Saint-Aignan is a picturesque town set in the Loire Valley and surrounded by centuries-old chateaux. It straddles the banks of the River Cher and is filled with cobbled streets and medieval architecture. Relax in the town centre and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere or day trip to nearby chateaux like Chambord and Chenonceau.
Things to do in Saint-Aignan
Strolling around the town centre, you’ll be charmed by Gothic buildings and timber-framed townhouses. Many have been reimagined as atmospheric cafes, patisseries, delicatessens and wine stores. Others house boutiques where you can shop for unique souvenirs.
Chateau de Saint-Aignan-sur-Cher towers over the town and is one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in the region. It occupies the site of a former 9th-century stronghold and commands sweeping views over the river and surrounding countryside.
Saint-Aignan is a launchpad to the Centre-Val de Loire and is a great base for visiting famous chateaux peppered across the valley. To the north is Chateau de Chambord, a French Renaissance marvel set in beautifully manicured grounds. Perched atop an arched stone bridge, Chateau de Chenonceau is small yet elegant. Stroll around the formal gardens, admire the impressive art collection and enjoy a gourmet lunch at the on-site restaurant.
ZooParc de Beauval is one of the top family-friendly attractions in the region. It’s home to more than hundreds of animal species, including koalas, panda bears and flamingos. Don’t miss the Equatorial Dome, which is filled with lush tropical plants and exotic species like anacondas, tamarins, manatees and Komodo dragons.
Getting around Saint-Aignan
Saint-Aignan is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The town is a one-hour drive from Tours and 2.5 hours from Paris. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore the Loire Valley and visit chateaux at your own pace. Saint-Aignan-Noyers Train Station is a 30-minute walk from the town centre.