Candes-Saint-Martin travel guide

Photo of Candes-Saint-Martin

Visit Candes-Saint-Martin (Centre-Loire Valley, France)

Photo Gallery Book hotels, flights, car hire

Candes-Saint-Martin is a village ten kilometres to the south-east of Saumur in the Indre-et-Loire department of the Centre (Loire Valley) region, and within the Regional Natural Park Loire-Anjou-Touraine.

The village sits on the banks of the Vienne River at the confluence with the Loire River, on a small hill with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside, and is listed among the most beautiful villages of France.

Explore Candes-Saint-Martin

France This Way review: Candes-Saint-Martin is a small village, but the charming church and the proximity to the village of Montoreau together make this a very worthwhile destination as you exploire the Loire Valley.

The best way to approach Candes-Saint-Martin is by walking from the neighbouring village of Montsoreau, although of course parking is available in both of these villages.

Villages in the centre of Candes-Saint-Martin

The main part of the village lies between the church and the Vienne River, and has an attractive old centre with some pretty streets and houses to explore and admire.

The highlight in Candes-Saint-Martin is the fortified collegiale church and the chapel Saint Martin, which dominates the village. The current church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries in the gothic style.

Most of the fortifications were added in the 15th century and several further modifications were made over the centuries but the nave and facade still retain the impressive decorative style.

The church is still an important pilgrim destination and is especially known for the many statues that decorate its facade, and for the stained glass windows tracing the story of the relics of Saint Martin. When I visited taped choral music was playing and added to the atmosphere inside.

See collegiate church of Candes-Saint-Martin for details.

Saint-Martin, who gave his name to the village, arrived here secretly towards the end of the 4th century, destroyed a pagan temple already here (although some remains of the earlier building can still be seen) and converted the residents to Christianity. When he died in the village he was laid to rest in what is now one of the chapels in the church.


Most of the houses in Candes-Saint-Martin are built in the lovely white stone of the area and have grey slate rooves. The slightly austere look of the houses is softened by the fine detail in some of the stonework, and the plants springing up from every available spare bit of ground add a welcome touch of colour.

Other notable buildings in the village include the castle of the archbishops of Tours, in part dating from the 15th century, and the Hotel de la Prévoté: both behind the church. There are also some imposing 15th century townhouses and above the village there are some troglodyte cave dwellings built in the cliff.

After exploring the village you can walk along the Chemin du Panorama to the viewpoint above Candes-Saint-Martin. This gives you a great view of what is a particularly beautiful stretch of the River Loire at its confluence with the Vienne river. You can also see the first Nuclear Power station built in France (1957)

View from the panorama in Candes-Saint-Martin

Attractions nearby

The walk from Candes-Saint-Martin to Montsoreau is very popular and pretty. Both villages are classified as most beautiful villages of France and one really merges into the other: the walk between the two is easy and this is much the best way to visit the two villages, rather than driving between the two.

The Abbey Fontevraud is a short distance to the south of here and not to be missed, and the small town of Chinon to the east of Candes-Saint-Martin has a lovely historic centre and an imposing castle.

You can find more travel ideas in the Indre-et-Loire guide and the Loire Valley guide.

See also: 

Photos of Candes-Saint-Martin

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • cafe
  • candes-saint-martin-1
  • candes-saint-martin-2
  • candes-saint-martin-3
  • candes-saint-martin-4
  • candes-saint-martin-6
  • church-facade-1
  • church-facade-2
  • church-facade-3
  • church-facade
  • main-street
  • tower
  • view-from-village
  • village-houses

Arrange a visit to Candes-Saint-Martin

Book hotels, car hire and flights

Organise your visit using the options shown...

Hotels in Candes-Saint-Martin best prices


Reserve excursions

Map of Candes-Saint-Martin and places nearby


Visit near Candes-Saint-Martin with France This Way reviews

Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

The collegiate church of Candes-Saint-Martin has numerous medieval statues incorporated in the facade and porch

Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church guide


Montsoreau, listed as a 'most beautiful villages in France', also has an interesting troglodyte vilage to explore

Montsoreau guide
Fontevraud Abbey

Fontevraud Abbey

The Fontevraud Abbey has a great deal to see: it is one of the largest abbey complexes in France and most visited abbeys in France

Fontevraud Abbey guide
Chateau de Saumur

Chateau de Saumur

The Chateau de Saumur stands in an impressive location with views across the Loire river

Chateau de Saumur guide


The town of Saumur, in the shadow of the famous castle, is a lovely historic town along the banks of the Loire River

Saumur guide


As well as the castle, Chinon has a very impressive medieval centre to explore and lovely river views

Chinon guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Indre-et-Loire

Tourist classifications for Candes-Saint-Martin

Candes-Saint-Martin has received the following tourist classifications: one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages);

Address: Candes-Saint-Martin, Chinon, Loire Valley, 37500, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.211667, longitude 0.074167

Plan your visit to Candes-Saint-Martin, Indre-et-Loire

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Candes-Saint-Martin (Francais)