Angers Loire Valley, Welcome to the Good Life
In the heart of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage region, Angers has so much to offer visitors: a rich history and heritage, a relaxed quality of life, impressive chateaux, excellent restaurants, plus world-famous vineyards that produce 30 AOC wines.
The main attractions in Angers
- Angers Castle with its 17 towers : this brooding fortress now houses the Apocalypse Tapestry, the largest medieval tapestry in the world.
- Cathédrale St Maurice : a fine example of Gothic-style Plantagenet architecture.
- Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts) : learn about the history of Angers, as well the history of art, as you stroll though this modern museum. Highlights of the collection include 18th-century masterpieces by French painters, such as Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard and Chardin. A temporary gallery focuses on contemporary artists and heritage exhibitions.
- The David d'Angers Gallery : beautifully restored, the former 13th-century Toussaint Abbey is now the home of works by the sculptor David d'Angers.
- Museum of Jean-Lurçat and Contemporary Tapestry : don’t miss Jean-Lurçat’s massive modern version of the Apocalypse Tapestry. In what was once the 12th-century Hôpital St Jean, the 20th-century Chant du Monde tapestry has panels up to 43 feet long and 14 feet high.
- The Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin : one of the best-preserved examples of Carolingian architecture in France (10th and 11th century).
- Cointreau : the world-famous orange-based liqueur was first created in Angers in 1875. Today, a visit to the distillery shows how this delicious drink is made and finishes with a tasting!
- Terra Botanica : covering 27 acres, this is the first theme park in Europe dedicated to the world of plants! As well as gardens, water parks and greenhouses, there are 40 attractions and rides for all ages.
The main attractions close to Angers
- Loire Valley chateaux : that are still family homes! Magnificent but still welcoming are chateaux such as Brissac, Le Plessis-Bourré, Le Plessis-Macé and Serrant.
- The world-famous Anjou vineyards : among the 30 AOC (Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée) are Coteaux de l'Aubance, Savennières, Anjou Villages Brissac and Coteaux du Layon. And you can enjoy these fine wines year-round.
- The Anjou section of the Loire à vélo bicycle trail : this 25-mile/40-km bike route starts in the centre of Angers, follows the banks of the River Maine and the River Loire, and meanders past slate quarries around Trélazé.
Tips for planning a visit
- Angers Loire Valley City Pass (24 hours , 48 hours or 72 hours). Provides free entry to 20 attractions and discounts in 40 shops and restaurants.
- A central online booking service
- Special packages for individuals and groups
Major festivals and events
- Festival Premiers Plans (January): an annual competition for promising young European film makers.
- Made in Angers (February): more than one hundred companies open their doors to the public for behind-the-scenes tours.
- Festival d'Anjou (June-July): France’s second-largest theatre festival features some 20 performances, all outdoors and in historic venues.
- Tempo'Rives (July-August): along the banks of the River Maine, enjoy 10 free concerts held in the historic Angers suburb of La Doutre.
- Festival des Accroche-Cœurs (September): this 3-day pan-European ‘Kiss Curl’ Festival mixes culture, entertainment and fun: street theatre, dance, music, outdoor cinema and art installations.
- Soleils d’hiver (December): this ‘winter sunshine’ event lights up Angers with a traditional Christmas market and jolly street illuminations.
Mouth-watering Angers specialities
- Quernons d’Ardoise : a witty take on the roof slates that are typical of houses in this region, these are actually delicious blue chocolates. Crispy on the inside, they melt in the mouth!
- Anjou Liqueurs : Cointreau (orange liqueur), Giffard’s Guignolet (cherry liqueur) and Menthe Pastille (Mint liqueur), all made locally.
- Typical local dishes : pike or perch with a delicate beurre blanc sauce, Crémet d'Anjou (sweet dessert made with fromage frais), pâté aux prunes (greengages baked in a pastry case).
Getting to Angers
- By Train (SNCF-TGV) : 35 min from Nantes, 90 min from Paris
- By plane : Nantes-Atlantique International Airport (1 hour from Angers) has direct flights from the UK (90 min flight)
- By car : via the motorways/autoroutes: A28/A11 (3 hours from Caen), A11 (3 hours from Paris), A85 (1hr 15 from Tours), A87 (1 hour from le Puy du Fou)
Angers Loire Métropole Tourist Office ****
Tel: +33 (0) 241 23 50 00
Fax: +33 (0) 241 23 50 09