41 Best Places And Things To Do in Saumur, France

Saumur is a charming city located in the Loire Valley region of France. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and picturesque landscapes, Saumur offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Saumur:

1. Château de Saumur

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This magnificent castle is the centerpiece of the city and a must-visit attraction. Dating back to the 10th century, the Château de Saumur showcases a mix of architectural styles and houses the Museum of Decorative Arts, featuring a collection of furniture, tapestries, and ceramics.

2. Cadre Noir de Saumur

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Horse enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to witness the Cadre Noir, the famous equestrian academy of Saumur. Watch captivating dressage performances and admire the beauty and grace of the horses and riders.

3. Musée des Blindés

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Saumur is home to the largest tank museum in Europe. The Musée des Blindés displays an impressive collection of armored vehicles, including tanks, artillery, and military equipment from various eras. History buffs and military enthusiasts will find this museum fascinating.

4. Saint-Pierre de Saumur Church

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This stunning church, built in the 12th century, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Admire its intricate details, beautiful stained glass windows, and the panoramic views of Saumur from its tower.

5. Loire River

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Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Loire River, the longest river in France. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, admire the charming bridges, and take in the scenic views of the surrounding countryside.

6. Caves Louis de Grenelle

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Wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Caves Louis de Grenelle, a renowned sparkling wine producer. Take a guided tour of the underground cellars and learn about the traditional methods of wine production. Of course, a tasting session is a must to savor the delightful flavors of Saumur’s sparkling wines.

7. Le Mystère des Faluns

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Explore the underground world of Saumur by visiting Le Mystère des Faluns. This fascinating site showcases the geological history of the region and the formation of the unique “falun” limestone. Take a guided tour to discover the ancient fossils and learn about the region’s paleontological heritage.

8. Outdoor Activities

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Saumur is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Explore the Loire Valley by cycling along the scenic bike paths, go hiking or horseback riding in the nearby countryside, or enjoy a peaceful boat ride along the river.

9. Wine Tasting

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The Loire Valley is renowned for its wine production, and Saumur is no exception. Take a wine tour and visit local vineyards and wineries to taste the region’s famous white and red wines, such as Saumur-Champigny and Coteaux de Saumur.

10. Musée du Champignon

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For a unique and educational experience, visit the Musée du Champignon (Mushroom Museum) in Saumur. Learn about the fascinating world of mushrooms, their cultivation, and their importance in various cuisines. Explore the museum’s exhibits and discover the different varieties of mushrooms found in the region.

11. Fontevraud Abbey

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Located just a short distance from Saumur, Fontevraud Abbey is a historic monastery that dates back to the 12th century. Explore the impressive abbey complex, which includes the abbey church, cloisters, and the tomb of Richard the Lionheart. The abbey also houses a cultural center that hosts exhibitions and events throughout the year.

12. Balloon Ride

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Experience the Loire Valley from a unique perspective by taking a hot air balloon ride. Soar above the picturesque countryside and enjoy breathtaking views of the vineyards, châteaux, and the winding Loire River. This exhilarating adventure offers a memorable way to appreciate the beauty of the region.

13. Bouvet-Ladubay

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Wine lovers should also consider a visit to Bouvet-Ladubay, one of the oldest and most prestigious sparkling wine producers in the Loire Valley. Take a guided tour of their cellars, learn about the traditional method of making sparkling wines, and indulge in a tasting session to savor their exquisite creations.

14. Maison Langlois-Château

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Discover the art of winemaking at Maison Langlois-Château, a prestigious winery in Saumur. Take a guided tour of their cellars and learn about the different stages of winemaking, from grape harvesting to bottling. Don’t forget to sample their renowned Crémant de Loire sparkling wines and other delightful varieties.

15. Parc de Montsabert

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If you’re traveling with family or enjoy outdoor activities, a visit to Parc de Montsabert is highly recommended. Located near Saumur, this expansive park offers a range of recreational activities, including tree-top adventure courses, mini-golf, paddle boating, and a large playground. It’s a great place to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy some quality time amidst nature.

16. Les Caves de Marson

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Embark on a wine tasting adventure at Les Caves de Marson, a family-owned winery known for its exceptional organic wines. Take a tour of the vineyard, learn about their sustainable practices, and sample their handcrafted wines. The friendly atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it a delightful stop for wine enthusiasts.

17. The Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Noyant

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Located a short distance from Saumur, the Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Noyant is a historical and religious site worth visiting. Explore the impressive abbey buildings, admire the medieval architecture, and learn about the fascinating history of this ancient abbey.

18. Canoeing on the Loire River

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Enjoy a day of adventure on the Loire River by renting a canoe or kayak. Paddle along the tranquil waters, soak in the scenic views of the riverbanks, and discover the hidden corners of the Loire Valley at your own pace.

19. Château de Brézé

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Just a short drive from Saumur, you’ll find the impressive Château de Brézé. This unique castle features a fascinating underground network of tunnels and troglodyte caves that were used for defense and as living quarters. Explore the beautifully preserved rooms, stroll through the enchanting gardens, and learn about the castle’s intriguing history.

20. Musée de la Cavalerie

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History enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Musée de la Cavalerie, a museum dedicated to the history of cavalry in France. Discover an extensive collection of artifacts, uniforms, weapons, and artwork that depict the evolution of cavalry warfare throughout the centuries.

21. Golf de Saumur

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If you’re a golf enthusiast, head to Golf de Saumur, an 18-hole golf course set in a beautiful parkland setting. Enjoy a round of golf amidst lush green fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and stunning views of the Loire Valley.

22. Jardin des Plantes

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Take a peaceful stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, a lovely botanical garden in Saumur. Admire a variety of plant species, including colorful flowers, aromatic herbs, and exotic trees. The garden also features sculptures, a small pond, and tranquil seating areas to relax and enjoy nature.

23. Gué-Péan Gardens

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Located near the Château de Saumur, the Gué-Péan Gardens offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens, featuring vibrant flower beds, manicured hedges, and charming pathways. The gardens provide a picturesque backdrop for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

24. La Maison de Vin

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Enhance your wine knowledge by visiting La Maison de Vin, an educational center dedicated to the wines of the Loire Valley. Attend wine tastings, workshops, and seminars to learn about the different wine appellations, grape varieties, and winemaking techniques of the region.

25. Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art

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A short distance from Saumur, the Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art is worth a visit for art enthusiasts. Housed in a magnificent Renaissance castle overlooking the Loire River, the museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary artworks, exhibitions, and installations.

26. Hiking in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park

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Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Loire Valley by embarking on a hiking adventure in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park. Explore picturesque trails that wind through vineyards, forests, and rolling hills, providing breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.

27. Local Cuisine

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Indulge in the culinary delights of Saumur by savoring the region’s traditional dishes and specialties. Enjoy dishes like fouées (small baked bread rolls), rillettes (pork or duck pâté), and the famous Saumur mushrooms. Pair your meal with a glass of local Saumur wine to complete the gastronomic experience.

28. Saumur Champigny Vineyards

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Saumur is known for its exceptional wine production, particularly Saumur Champigny, a red wine made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Take a scenic drive through the vineyards, visit local wineries, and indulge in wine tastings to discover the unique flavors and characteristics of this renowned appellation.

29. Museé du Moteur

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For automobile enthusiasts, a visit to the Museé du Moteur is a must. This fascinating museum showcases a collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, and engines from different eras. Marvel at the beautifully restored vehicles and learn about the evolution of motorized transportation.

30. Saumur Forest

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Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts can escape to Saumur Forest, located just outside the city. This expansive forest offers scenic walking trails, perfect for a leisurely hike or a peaceful picnic amidst nature. Discover the local flora and fauna, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the tranquility of this natural oasis.

31. The Saumur Market Hall

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Experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Saumur Market Hall, where locals gather to buy fresh produce, regional specialties, and artisanal products. Explore the stalls filled with cheeses, meats, fruits, vegetables, and delectable treats. Immerse yourself in the lively ambiance, interact with the vendors, and soak up the authentic local culture.

32. Boat Ride on the Loire River

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Enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the Loire River, taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Several companies offer river cruises, providing a unique perspective of the region’s castles, vineyards, and charming villages. Sit back, relax, and let the gentle flow of the river transport you through the Loire Valley.

33. Château de Boumois

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Venture outside Saumur to visit the Château de Boumois, a medieval castle situated on a picturesque hillside overlooking the river. Explore the well-preserved ruins, climb the tower for panoramic views, and learn about the castle’s intriguing history through informative displays and exhibits.

34. Hot Air Balloon Festival

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If you happen to visit Saumur in early September, don’t miss the Hot Air Balloon Festival, an annual event that fills the sky with colorful balloons. Marvel at the breathtaking sight as dozens of balloons take flight, creating a magical atmosphere. Enjoy the festivities, live music, and various activities that accompany this exciting event.

35. Les Caves de la Genevraie

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Take a trip to Les Caves de la Genevraie, a family-owned winery nestled in the heart of Saumur. Explore their cellars and learn about their winemaking techniques, particularly their production of fine white wines. Enjoy a tasting session and discover the unique flavors and characteristics of their exquisite creations.

36. Troglodyte Village

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Explore the fascinating troglodyte village near Saumur, where homes and buildings are carved into the soft tuffeau stone cliffs. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and lifestyle of the people who once inhabited these unique dwellings. Some of the troglodyte sites also host art galleries, craft workshops, and restaurants.

37. Île d’Offard

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Cross the bridge to Île d’Offard, a small island on the Loire River. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks, taking in the scenic views of the city and the château. The island is also home to a park with playgrounds and picnic areas, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with family or friends.

38. Le Clos des Cordeliers

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Visit Le Clos des Cordeliers, a historic winery known for its production of sparkling wines and its beautiful underground cellars. Take a guided tour to learn about the traditional methods of winemaking and the aging process of their sparkling wines. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste their renowned Crémant de Loire.

39. Saumur Golf Club

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Tee off at the Saumur Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course surrounded by beautiful countryside. Enjoy a round of golf while admiring the scenic views of the Loire Valley. The club also offers a driving range, practice facilities, and a clubhouse where you can relax and savor a meal or a drink.

40. Les Rosiers-sur-Loire

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Take a short drive from Saumur to the picturesque village of Les Rosiers-sur-Loire. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the riverfront promenade, admire the charming traditional houses, and explore the local shops and restaurants. This quaint village offers a peaceful retreat and an opportunity to experience the laid-back atmosphere of the Loire Valley.

41. Equestrian Shows

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Saumur has a long-standing equestrian tradition, and you can witness spectacular equestrian shows and performances throughout the year. Check the schedule of events at the Cadre Noir or other equestrian centers in the area to catch a display of horsemanship, dressage, or show jumping.