We recently took a press trip to the Nouvelle-Aquitaine which is the largest region in the South West of France. The area is characterised with 750 kilometres of fine sandy coastline & places like Bordeaux and La Cité du Vin, Dordogne Valley. Everywhere we went in La Vienne region, we were treated with fine hospitality and incredible food. It was also really easy to get to, as we took a 1hr 30 Ryanair flight from Stansted. This first blog post comes from the first 3 days of our trip as we explored La Vienne Region.
The Village Flottant de Pressac | The Floating Village of Pressac
On our first night we stayed at the Village Flottant de Pressac which was truly an unforgettable experience. The campsite (or should I say amazing floating village) was situated on a glacial lake (the Étang de Ponteil). It was set in some stunning landscape and the impressive floating cabins are fixed on stilts which can actually only be reached by boat, adding to the whole exclusive feel.
In the morning the team arrives with a breakfast basket, which is delivered by boat if you are staying on the lake. This must be something that needs to go onto your bucket list! We decided to stay in one of their African themed cabins, which wasn’t actually floating, but was still an amazing place to stay.
La Vallée des Singes | The Valley of Monkeys
Our first stop in La Vienne Region was to visit La Vallée des Singes a primate wildlife park in Romagne. This is a large monkey and ape park which has a wonderful array of primates. They all live in specially built enclosures on the site.
When you visit it is really important that you study when all the feeding times are. As this is the best time to see the monkeys in action.Our favourite feeding time was seeing the inquisitive squirrel monkeys.
Talking of feeding times, our two little monkeys really enjoyed eating at the on site restaurant. We ate at The Chimpanzee restaurant where we could pick between salads, sandwiches and burgers. Overall, it was a really great place to start our trip because you could get close up to the animals.
Château de Mariéville | An Unique Stay in La Vienne Region
That night we spent it in Château de Mariéville. Our hosts were an adorable and utterly charming couple, who had taken on the sizeable challenge of restoring this stunning building. The castle interior was very stylish and quite unique, although our evening meal was very special indeed. In the morning we were treated to a freshly prepared continental breakfast with fresh honey and local prune jam.
Futuroscope | The Heart of La Vienne Region
The Château itself is a 20-minute drive from Futuroscope, which was ideal for us, as it was to be the next item on our agenda!
Futoroscope is a jewel in the crown of La Vienne region. When you visit the park, you will instantly see that the emphasis is on technology and visual effects by using both 3D and 4D techniques. We thought that it might be too advance for our 4 and 6 year old, but we could have easily spent 2 days there. For lunch we ate at L’ Atelier des Saveurs where we had some delicious French food which had a modern twist.
We also really loved the fast track ticket option as it allowed us to jump to the front of the queue on their most popular rides. In the evening, we then ate Table d’Arthur where there was a variety of food. However, the pièce de résistance really was a light show at the end, which stole the show!
Velo Rail | Chauvigny
The next day, we headed to Chauvigny and took a Velo Ride, as its a very popular activity to do in La Vienne Region.
It’s basically a 4 person pedal vehicle which runs along the old railway track – great fun! After passing through the town, you are soon treated to some beautiful views of the surrounding areas. Yo need a certain level of fitness as the first 2 hours of the trip is predominately up hill. But when you get the hang it’s very sociable and a great experience. The return trip was much easier, as the ‘ride’ back was nearly downhill all the way!
We then spent a fantastic afternoon wandering around the historic and medieval part of Chauvigny. The first thing that we have noticed that the town is overlooked by a hill with several ruined castles. It is a lovely place for a stroll. The upper town consists of charming narrow streets and beautiful buildings that are reminders of centuries past.
For lunch, we fuelled up with some crepes and then went to explore all the small streets.
We loved the ambience of the town, as there was so much history to explore! As you can see from the pictures we climbed to the top of the dungeons. The views were spectacular.
Make sure to stop as well for the one of the best views of Chauvigny which is located across the Vienne river.
Our final stop in the La Vienne region was to spend a night in the tree house at Défi’Planet. This site was incredible! The park feels like a French holiday park but at the same time, they’ve given it some character! For instance, you can stay in holiday homes that looks like a snail or chicken! I really loved how Eco the park felt and the fact you could sleep close to nature.
Check our other blog posts about visiting France: