16 December 2020
Photo image credits from top left clockwise Vallée du Loir: Zoo La Flèche – Stevan Lira / Château Grand Lucé – Adam Lynk / Apothecary in Baugé / Les Roisiers – OT Vallée du Loir / Abbaye de la Clarté – Stevan Lira / Stevan Lira
The Advent Calendar 2020: NEW! The Advent Calendar 2020 gives a 100% Loir Valley experience! Twenty-four stunning and exciting surprises paving the way to Christmas Day! The Tourist Office has a different idea every day for gifts for friends and loved ones as well as decorations, places to visit, recipes, and much more – all in support of the local community, shops and businesses. Discover the Advent Calendar on social media- (Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Valleeduloir/or Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vallee_du_loir). All the practical information is available on the website – contacts, prices, deliveries etc of the more than 24 different ideas. Of the places to visit, try choosing from La Flèche to Neuvy-le-Roi. The Tourist Office also has a selection of 24 Christmas secrets to be found here: To see / To do. It’s like the Tourist Office has become one of Santa’s little helpers!
Prieuré de Vauboin Gardens – won the Prix de l’Art du Jardin 2020. This is an honour bestowed by the Ministry of Culture – the challenge (to win the honour) was to design an enclosed garden. This one took 29 years to create – an interpretation of the medieval Hortus Conclusus. It had to be a representation of perfect life, dedicated to God, a representation of paradise – somewhere to escape the torments and temptations of life. L‘Hortus Conclusus of Vaubouin is the ultimate representation of this. A garden surrounded by chestnut trees, with clear running waters from a fresh spring and green box trees – symbols of eternity, scattered with white touches – symbols of purity. It is a calm space allowing you to breathe – a real luxury, a true paradise.
Photo credits Vallée du Loir – Manitoba Lodge, Zoo de la Flèche – S Le Ludec
The Zoo of la Flèche has opened two new lodges in a special polar area in 2020. The latter is in place ready for the arrival of the female polar bear joining the male in 2021. A hectare of land opened in readiness in July 2021 with streams, play areas, discovery areas, a maternity space too all located in a special medical research area.
Photo credits Vallée du Loir: Zoo de la Flèche polar bears – Gosselin
Nothing is too much trouble for the bears; they will have the very best of the best to encourage their residence and breeding at the Zoo. The team are looking forward to helping the protection of species native to the Artic such as the bears. The Artic Lodges look straight out onto the enclosure and has proven so popular that the waiting list to spend the night here is two years long – hence the construction of the two extra lodges.
Photo credits Vallée du Loir: Inuk Lodge – Zoo de la Flèche – S Le Ludec
La Vallée du Loir on television – TF1 – the BBC 1 of France. A beautiful film was broadcast to the 7,5 million viewers and can be found here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2764650653822469&id=1036018616787864&_rdr.
Photo credits Vallée du Loir: From top left clockwise – Marais de Cré -sur-le-Loir – OT Vallée du Loir / Chartre -sur-le-Loir – Allwrite / Zoo de la Flèche / Stevan Lira / Château de Poncé – Allwrite / Domaine LeLais – Pascal Beltrami, Tourism en Sarthe
Travelling to the Vallée du Loir: Take the Eurostar or fly to Paris and travel from Paris Montparnasse Train Station via TGV Atlantique direct to Le Mans (55 minutes) – gateway to The Loir. It’s also only a two-three hour drive from Caen.
Notes for editors: The Loir Valley is situated between Le Mans, Tours, Laval and Angers. The little Loir, a cousin of the larger Loire, into which the river flows, means ‘dormouse’. This conjures a very apt description of the area – sleepy, rolling French countryside, with charming villages and enchanting towns that seem to belong to a past era when life was less busy and complicated.
The Loir has throughout history been lauded for its gentle style of living. The river was always the lifeline bringing building materials to construct some of the luxuriant châteaux such as Château du Lude, grand enough to rival those of the Loire further south. There are some gorgeous gardens otherwise explore nature where outdoor activities abound.
This is the most northerly outpost of Loire AOC wines which can be enjoyed in the restaurants scattered throughout the region such as Le Moulin de Quatre Saisons in La Flèche.
For more information please visit www.vallee-du-loir.com.