After a fabulous hot summer, we need some water, with a number of crops having been written off by the farmers. With one weekend of rain since April in the Loire valley region, the grass has suffered and is looking very parched and dry.
On the positive side both pools at Chateau Vary are still in use late into September. Running the heating for the indoor pool should ensure we will be swimming until the end of October. Bookings continue to come and we are delighted with the first half season back at Chateau Vary.
Chateau refurbishment plans are well under way and due to start in November as the season finishes.
A short revue of the visits and activities that have entertained and delighted our guests over the recent months in the Loire Valley. The zoo at La Fleche has attracted wide interest with a lot of media coverage and we have had a large number of guests combining this with their visit to us. We are fortunate to have three excellent zoos close by the other two being Beauval just east of Tour and Doue´. Trip advisor ratings give Excellent ratings for all three as follows:
La Fleche 55%
Bioparc de Doue´ 72%
Although we have yet to visit Beauval, Doue´is our favourite located in the heart of Anjou, the Bioparc is the only troglodyte zoo in the world. It is unique in that the animals are located in the hollowed-out quarries offering the chance to feed giraffes at head height, something the children do not forget. Interestingly walking through the cave with the vultures roaming freely is also fairly unforgettable especially as these are at head height as well.
Less well known is the troglodyte village at Rochemenier also close to Saumur. This is again a unique visit to a village where people lived underground until recent years.
Chateau Vary is also well placed for a visit to Le Puy de Fou the second largest theme park in France with over 2 million visitors annually.
As Angelique Chrisafis from the Guardian writes,
“There we were in a thatched village in AD1000, faces flushed from the heat of a building torched by rampaging Vikings. Performing pigs did tricks, stunt-riders dragged men along the ground on ropes. Suddenly, a longship rose from beneath the water of a lake with Viking sailors on board. “How did they do that?” said our five-year-old, the 11-year-old next to her, the nine-year-old next to him and, come to think of it, everyone else in the audience. There was cheering and booing and gasping till the end. Children were asking: “Can we watch it again?”
Puy du Fou is a bizarre phenomenon: a rural theme park without any rides. It started in 1978 as an open-air amateur dramatics night where volunteers in the grounds of a ruined castle re-enacted the bloody history of the Vendée in western France. It has become one of the country’s biggest success stories; its trademark is spectacular history extravaganza shows – where thousands of actors and animals recreate high drama, from Roman gladiators to King Arthur, with mind-blowing special effects. Prizes have also been won for the world’s best amusement park, including two US “World’s Best Park” awards. If you live in Britain, the chances are you’ve never heard of it, but in France it’s the second most-visited theme-park after Disneyland Paris. In short, it’s France’s antidote to Mickey Mouse.”
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Chateau Vary has started to take bookings for 2020. The groups requiring more than a single unit are starting to take some of the prime periods. Please contact Benedicte to make a reservation.