of the village which lies along the edge of a main street parallel to the river. The village is charming and it is quieter here away from the road which runs next to the river.
You have some superb views of the château which is now promoted as the 'Château de la Dame de Montsoreau' after the novel by Dumas that revolved around the love life of two ladies who lived in the castle during the reign of Henri III (based on real events), and has recently been renovated and opened to the public.
Montsoreau castle is unusual in that it includes architectural elements from a fortified chateau and other elements of being a renaissance period chateau built as a home rather than with a military purpose.
Next to the castle is the Hotel le Bussy which has a terrace with a superb view of the château and the river. A perfect place to stop for a drink before continuing your walk into the adjoining village of Candes St Martin which like Montsoreau is classed one of the most beautiful villages of France.
You can also visit the old troglodyte village, with homes, doors and windows cut into the cliff and which as recently as the end of the 18th century provided homes to most of the villagers. More recently, mushroom growers have taken over some of the larger man-made caves and a restaurant at the site specialises in stuffed mushrooms.
Boat trips in traditional boats and fishing are popular activities in Montsoreau, which has most facilities.
Photos of Montsoreau
Click any picture to start the gallery
Tourist classifications for Montsoreau
Montsoreau is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)
Address: Montsoreau, Saumur-Sud, Saumur, Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire, 49730 || GPS: latitude 47.215, longitude 0.058
Map of Montsoreau & places nearby
Highlights close by
Fontevraud Abbey 4km
Chateau de Saumur 12km
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Montsoreau, France
- Candes-Saint-Martin - most beautiful village
- Collegiale Church (Candes-Saint-Martin) - religious monument
- Loire-Anjou-Touraine - regional natural parc (3km)
- Fontevraud Abbey - national monument (4km)
- Abbaye Notre Dame de Fontevraud (Fontevraud Abbey) - religious monument (4km)
- Saumur - secteur sauvegarde (12km)
- Chinon - secteur sauvegarde (15km)
- Montreuil-Bellay - recommended detour (18km)
- Aquarium de Loudun - aquarium (23km)
- Loudun - recommended detour (23km)
Market days in Montsoreau: Regular market(s) are held in Montsoreau each Sunday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Montsoreau (Francais)