Attractions and Events.
Here are a selection of attractions and events that we would recommend: it's by no means exhaustive, as we are discovering new things all the time;
Puy du Fou.
This is an amazing experience for theme park lovers. Historically based it offers masses of shows and an enormous live enactment that will leave you speechless. Its about 50 mins drive away, but is an ALL DAY experience for everyone. See more at: http://www.puydufou.com/en
The Nombril du Monde (Bellybutton of the World) at Pougne Herisson.
An amazing village that has embraced a legend and is slightly bizarre but kind of fascinating at the same time. A recommended visit for those who can 'go with it', who enjoy storytelling, are curious and like to explore. They have 'spectacles' throughout the season also. https://www.nombril.com/get-into-the-legend.html
Chateau de Saint Mesmin.
A very old restored castle with bags of history, really well presented with regular 'animations'. A bit of a 'must' as far as we are concerned! http://www.chateau-saintmesmin.com/index_en
Oiron chateau and art gallery.
One of the 'Monuments de France' this is a highly recommended visit. Contemporary art in a gorgeous setting. http://www.chateau-oiron.fr/
A small medieval town on the Camino de St Jaques, there is a lot to interest historians within the old city walls, pretty walks, lovely views, a good market (Weds) and a couple of great festivals. There is also a theatre, cinema and swimming pool. Lots more info on the Office de Tourisme site. www.tourisme-gatine.com/
Perhaps less attractive than Parthenay, but somehow with a bigger 'buzz', a new cinema, 10 pin bowling alley, indoor and outdoor pools and a market on a Tuesday. Lots of information on the Office de Tourisme site, but for some reason, I can't link it!
This theme park is at the other end of the spectrum to Puy de Fou. Instead of a historical base, this is all science fiction. About 60 mins away, rides and shows and a grand evening spectacle await.
You can view the brochure in English here:
This is a very much enjoyed day out for all of our guests so far. Its about 90 minutes away but again a great visit to a lovely, lovely town, boat rides, good food, great shopping, an excellent aquarium, beaches, marina, music festival, Irish bar (with a music session regularly but not an Irishman in sight!).
I dare you not to enjoy La Rochelle.
There are lots of links to history here- we have the very 'Roman' town of Airvault and medieval St Loup Lamaire, or for a whole day out and a late return, there's La Rochelle, the fascinating reclaimed land and canals of the 'Venice Vert' - the Marais Poitevin and of course, some wild and beautiful Atlantic beaches. We usually get up early, pack a picnic and go....stay all day and eat an evening meal at a bistro on the way home.
Then sleep long and hard.
If you want to know about cycling, or walking or nearby, drop us an email and we can send you some links, though the Office de Tourisme is a great place to start. We have some lovely local rides and walks that we are happy to show you anyway.
Events...again there are loads, but we tend to favour music. As well as the following, there are 'one off' events in many towns and villages around, some in the day, most in the evening....and its worth saying that evening events often don't start till 8.30pm and go on till very late!
End of March/early April. Blues festival in Thouars. www.blues-n-co.org/
Mid June. Festival de Poupet. A really classy music festival with big name performers. www.festival-poupet.com/
21st June. Fete de la Musique.
Both local towns join in this fabulous French institution, and there's a great night out to be had, with live music in the streets until late, food stalls, beer and wine a-plenty.
Mid July. Parthenay. FLIP
A massive games festival for children of all ages. A really magnificent event!
Festival des Enfants du Monde.
Children of the world descend upon a local town to sing and dance in traditional costume. Quite a spectacle, with children sharing the joy of dance and embracing 'difference'! rife.asso.fr/
End of July. Parthenay. De Bouche a Oreille
A lovely intimate folk festival. We spend a lot of time there, so please only book the last week in July if you are interested in coming along! www.deboucheaoreille.org/
If dancing is your thing, then there's likely to be a 'Bal Trad' (like a French Ceilidh) nearby, to which we will happily accompany you!
As well as the above, there is a fete for everything in France. For bread, for snail eating, giant bbq's, cassoulets...you name it, there's a party! Many villages (ours included) have a village picnic where everyone turns out, eating and drinking, playing boules and music, and dancing till late.