Posted by: kathandroger | April 25, 2010


One of the great things about having visitors is that it gives us a good excuse to take a break from working and get out and about to see more of our wonderful surroundings. Right on our doorstep, of course, we have the fascinating caves of St Remy built into the cliff face above the village.

Tradition would have it that the caves were originally a leper house – the constant temperature of 12 degrees in winter and summer would have been a welcome relief. Alternative views suggest that they may have been underground refuges during the wars of religion. Right up until this century they housed families of hemp weavers. You can visit the site with the Ethnicite association and discover a fascinating piece of local history – and enjoy a lovely view to boot! (see link opposite to Ethnicite. There is also a fab blog – in french –

Also close to home is the museum of Rene Descartes just down the road in Descartes. I am incredibly ignorant of philosophy in general and I found it fascinating to learn about the environment in which he lived, his life and also something of his ideas – though I have just scratched the surface. The museum is well worth a visit, though for non-french speakers it is a bit tricky. Easier for the foreigner are the gardens of Descartes – fabulous. It is amazing how a little town like that can present such wonderful gardens…

Next stop Montresor… Just the other side of Loches (also very beautiful) is Montresor, officially ‘one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was a bit chilly when we arrived so we headed straight for the chateau perched on the hill. Once it had warmed up a bit, we walked around the ‘balcons de l’indrois’ a very pretty footpath that enables you to view the village from alongside the river. A lovely trip was then rounded off by a cracking lunch in a local auberge!

Finally we headed off to Richelieu – the town built for and named after Cardinal Richelieu in the 17th century. The architecture in the town is fabulously rich and enhanced the day we were there (friday) by a bustling market. The usual fantastic produce! The lady at the tourist info had told us that we had to visit a chateau north of Richelieu – we would not be disappointed. We almost didn’t bother, but le Chateau du Rivau exceeded all our expectations. What a place!! When it was bought by the current owners in 1993 it was a bit of a wreck and the gardens overgrown. They must have had an army of workers – and an awful lot of money – because it is now stunning. The gardens are amazing and recognised as exceptional. Have a look at their website and this an absolute must for anyone visiting the area….

It’s good to be reminded what a rich and beautiful area we live in!


  1. un grand merci pour ce bel article touristique !
    nous serons heureux de recevoir les amis britanniques de passage a Saint Rémy.
    If you want to know every detail of the history of the site, the daily lives of inhabitants of the troglodytes, the guided tour is for you. Interactivity will be the appointment because the guide is here to answer all your questions and those of your children.

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