Bournan, Loire

Apr 20th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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Bournan, Loire


My husband and I are hoping to spend a week in the Loire valley in September. We are looking at various Gites and have found one in the countryside just outside the village of Bournan. Is anyone familiar with the area? Is it a good base for exploring the Loire valley?

cailin is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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Hi C,

While waiting for a better response, plot your itinerary from Bournan to other sights at

ira is online now  
Apr 20th, 2007, 04:11 AM
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Cailin, I take it you have your own transport?
Bournan will be quite fine for a night or two before you move on. It will most likely be one of those little villages that you dare not blink or else you'll miss it. The next 'big' village is St.Maure where the D760 will take you to St.Gilles afterwhich the D8 leads you directly into wonderful Chinon.
Cross back over the river Vienne and just off the D571 is a small road going to the quaint limestone village of Lerne. The D571 will bring you to the confluence of the River Vienne & Loire. There you will find one of the most beautiful little villages in the Loire region (if not in all of France)called Candes-St-Martin. There is a lovely old restaurant right outside the church.
Whilst in that area you should pay a call on Abbey Fontevraud where Richard The Lion-Heart is laid to rest.
A short drive along the river banks on the D947 will bring you to fabulous Saumur. Here it is possible to have a short boat ride on the Loire while sipping champagne!
Further down river( or was it up?) we ended our stay at the glorious Chenehutte-les Tuffeaux.

You are going to have a wonderful time the Loire valley is so lovely!
tod is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 06:26 AM
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Yes, we will be travelling by car. We will have our dog with us so we'd much rather spend a week in a Gite rather than a couple of nights here and there in hotels, so we're looking for a fairly central base from where we can travel around the area. Those places you have mentioned sound fantastic - thanks for your input.
cailin is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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We used the Michelin map of France 1:200 000 (1cm = 2km) as it is perfectly detailed. Also never leave home without my EyeWitness Guide to France which has loads of colourful details on all regions incl. the Loire.
tod is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I suspect, because you ask this question, that you have not been to the Loire Valley before. I don't know Bournan, but a quick look at a map dispels ignorance.

You will be in striking distance of some good places, but I am sure that you have already done some map work and know that.

tod mentioned some of the good stuff within range (but undersold Fontevraud). For chateaux visits, if that's your thing, you are in range of Chenonceaux, Usse, Langeais, and Azay-le-Rideau. Amboise is also in range.

Good wine country nearby, particularly (to my taste, anyway) Saumur Champigny and Chinon. You can bring home a carful.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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And in Saumur area along the Loire on south side are short limestone cliffs out of which have been hewn troglodyte houses still lived in and lots of Champigons signs in front of caves beckoning you to come in for mushroom tasting and buying as the caves are a perfect medium for mushroom growing.

Bourgeuil is close by chinon and this is one of the epicenters of the Loire wine trade - several vintners open their cellars for tours and tastings.

Chinon for my money is the finest town in the Loire.
PalenQ is online now  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:20 AM
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We traveled throughout the Loire Valley with our dog and you'll find dogs are welcome at most places, even some chateaus (Montresor, for example, they practically insisted we bring our dog inside). Some sites we found more accepting of female dogs (there were worries that males would "mark" the furniture). Lots of good walking trails abound.
We stayed in hotels and had no problems with our dog in any of them.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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What Michelin map # do you recommend for the Loire?

Last time I thought I could wing it with the little xeroxes I had made out of books.

Hah! After seeing Chenonceau and Chambord, we must have spent so much time trying to find the right road back to Amboise that we gave up on going to any other chateaus that day.
hopingtotravel is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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The most readily available are at 1/150,000 scale. No. 317 covers Indre-et-Loire and Maine-et-Loire (Anjou and Touraine). Further upriver you would need no. 318.

They are very easily found when you are there. Just about every Maison de la Presse (newsagent) stocks them, at least the local ones.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Padraig you are right. Let me rectify that right now:
Abbaye de Fontevraud -
Is the largest and most remarkably intact medieval abbey in Europe.
Founded in the early 12th Century by Robert d'Arbrissel, a visionary itinerate preacher who set up the Benedictine monks, nuns, nobles, lepers, vagabonds and repentant prostitutes.
I have stood listening to our tour guide in the kitchens of the Tour Evraud with its pepperpot chimneys and fireplace alcoves. You can still see the soot from the ovens. The tour Evraud is a rare example of Romanesque archictecture.
You will also see the effigies of HenryII, Plantagenet King of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine inside the abbey church consecrated in 1119.
It boast an immense single nave with four domes, one of the finest examples of cupola nave in France.
Their crusading non-English speaking son was Richard the Lion-Heart.
tod is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Much improved, tod. Richard is buried there as well. You didn't mention John Lackland (Jean Santerre), younger brother of Richard, who is also interred there -- that's one little piece of land he got. That's John's problem in history: he didn't make his mark.

The village church, separate from the Abbey, is well worth seeing.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 10:07 AM
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If you are interested in Saumur my husband and I looked at a very nice apartment in a 18th cent. building. We didn't stay there but certainly would have if we had not alreasdy booked into a chateau in Montbazon..Domaine de la Tortiniere. The owner of the apt. is a professor and an ex-president of a wine purchase club. 2 bedrooms and very reasonable.. website http:[email protected]/apartment_to_rent. The location is so very central, beasutiful and if you are lucky you will see forests carpeted with wild azaleas which bloom in the fall..Have a glass of white ( or 2) for me.. PS: There is only one [email protected] in the website address Looks like 2 show up in the preview of my posting. the owner's mane is Real Fleury email is, [email protected]
amer_can is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 07:19 PM
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I have wanted to see the abbey since reading about 3 biographies of Eleanor of Aquitane.

John (can't remember) is he also the John of the Magna Carta? married to Isabell?

My Richard the Lionhearted stories came from watching the 1950's Robin Hood TV series.

Wasn't he freed from prison because his troubadour recognized his tune?
hopingtotravel is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 01:13 AM
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Yes, the same John. I don't know about Richard and troubadours, but there was a ransom involved.

If you want an Eleanor tour, Fontevraud is not too far from Chinon, where the Henry II and his family held court for a while.

Thence you can morph into a Joan of Arc tour.
Padraig is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Fantastic responses - thank you all. That's also brilliant news about the dog being welcomed even in some chateaux! We were planning to do trips on our own so one of us could stay outside with the dog - looks like we may not have to!
cailin is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 04:07 AM
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The priory at Fontenvraud is now a hotel with the restaurant in the cloisters. Even if not staying not a bad snack.

Also the Unicorn at the top of the village but pricy mind
bilboburgler is offline  

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