Maine et Loire is a French department that is named after the Mayenne River.
Maine-et-Loire is part of of Pays-de-la-Loire and is surrounded by the departments of Ille-et-Vilaine, Vendee, Sarthe, Mayenne, Indre-et-Loire, Vienne, Deux-Sèvres and Loire-Atlantique.
It has a varied landscape, with forested ranges of hills in the south and north separated by the valley of the Loire. The highest point is Colline des Gardes (689 feet/210m).
The area has many navigable rivers such as the Loire, Sarthe, Mayenne, Loir, and Authion.
The main towns are: Angers, Saumur, Cholet and Segre.
The climate is very mild. The mean annual temperature of Angers is about S3° and the rainfall is distinctly lower than that of the rest of France.
The Anjou mildness is a mixture of light, humidity, mild but radiant sunlight and favorable oceanic fragrances.
The winter colds are never severe, and readily permit the cultivation of certain trees which cannot be reared in the adjoining departments.
Angers is the capital of the Maine et Loire department, situated on the river Maine and the gateway to the Loire Valley. The surrounding district is famous for its flourishing nurseries and market gardens. It’s famous for its 13th century Chateau which houses the internationally renowned “l’Apocalypse” tapestry. The second most important medieval heritage is the St Maurice cathedral and many other such as the St Aubin Abbey. The city is also considered a centre of learning, hosting approximately 30,000 students.
Saumur is small peaceful, pretty town renowned for its Chateau (originally constructed as a fortified stronghold) and the elite equestrian school. It’s a great base for discovering some of the spectacular countryside which stretches along the Loire Valley from Angers to Saumur. The region is noted for its beautiful centuries-old homes and churches, fine wines and caves cut off of the limestone cliffs and used for mushrooms and wine growing. The city is also famous for its factory of carnival masks and as a birthplace of fashion designer Coco Chanel.
The most popular activities are: biking, horse riding, cycling, kayaking, hiking, canoeing and swimming. There is also possibility to enjoy itself in one of the 2 theme parks, zoo or aero club with a opportunity to parachuting and flying.
There are numerous cultural activities each month, for example: festival d’Angers- cinema festival, “Journees nationals de livre et du vin”- book and wine event in Saumur, “Carnaval de Cholet”- 3-day festival, “Festival international des geants et des masques”- mask event, “Festival d’Anjou”- evening shows around the castle, “Les Accroche-Cœurs”-3-day street festival and much more.
Good wine is produced at Serrant and other places near Angers, and on the right bank of the Layon and near Saumur, the sparkling white wine of which is a rival of the cheaper brands of champagne. Angers where you’ll find some of the Loire Valley’s most venerated wines including Savennieres and Coteaux du Layon.
The cultivation of fruit it’s very popular in this area, as well as a production of cider.
Other specialties of the region are asparagus, mushrooms, local pears and cherry plum pastry.
Tourism office in Pays de la Loire:
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