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 pandas.
The zoo has some wonderful displays and if you visit you MUST make every effort to see the bird show, it’s amazing.
There are an abundance of gardens to visit if that is something you enjoy doing – from the famous ‘Fetes des jardins’ at Chaumont
to the lovely gardens at the chateaux – Valancay is only 10 minutes away. Our favourite is Villandry which is about an hour away.
More locally are the ‘Domaines de Poulaines, literally 5 minutes away from us.
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.
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.
A short drive away is ‘Le Parc naturel régional de la Brenne’ which has an abundance of bird life. The arrival and departure of the cranes is an amazing sight.
The region is full of history. Apart from the grand history in the chateaux there is also an abundance of history relating to the 2nd world war.
There are also troglodytique areas in easy driving distance that are fascinating to look at.
There is ample fishing on the various rivers in the region and we are happy to help you buy a permit.
Canoes can also be hired very easily.
Bikes are available in the nearby town of Chabris. They will even hire you an electric bike if that is what you would prefer!
The French game of pétanque can be played on the village park in Menetou or in the grounds of Les Amis.
There are tennis courts in Selles Sur Cher, which is only a short drive from Les Amis.
If these are a little too energetic there is always ‘Le Train Touristique’ to wander through the countryside.
…..and don’t forget the markets and brocantes that France is very famous for. If you are fans of ‘Escape to the Chateau’ you will know that these are great places to find particular treasures!