Did you know...? Angers is France’s greenest city*! Every corner of the destination thrives with nature, from the banks of the Loire to the rows of vineyards, not forgetting Terra Botanica, the first theme park dedicated to the world of plants, featuring varieties from every continent in the world. Fancy a boost of green? Pick up a bike, fill your water bottle and you’ll be ready to experience the best green spots in Angers and around.
Jardin des plantes (Botanical Gardens)
With its remarkable, centuries-old trees and some 25,000 plants, this oasis in the city quite naturally inspires calm and contemplation. Whether you are a plant lover or just like to stroll, you’ll be equally enchanted.
Plus you’ll find some 70 or so QR Codes to flash, to learn more about the amazing plants that you see.
Jardin du Mail
This park’s iconic bandstand is one of its most popular features, along with the fountain that is illuminated at night. Its position slap bang in the centre of town, just steps from the Saturday morning market, is another reason people love it.
Jardin du Mail is particularly beautiful in summer thanks to its 20,000 to 30,000 flowers.
Jardin du Musée des Beaux-Arts
In a daze after admiring the works of Fragonard, Ingres and Watteau in the fine arts museum? Allow yourself a stroll in the museum’s garden. Four sections await: the Topiary Alley lined with ornamental yew trees, the rhododendron and azalea bushes, the play area and the Toussaint cloisters.
Go from fine arts to street art in just one click!
Close to the City Centre
Named after French novelist Honoré de Balzac, this bucolic park covers 124 acres of town. It runs along the cool banks of the river Maine, with 11 different themes to explore, such as marshland, flower fields and traditional meadowland. It’s worth going for a jog there to see it all.
Balzac park is a haven for the natural biodiversity of the floodplains of Anjou and is certified by the national bird protection league as a refuge of excellence for birds.
The Saint Nicolas Parks
Enjoy a lovely family stroll in this popular waterside spot with its 247 acres of parkland around the Etang de Saint Nicolas lake. An amazing array of biodiversity makes this an interesting outing for all ages, and the footpaths here are ideal for running. Continue onto Parc de la Garenne with its play area for children. Animals are welcome within the Saint-Nicolas parks.
The banks of Etang Saint-Nicolas are especially peaceful. Immerse yourself in this bubble of sounds of the forest for a guaranteed relaxing effect.
Lac de Maine
This natural spot is great for its closeness to the city, for family walks along the tow path, watersports in spring and summer and for its ornithological reserve.
What would you say to a haven of tranquillity with Natura 2000 status and accessible to all? This island, open to the public from spring to autumn, will treat you to a landscape of natural flood meadows where local farming traditions persist and a number of protected species can be found. The French league for the protection of birds (LPO) organizes birdwatching outings for all ages.
Basses vallées angevines
First, a few facts and figures about these floodplains. The Basses Vallées Angevines are an uninterrupted green space that is emblematic of the Angers region. The area is home to three rivers (the Mayenne, the Sarthe and the Loir), 9,200 hectares of outstanding biodiversity, numerous trails along the banks of the Loir, the Rochefoulques crossing barge, and all the water you could want for row boating, fishing or canoeing. It’s enough to make your head spin!
These French gardens and vast forest park hold plenty of surprises. Fans of Nordic walking will find the ideal trail, runners some good sprinting terrain and families a playground in an exquisite setting.
Even more surprising – ten World War II bunkers are hidden away in the park.
Parc des ardoisières
Nature and an encounter with local history await you at this 247-acre site where the vestiges of the area’s industrial and mining past can be seen (slate was quarried in Angers for over 600 years). This living heritage site is one of the highlights along the Loire à Vélo bike route.
More Green Spaces around Angers
- Parc des Sablières in Écouflant, for walks or cooling off in summer thanks to its supervised bathing area.
- André Delibes Park and the motte and bailey castle in Verrières-en-Anjou, for family nature walks near Angers.
- The woods of Membrolle-sur-Longuenée or Loire-Authion, for a good dose of forest bathing!
* 2020 Ranking by the French Green Cities Observatory