Did you know that Bourges
, the home of Jacques-Coeur, the great financier of King Charles VII nicknamed the King of Bourges, was once the capital of the kingdom of France? Now a Town of Art and History, the town has kept a rich architectural heritage that is well worth discovering: the UNESCO-listed St-Etienne cathedral
, the Palais Jacques-Coeur
, old townhouses, lively pedestrian streets...
A stone's throw from the town centre, the quiet Marais
is a pretty spot for a stroll with small gardens surrounded by canals and rivers.
For those in search of lively events, Bourges is certain to please. To name but a few, February sees the famous Bourges-Sancerre
walk, while the warmer weather brings with it the Printemps de Bourges
music festival (since 1977). From May to September, the Nuits Lumière
offer an enchanting night-time visit illuminated in blue...
Fantasy lovers, mount your broomsticks! To the north of Bourges, in the hollow of the valley of Sauldre which winds from the hills of Sancerrois to the mysterious Sologne, the museum of Witchcraft
lifts the veil on the enigmatic universe of the wizards and witches of Berry. They have left you an entertaining scenography in their wake...Philters, magic potions, wizards, goblins and elves, the history of magic: no secrets will be concealed from you any longer.
, perched on its hill above the Loire and its famous vineyards, awaits you for a gourmet visit.
After a tour of picturesque alleyways, we head for the Maison des Sancerre
to find out about the famous vineyards and the skills of their winegrowers. The visit is as entertaining as it is instructive, explaining what it is that makes Sancerre an exceptional wine region.
In the surrounding area, wineries open their doors to visitors and their owners are keen to share their passion.
Nestled among the vines, do not miss the little village of Chavignol. The star here is the Crottin de Chavignol (AOC) round white goat's cheese, to be enjoyed with a glass of Sancerre, of course!
If you want to get away from it all and relax a bit, why not head for Briare, the centre of river tourism. A wide variety of tours are available, starting out from the town along its waterways. The more adventurous will opt for a trip on the Briare
, Loing or Loire lateral canals for a day, a weekend or longer.
The programme includes locks, turnbridges and the remarkable Briare canal bridge
, the longest in Europe, spanning the Loire. For enjoyable escapades in your ports of call, cycles are available for rent. And if you prefer to let someone else take the strain, head off on a comfortable cruise with the option of lunch or dinner on board.