Château de Montsoreau
The Loire River is literally on the front steps of the Château de Montsoreau which dates from the 11th century. What a majestic setting! Villandry may have its gardens but Montsoreau has the beautiful Loire River. In fact, it is so close to the Loire that it actually has its feet in the water – that is to say, it has supports going down to anchor it in place along the bank.
Our morning started with the Sunday market under a gray cloudy sky but the day blossomed into sunshine very quickly so we decided to walk along the village side of the river and then wander the streets behind the Château before lunch.
The streets behind the Château switch back and forth as you climb beside trodglodyte dwellings to get spectacular views of the confluence of the Vienne and Loire Rivers. And what about these views we feasted on of the Château de Montsoreau! What a beautiful warm, sunny October day it was!
This Château was a fortress in the middle ages, then became a boat house because it is on the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne Rivers and finally apartments and warehouses in the 19th century. There are some wonderful boat displays inside the Château and this picture gives you an idea of the how it looked around the 1500.
I really enjoyed the historical photo montage that was projected on one of the inside walls of the Château. It was fascinating to get to view all the old images of the Château de Montsoreau in its former life.
The views from the top of the Chateau were another favorite of mine, particularly this one which shows the confluence of the Vienne and Loire Rivers.
Have you read Alexandre Dumas’ The Lady of Monsoreau? It is this novel that made the Château de Montsoreau famous (no that’s not a typo, Dumas actually left out the letter t).
The Château de Montsoreau is only 14km from Saumur (which also boasts a château) so it is in the heart of troglodyte country. That means our plans for the day included a dinner at our favorite troglodyte restaurant: Les Caves de Genevraie.
I think that one of the best views of Château de Montsoreau itself is from the opposite bank of the Loire. For the best photo opportunity, go in the morning when the sun is on the Château. Unfortunately, we could never get a bright sunny morning so this sunny afternoon photo is a bit hazy.
Montsoreau is a mere 14km from the Château de Chinon making it is easy to visit both Châteaux in one day. However, we spent the entire day in Montsoreau, enjoying this beautiful little town and wandering up and down its streets.
Montsoreau was so close to our vineyard gite so we were able to drop – in frequently. Our favorite place to eat was a crêperie name La dentellière. This small restaurant serves amazing galettes so we enjoyed our visits there.
Finally, if you enjoy camping, there is a campsite along the Loire here called Camping de l’Isle Verte which has cabins, platform tents and caravan hookups. It has easy access to the Loire by Bike path (Loire à Velo) if you plan to cycle in this region.