Montsoreau, Loire Valley; a beautiful village on the banks of the Loire river

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Visit Montsoreau

Montsoreau is a lovely little village on the banks of the Loire river in between Saumur and Tours. It is a classified "most beautiful village of France" and was also nominated in the 2012 edition of the 'preferred village of the French' (village préféré des Français) competition organised by the France 2 television channel.

Explore Montsoreau

Montsoreau is situated in a splendid position. It is not only on the banks of the Loire river in the Loire Valley which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also right next to another "most beautiful village of France" meaning that you can very easily visit both in a morning!

The buildings of Montsoreau are built of the traditional white tuffeau stone and have steep grey slate roofs. As an ensemble it is very harmonious and very elegant. Add to this the abundance of flowers that make the village a "village fleuri',  the castle, mushroom museum and mills and you can see why it is such a popular village.

Montsoreau village

Wandering along the streets of Montsoreau and along the edge of the river is a pleasure. The tourist office in the village can give you a map to ensure you get the most from your visit.

Visit the church of Saint Pierre de Rest and the Maison du Parc which can give you information about the Parc naturel regional Loire-Anjou-Touraine of which Montsoreau sits at the centre.

The castle of Montsoreau is 15th century and built in Renaissance style. It is now home to a contemporary art museum and has the world leading collection of Conceptuel Art.

Another interesting attraction is the champignonnière or mushroom cave. This is a large troglodyte cave which has been dug out since medieval times to quarry the white touffeau stone. The extensive galleries are now used to grow mushrooms but also include some troglodyte dwellings which have been kept in their original state and are now used as a troglodyte restaurant!

Visitors can explore the mushroom growing caves, which have been used for mushroom growing since the 19th century, and can of course eat in the restaurant.

Montsoreau castle

Montsoreau was made 'famous' by the book of Alexandre Dumas, 'la Dame de Monsoreau'. This stretch of the river Loire has also been painted by famous artists including William Turner.

Every second Sunday of the month Montsoreau hosts a large flea market on the rive'rs edge making it an excellent time to visit. Montsoreau is also on the "La Loire à Velo" cycle route and so is a popular spot with cyclists in the summer.

Places to visit nearby

Candes-Saint-Martin is another "most beautiful village of France" and is an easy walk away making the two villages easy to visit in the same day or half day.

Saumur is an attractive town and the Chateau of Saumur is in the centre of town. Chinon was one of our favourite Loire valley villages and has an interesting medieval chateau, the Chateau de Chinon. Most of the castles in the area are Renaissance so this makes a change if you are visiting lots.

See also:

Map of Montsoreau and places to visit

Places to visit near Montsoreau

Candes-Saint-Martin

Candes-Saint-Martin

Candes-Saint-Martin is a pretty village on the confluent of the rivers Loire and Vienne.

Candes-Saint-Martin

Chateau de Saumur

Chateau de Saumur

The Chateau de Saumur is one of the least striking of the Loire chateaux but sits above the pretty town of Saumur.

Chateau de Saumur

Saumur

Saumur

The attractive town of Saumur is home to the Chateau de Saumur and the renowned School of Cavalry riding school famous for the 'Cadre Noir'.

Saumur

Chinon

Chinon

Chinon is a beautiful little Loire Valley village dominated by its imposing fortress.

Chinon

Chateau de Chinon

Chateau de Chinon

The Chateau de Chinon retains more of its medieval characteristics than many of the other Loire chateaux which were redesigned in the Renaissance period.

Chateau de Chinon

Chateau d'Ussé

Chateau d'Ussé

The Chateau d'Ussé is a very pretty chateau said to be the inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.

Chateau d'Ussé

Chateau de Langeais

Chateau de Langeais

The Chateau de Langeais has some fine 15 and 16th century tapisteries and furniture.

Chateau de Langeais

Langeais

Langeais

Langeais is best known for its castle, the Chateau de Langeais but it has an attractive town centre.

Langeais