Whilst you are staying here at Les Amis there is plenty to do in the local and surrounding areas, here are just a few ideas for days out.
The ZooParc de Beauval, more commonly called Beauval Zoo or, more simply, Beauval, is a French Zoo located in Saint -Aignan which is about a 35 minute drive from Les Amis. If you have children this zoo really is a must but even for adults it is an amazing experience. It features more than 3,000 animals on 35 hectares, which is one of the largest animal collections in France and in Europe. Created in 1980 by Françoise Delord, it is now run by her son, Rodolphe Delord, and managed by his family.
Beauval was the first zoo to home some animals in France, which contributed to its reputation and to its development. It has been the first zoo in France to present big cats, such as their white tiger and white lion, in the 1990s. Still today, many species are rare in France, such as the okapi and the tree kangaroo, or the even more unique koala and the giant panda (who gave birth to a beautiful cub a year ago.)
The zoo has some wonderful displays and if you visit you MUST make every effort to see the bird show, it’s amazing.
A former monastery and listed historical monument, the Prieuré d’Orsan was established in 1107 by Robert d’Arbrissel as an off-shoot of the Abbey of Fontevraud. The Orsan Gardens are a true architectural gem inspired by medieval tapestries and illuminations. It enjoys an idyllic location in the Berry region, Central France. It is
Brainchild of two architects, Sonia Lesot & Patrice Taravella, these remarkable Gardens combine symbolic landscape creation and organic crop production. If you are a keen horticulturalist you will love the variety of plants and the peace and tranquility the gardens offer.
It is about an hours drive from Les Amis and there is a wonderful restaurant at Lignieres where you can stop for fish and chips! (Les Trois Perdrix)
The region is littered with some amazing chateau the nearest being Valancay. The château, sited at the edge of a plateau that overlooks the Nahon river, was built on a royal scale by the d’Estampes family of financiers over a period of some 200 years. Construction started in 1540 at the behest of Jacques d’Estampes in place of the demolished 12th-century castle and was not completed until the 18th century, when the south tower was added.
It boasts wonderful architecture and traditional manicured french gardens. There are also ample activities for children. It is a ten minute drive from Les Amis.
On 10 June 1944, the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Haute-Vienne in Nazi-occupied France was destroyed, when 642 of its inhabitants, including women and children, were massacred by a Nazi Waffen-SS company. A new village was built nearby after the war, but French president Charles de Gaulle ordered the original maintained as a permanent memorial and museum. The remains of the village have been left as they were on the day of the massacre. If you are a keen historian or have children studying WWII this is a haunting and unique glimpse in to the life of the french people during the second world war. There is a fantastic museum with english audio provided which gives an overview of the events that took place that fateful day, after this you are free to explore the remains of the village. Although it is a two hour drive, there are plenty of pretty villages along the way to stop and enjoy.