Castles, forests, vineyards, rivers and canals await your visit to La Charite-sur-Loire. Whether your interests lie in music festivals, outdoor activities or automobile racing you will have more to do than you could possibly imagine during your stay.
Use your La Charité-sur-Loire gîte as a base to discover our picturesque, medieval town and the Surrounding Region. You could visit the fantastic Chateau Saint Fargeau and theGuédelon Chateau which is under construction in the manner in which it would have been built in the 13th century. Wine tasting tours, château tours, canal tours, hiking, cycling, golfing, fishing, swimming, hot-air ballooning, medieval festivals, music festivals, antique fairs and book fairs are just some of the many activities which will keep you busy during your stay. We offer four bicycles and helmets for rent at 15 euros each per day on a 'first come first serve basis'. Each gîte has internet (WIFI) access.
Nevers (35 km) which has a Ducal Palace and is famous for its faience (pottery). Magny-Cours (45 km) car and motorcycle racing takes place. Auxerre and Vezelay , ancient cathedral cities (60km). Bourges (50 km) with its gothic cathedral built between the 12th and 13th centuries. It also has an ancient food market and many beautiful medieval half-timbered houses. There is also Briare 45km) with its wonderful ‘pont canal’ over the Loire River (designed in part by Gustav Eiffel). Abbaye de Fontmorigny (15 km) beautifully restored 12th century abbey and gardens. These are but a few of the many places to see and to explore within one hour of La Charité-sur-Loire.
For interesting, informative and fun wine tours contact Laure Juvet at Vinitour. Laure offers a varitey of tours in the regions of Sancerre, Pouilly-sur-Loire, Coteaux du Giennois, Menetou-Salon, Reuilly and Quincy.
Relaxing massages after your touring and sightseeing contact Philippe Gilet at Relaxsel. Relaxsel is located in the charming village of Saint Laurent d'Abbaye about 10 minutes from La Charité-sur-Loire.
In a short drive you can drive to Château de Meillant and Château Menetou-Salon. Within a two hour drive you could explore the wonderful châteaux in the lower Loire river valley. Some of the better-known, and most visited châteaux, are: Amboise, Angers, Azay-le-Rideau,Blois, Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Villandry.
Golfers. You could visit one of the many golf courses within a one hour drive of La Charité-sur-Loire. We have listed some of these courses below linked to their respective websites to assist your choosing the course right for you. Golf du Nivernais, Golf de Sancerrois.
Please find below a description of some of our recommended tours in the La Charité-sur-Loire area. The total time and mileage listed for the various tours outlined below does not include the time you will spend at the various destinations nor does it include time for other stops of interest. Should you decide that you do not want to drive and would rather have a guided tour we would be happy to provide a car and driver for you to make any of the above tours or in fact to make the tour of your choice. The charge is 150euro per half day for this service and there is a limit of four passengers per tour. This fee does not include any of the entry fees or other expenses involved in the tour. This offer is made on a first come first served basis and is subject to availability.
Drive South on highway A77 to Nevers. See the cathedral, ducal palace and the old city gate and then drive to the Bec d’Allier (mouth of the Allier River) where you will see the old stone canal bridge over the Allier River with its huge locks. You drive west on route D976 to the Grenouille restaurant where you turn south onto route D45. (Click here) You then come to the old canal boat ‘round house ‘ which was used to take the boats out of the Allier river and put them into the Loire canal system. You continue on D45 and arrive at the village of Apremont – one of the 100 most beautiful villages in France – where you will see the chateau on the hill the owners of which own the town (Click here). You then tour the town with its manicured hedges, beautiful gardens and perhaps stop in the restaurant for a drink. You then return to La Charité-sur-Loire on route D45 via Marseilles Les Aubigny and Beffes. (Total time and mileage 1.50hrs - 90kms)
Drive west on route D151 to D43 north onto D12 and then D25 to the Château at Menetou- Salon (Click here) where you will visit the château, car and tack museums and perhaps have a tasting of the Menetou-Salon wines. You then drive south on D11 and D940 to Bourges where you will visit the old city with its carved, half-timbered buildings and wonderful cathedral. You then return to La-Charité-sur-Loire on N151. (Total time and mileage 2.25hrs - 123kms)
Drive east on route N151 to the small town of Varzy where you will see the largest and most beautiful lavoir (clothes washing place) in the area. You then drive to small medieval hilltop town of Clamecy (Click here) then on to the wonderful hilltop village of Vezelay via D951(Click here). Vezelay is the starting point for one of the pilgrim routes of Saint Jacques de Compostella. It was here that Richard the Lion heart preached the second crusade. You then drive on D958 through Corbigny and Premery to Guerigny the former home of the Royal Forge. (Click here) There is an excellent museum here detailing the history of the forge and the iron ore smelting industry in this area. You then return to La Charité-sur-Loire. (Total time and mileage 2hrs - 177kms)
You drive north on A77 to Briare where you will see the longest canal bridge in Europe (Click here). The steel structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel. After strolling out onto the bridge and perhaps going to the center of town to see the large boat basin you drive south to cross the Loire at Châtillon-sur- Loire. You then drive south to the beautiful hilltop village of Sancerre - the white wine capital of the world! After enjoying the ancient village, a few wine tastings and perhaps a trip up the famous tower you return via Herry to La Charité sur Loire. You then return to La Charité-sur-Loire. (Total time and mileage 2hrs - 148.5 kms)
You drive north on highway A77 to Gien where you can visit the national hunting museum or the famous Gien faience (porcelain) factory and museum (Click here). You then drive south on the other side of the Loire to Saint Brisson ((Click here)) where you can visit the chateau and watch medieval catapults in action. You then drive south to the beautiful hilltop village of Sancerre - the white wine capital of the world! (Click here) After enjoying a stroll around the ancient village, a few wine tastings and perhaps a trip up the famous tower you return via Herry to La Charité sur Loire. (Total time and mileage 2.50hrs - 168 kms)
You drive north on highway A77 to Cosne sur Loire then northeast on D955 to Guedelon (Click here) where you will see them building a fortified château in the manner of the 13th century. There are stone carvers, iron mongers, timber cutters, rope makers, tile makers and much much more. You then drive west to Briare (Click here) where you will see the longest canal bridge in Europe. The steel structure was designed by Gustave Eiffel. After strolling out onto the bridge and perhaps going to the center of town to see the large boat basin you drive south to La Charité sur Loire. If you are of a mind there are boat cruises that you can take. They serve lunch and take you through a lock and over the pont canal (bridge) and back. (Total time and mileage 2.25hrs - 171 kms
You drive north to Cosne sur Loire then northeast to Guedelon (Click here) where you will see them building a fortified château in the manner of the 13th century. There are stone carvers, iron mongers, timber cutters, rope makers, tile makers and much much more. You then drive east to the Carrière Souterraine d’Aubigny (Click here) where they have been quarrying stone since Roman times. There is an underground cavern the size of a football field where much of the stone for the later construction of Paris was quarried. You then drive southeast to the medieval hilltop town of Clamecy then west on route N151 to the small town of Varzy where you will see the largest lavoir (clothes washing place) in the area. You then continue on route N151 back to La Charité-sur-Loire. (Total time and mileage 2.5hrs - 161 kms).
You drive west on route N151 to Bourges then follow the signs or your GPS to Chambord (131 min 163 kms) (Click here). You will then visit Chambord the largest and most spectacular of the medieval châteaux with its double helix staircase designed by Leonardo DaVinci. You then head for Chenonceau (69 min 59 kms) (Click here). You will choose a restaurant along the way for your midday meal. You will then arrive at Chenonceau the most romantic of the châteaux in the Loire Valley. There is ‘palace intrigue’ enough for everyone in this former home of King Henri 11, Catherine de Médicis and Diane de Poitiers. You then return to Bourges where you will visit the old city with its carved, half-timbered buildings and wonderful cathedral (Click here). If you are visiting from late spring til early autumn then you might want to take in the illuminated walk in Bourges. You then return to La Charité-sur-Loire via route N151. (Total time and mileage -5hrs - 510 kms).
Bon Voyage et Bonne Route