The following information should help you plan your preferred mode of transport, whether driving to Vernoil from the UK or flying into Tours Airport and hiring a car. The timings are approximate and subject to alteration, we strongly advise you check with the appropriate carrier before travelling.
Approximate timings for travelling from a variety of UK ports to Vernoil:
|Ferry Crossing||1 hr||4 hrs||6 hrs||4 hrs|
|Drive to Veroil||5 hrs||4 hrs||3 hrs||5 hrs|
|Total||6 hrs||8 hrs||9 hrs||9 hrs|
The Eurotunnel crossing will take approximately 35 minutes, followed by a drive of approximately 5 hours 20 minutes from Calais to Vernoil (as above table).
Regular flights are available from Stanstead to Tours, Stanstead to Poitiers, London City to Angers, East Midlands to Nantes and more... To reach Vernoil from the airport, we recommend arranging car hire in advance through an international car hire company such as Hertz.
To ensure your holiday is as stress free as possible we have provided clickable links for key travel and transport companies servicing relevant routes.
Domaine des Vignes is located on the edge of a small hamlet known as La Bruzolle. Vernoil le Fourrier is the closest village which is very well serviced. It has a supermarket with a fish/meat and fresh bread counter, petrol station, and an ATM machine. In the centre of the village is a boulangerie, boucherie, pharmacy, post office, and a couple of café bars.
In the village of Vernoil we are lucky enough to have an English speaking vet who is very familiar with the requirements for returning to the UK, which takes away all the worries you may have if you've never done it before!
Most ferry company's welcome pets, and the cost varies from ferry to ferry, and they each have different requirements, so please check when you book. In most cases, pets must remain inside the vehicle at all times during the crossing, or in a special on-board kennel.
Eurotunnel also accepts pets, again you should check with Eurotunnel for requirements. Pets must remain in the vehicle throughout the 35 minute journey, but you can stay with them too.
DEFRA have made it easier than ever to take your pet on holiday to France.
You will still need to have your pet micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies to ensure you receive your pet passport, but the waiting time to re-enter the UK has been reduced from 6 months to 21 days following vaccination. Your pet no longer needs tick treatment and tapeworm treatment is currently under consideration.
Contact DEFRA's website for all current information.
There are numerous villages scattered around the area, all with something different to offer. For example, in Parcay les Pins you can find the museum of the famous sculpture Jules Desbois. He was born and grew up in this little village. In La Breille les Pins is a lovely little restaurant called L'Oree des Bois, and in Vernantes the restaurant Le Pelican.
Namesake of the largest of the four gîtes, Saumur certainly lives up to its nickname Pearl of Anjou. With an eclectic mixture of wine production, underground caves and equestrianism, Saumur is full of surprises and caters for many different tastes! Home to the French National Riding School and famed for its sparkling wines, Saumur's attractions range from mills to museums, gardens to churches. Saumur's Old Town, overlooked by its magnificent castle, is among the most beautiful in the Loire Valley. Each Saturday you will find the best market for miles around. Sit in the Place St Pierre sipping a coffee and watch the world go by...marvellous!
This is another town renowned for exceptional wines - particularly Bourgueil and St Nicholas de Bourgueil. It provides a good example of a typical small Loire Valley town, with a strong religious history. Attractions include the Reaux and Gizeux castles. Every Tuesday is an excellent market offering fresh produce from around the region.
Labelled both a Ville d'Art et d'Histoire and one of Les plus Beaux Detours de France, Chinon is a charming town with an eventful regal past. Located on the banks of the Vienne River, Chinon is dominated by the ruins of its huge medieval castle. The town itself includes a carefully restored medieval quarter, packed with historic buildings. Chinon is now most famous for its fine red wines, produced at some of the best vineyards in the whole of the Loire Valley.
The ancient region of Anjou boasts historic towns, beautiful natural landscapes, fine wine, traditional cuisine and much more. The Loire, Mayenne, Sarth, and Maine rivers all pass through Anjou, making it a fertile area with excellent vineyards. Anjou's main towns are Angers and Saumur, while other towns of note include Cholet, Segré and Baugé.
Their own unique contribution to the region's rich cultural composition. Every town provides something different to discover and explore. The highlights include:
This vibrant, bustling town lists some of the region's finest restaurants among its main attractions.
The capital of Anjou and gateway to the Loire Valley, Angers is a haven for museums and sightseeing - the Gallérie David D'angers is a must for any art lover.
Renowned for its enduring textile industry, Cholet's impressive parks and gardens - including the largest Japanese garden in Europe - are also a sight to behold.
With much more to offer than motor racing, Le Mans effortlessly combines the old with the new. The Old Town - listed as a historic monument - could rival some of the finest medieval districts in France.
In recognition of a rich cultural legacy preserved in its ancient châteaux and charming limestone quarries, Loches has achieved the accolades Ville d'Art et D'Histoire and Les Plus Beaux Detours de France.
Due to its central location, culture and fine cuisine, Tours is the natural visitor's capital. The cosmopolitan and shopping capital of Touraine, Tours is everything from a shoppers' paradise to a religious pilgrimage centre. Tours boasts the greatest concentration of palatial houses anywhere in the world, mostly built on the whim of successive monarchs as country retreats.
Orleans was France's intellectual capital in the 13th century, attracting artists, poets and troubadours to the royal court. But the medieval court never stayed in one place for long, which led to the building of magnificent châteaux all along the Loire. Chambord and Chenonceceaux, the two greatest Renaissance châteaux remain prestigious symbols of royal rule, resplendent with their ornamental gardens.
Strung out like jewels along the river. This is the classic Loire valley, a château trail which embraces the Renaissance gardens of Villandry and the fairytale turrets of Azay le rideau. Venture northwards and the cathedral city of Chartres reigns supreme, its medieval centre bordered by Gallo-Roman walls. Nantes in the west is a breezy, forward-looking port and gateway to the Atlantic. Southwards, the windswept Vendée is edged by a wild, sandy coastline that is perfect for windsurfers and nature lovers alike. Inland, the Loire's more peaceful tributaries and the watery Sologne beg to be explored.
In the Loire Valley, ancient traditions prevail and the routine of everyday life is transformed into Art de Vivre,
or art of living.
The Valley's history and culture is celebrated in many forms, from mills to museums, religious artefacts to galleries, and monasteries to underground caves. Evidence of the region's colourful past can be found throughout its ancient towns and cities - symbolised by Roman walls, cobbled streets and timber houses.
However, perhaps the most obvious reminder of the Loire Valley's grand, regal history is the proliferation of châteaux, peppering the landscape.
The history and architecture of many of the châteaux can often be best appreciated after dark in one of the evocative "Son et Lumiére" shows.
There are also activities for everyone to enjoy - the bioparc Doue la Fontaine, Miniature Village, Mushroom Museum, Karting, Cinema or Theatre and Disneyland Paris is only 45 minutes away on the TGV. The Musee des Blindes is a tank museum which is well worth a visit - even for the ladies!
The Futuroscope is a theme park with something for all the family and is so large it can be difficult to take it all in in one day. Being just over an hour's drive from the gites you can spread the visit out over a couple of days to enjoy all the attractions! Also near by Holly Park & Terra Botanica.
Anyone who loves the great outdoors will be spoilt for choice in the Loire Valley. Visitors will soon understand how it earned the nickname "The Garden of France."
In 2000, the region was honoured by UNESCO as an official World Heritage Site in recognition of its outstanding natural beauty. The diverse and unspoilt landscape of rivers, hills, woodland and caves lends itself to almost every outdoor pursuit imaginable.
Whilst the untamed River Loire accommodates a range of water sports, the surrounding thick forests and rolling hills provide ideal terrain for hikers and cyclists. With natural habitats ranging from thick forests to tranquil lakes, the region is unsurprisingly home to an abundance of wildlife. The miles of troglodytic caves beneath Saumur make the ultimate adventure playground for children.
For those keen on cycling, walking or horse riding, there are many paths and routes through the forests to follow. Guides can be obtained from the local tourist office, or simply stroll along the paths and trails of the Loire.
In Saumur there are lakes and the river Loire for sporting activities such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing etc, and there are also lakes about a ten minute drive away at Rille and Homme, providing similar activities.
You can fish just about anywhere in the Western Loire, on slow rivers and sparkling streams, in quiet ponds and deep lakes. From fly fishing for the wily trout, to pike and zander fishing in the rivers and canals deep in the unspoiled countryside.
Golf is booming in France, and the area has 26 fine courses. There is an excellent 18 hole course at Bauge, just 20 minutes drives from the gites, which also offers a snack bar, restaurant and has a golf shop. Visit www.golf-bauge.fr. Anjou Golf & Country Club is another superb 18 hole golf couse spread over almost 100 hectares and has a bar and restaurant where you can relax after a hard day on the course!
In this part of the world, they say "le cheval est roi" - the horse is king! There are many ways to enjoy horses, see them in action racing or show-jumping, or watch them in training at the Cadre Noir - the cavalry regiment whose horses are famous for their balletic displays.