Western Loire Quick Facts:

  • This recently-created region is made of bits of other regions.  The name translates to “Lands along the Loire River”.
  • Le Mans’ famed 24 hour car race started in 1923, was suspended from 1939 until 1949, when it resumed.
  • Cointreau is produced just outside the city of Angers, site of many black slate roofs, earning it the nickname “La Ville Noir” – Black City.
western loire valley france

Jazz, Equestrian Magic, Car Racing and More in the Western Loire!

Summer is just around the corner and the Western Loire is gearing up to celebrate warm weather and good times with a host of exciting events taking place throughout the region between then and now. For everyone from jazz-fans to horse-lovers, racecar enthusiasts to flower aficionados there is something for every interest. A great excuse to explore the region, these fun festivals and exhibitions provide an offbeat way to add flavor to any vacation.

Western LoireJuly is an especially big month for the Western Loire as the 9th and 10th will see the heroes from the Tour de France passing through with stops in Angers and Châteaubriant. A visit to cheer on the cyclists presents the perfect opportunity to see some of the treasures that these lively cities have to offer. While in Angers, visitors can explore the Apocalypse tapestry, commissioned by the Duke of Anjou in 1373 to tell the story of the Apocalypse, or learn the mystery behind Cointreau production at the Cointreau distillery. Also on the itinerary of the cyclists, and definitely worth a visit, is the Château du Lude, an architectural masterpiece that has tales to tell after having survived everything from the 100 Years War to the French Revolution, with a myriad of illustrious guests in between.

A sure date to keep for anyone who has ever thought about car-racing is June 12th and 13th, two days of the most extraordinary motor racing in the world at Le Mans, home to the 24-hour Racetrack. With around 200,000 spectators expected for this event, it is guaranteed to be nothing short of spectacular. Western Loire ChevalOn the calmer side of the track, visitors are encouraged to relax and smell the flowers as the Western Loire celebrates the month of gardens in June. Sixty-six parks and gardens open their gates to visitors when they are in full bloom! After a day spent strolling through the gardens and soaking up the sunshine, visitors can dance away the evening along the River Erdre where the sea air will come alive with free jazz concerts between August 27th through the 29th.

On to the famed Cadre Noir of Saumur, horse-lovers will find themselves in equestrian-heaven where events dedicated to equestrian magic are always taking place. High School dressage, sport and trick riding are all part of a memorable show that will take place on several dates from April through September. For a special treat, equestrian-lovers should save the weekend of July 22nd to the 25th , for the opportunity to attend the prestigious festival, Carrousel.

As always, children are not forgotten in the Western Loire and the Great Park at Le Puy du Fou brings history to life with extraordinary shows and events that will delight the whole family, from chariot racing in the Gallo-Roman stadium, to Viking Raids in the Fortress of the year 1000!

Spectacles in Western LoireAlso worth remembering, is the exciting news that the section of the Loire River from Chalonnes-sur-Loire to Montsoreau has now been added to the UNESCO world heritage list, making this beautiful expanse of land full of hillside vineyards, troglodyte homes and limestone villages a protected area worth exploring!

For more information on these events or to learn about other exciting happenings in the region, visit the Western Loire's website at www.westernloire.com.

Region Highlights - Gastronomy, Sports and Leisure, Art & Culture, Pays De La Loire Hotels, and Directions to the Western Loire.