Every year Le Thoureil (49 Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire) holds an annual Loire boat festival, which takes place on
30 April – 1 May 2016
The Loire is the longest river in France, originating in the Cévennes mountains in the Massif Central and flowing over 1000km to the Atlantic ocean at St Nazaire (44 Loire Atlantique, Pays de la Loire)
The central part of the Loire has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site: “an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Châteaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself.”
The Loire has always been a river of contrasts – historically being subject to both floods and droughts – and caught between pressures to make the river navigable or retaining it as a “wild river”. It was never an easy river ti navigate and was bypassed by canals for several sections of its length – e.g. the Canal Lateral de la Loire. Today there is a Loire Cycle path along the length of the river – Loire à Velo including the stretch by Le Thoureil.
The lasting impression is of a slow and lazy river, perfect for fishing or relaxing. However, for this Festival you can get to see traditional sailing boats, go for a boat ride and visit some craft stalls. There will also be music for your picnic on the river banks!
Le Thoureil is on the river between Saumur and Angers (49 Maine-et-Loire, Pays de la Loire) It is also not far from our favourite Loire wine producer at Domaine Leduc-Frouin at Sousigné, near Martigné-Briand.