The city of Saumur has long been a favourite of ours and we have spent many happy weeks camping on the banks of the Loire at a campsite called l’Etang de la Breche or more recently at Flower Camping l’Île d’Offard situated on an island opposite the imposing chateau.
On this occasion we had decided to stick with Camping CarParks (CCP) and use their new site right next door to the Flower Camping campsite on île d’Offard.
To be honest, the last time we stayed at the Flower Camping campsite it was towards the end of the season, mid-September and they had shut almost everything down, the pool was closed, as was the bar and some of the toilet facilities Despite that, they still expected us to pay the full price for camping with a motorhome.
How the owners of CCP managed to persuade the planning department of Saumur to let them build a cheaper Aire next to an established campsite is beyond me. I’m very surprised that Flower Camping didn’t launch strong objections to this obvious competition It’s worth noting that in the time we were there the Aire was almost always full and the campsite had very little traffic.
Nonetheless a short ten minute walk along the bank of the Loire and over the Cessart Bridge brought us smack into the heart of Saumur and we headed towards the market square for a well earned drink, or two…. Saumur has a famous weekly market. Every Saturday morning with hundreds of stalls open for business in the streets and squares of the old town, from before 8am.
Saumur is home to the École Nationale d’Équitation (National School of Horsemanship), known for its annual horse shows in July each year. Much of the west side of the city is given over to parade grounds and garrison buildings all built of the beautiful, but fragile Tuffeau stone quarried from the cliffs above the river and resulting in extensive caves where the locals keep their wine and live as troglodytes in the heat of high summer. It can get hot there as we already know. On a previous visit in our older motorhome we recorded temperatures of 46C dropping only to +30C in the middle of the night.
Further information: Camping CarParks, Ile D’Offard, Saumur N47°15’39.0 W000°03’55.5 €12.75/24h