Things to do in Chinon
As holidays in France go, a trip to Chinon can be an eventful and exciting outing for adults and children alike. Visit Le Carroi, the museum of old Chinon, which houses both Europe’s largest swathe of Arabic silk and a portrait of Rabelais, signed by Delacroix. Wander the cobbled alleys for references to Rabelais and Joan of Arc, and admire their statues hovering above. Take your epicurean exploits one step further with a wine tasting tour of the Couly-Dutheil cellars, or walk a mile in Rabelais’ shoes with a tour of his own cellar at the Caves Painctes. Take your time exploring the Joan of Arc Museum at the Clock Tower before moving on to the Forteresse Royale, the hilltop castle where the Knights Templar were once imprisoned. It offers wonderful displays of medieval weapons, self-guided tours and mobile device guides for groups adapted to all ages. For those who need to burn off some energy, a treetop experience at Saint Benoit Aventure is the perfect activity to both start or end a day.
Eating and drinking in Chinon
Chinon is famous for its excellent local wines. Visit the Wine and Cooperage Museum (Le Musée Animé du Vin et de la Tonellerie), which doubles up as a restaurant, for an intro into traditional winemaking techniques, or enjoy a wine tasting session at Marc Plouzeau’s Cave where casks and corks make up the furniture. Whatever vintage you choose, it is bound to make a splendid pairing with Chinon peaches and cheeses, available at the local food market. If you would rather relax than cook in your holiday rental, then let the local chefs conjure up rillettes de Tours and poached eggs au Chinon. Feast on mouth-watering saupiquet Nivernais, pâté Berrichon and Poulet en barbouille, then indulge your sweet tooth with Nougats de Tour pie, sabayon, dried pears and prune candies.