Loire and slate

An authentic, magical exploration!

Woman sitting at the edge of a lake in Les Ardoisières

Kill two birds with one stone by exploring this region which combines the majestic landscapes of the Loire, a river listed as UNESCO world heritage, and slate, a stone engraved in history and local heritage which has so many stories to tell. It’s around the Loire and one of its tributaries: the Authion, that the towns of Loire-Authion (which include, among others, La Daguenière, La Bohalle and Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire), Ponts-de-Cé and Trélazé, were built while remembering to preserve nature’s riches.

You can stroll through the slate quarries of Trélazé by taking the Loire à Vélo circuit. These former mining quarries offer some unusual landscapes! Authion à Vélo also offers an unusual route between rivers and marshes. With swimming in Ponts-de-Cé, Loire-Authion cruises and canoe trips, you can explore a large part of this region from the water! To enjoy the landscapes of the Loire while enjoying the lifestyle so dear to the region, join a drinks cruise. What could be better than admiring the palette of colours offered by the sunset over the last wild river.


The must-sees not to be missed

  • Take a photo of the panorama of Trélazé and the valley, from the top of the Butte du Buisson (near the Arena Loire hall).
  • Admire the azure blue of the old water beds in the slate quarries of Trélazé.
  • Watch a slate splitting demonstration at the slate museum in Trélazé.
  • Attend the falconry show during the Baillée des Filles event at Château des Ponts-de-Cé.
  • Take a walk with your other half in the picturesque historic district of Sorges in Ponts-de-Cé.
  • Have a drink with friends on a summer evening at the En Rouge et Loire dance cafe in Ponts-de-Cé.
  • Enjoy a cruise on the Loire aboard a Loire Odyssée boat.
  • Watch the sunrise at La Bohalle (Loire-Authion), with a 360° view of the Loire and its wild fauna and flora.
  • Taste Blanc de Sable in Saint-Mathurin and La Daguenière, a delicious red fruit fondant coated in white chocolate.
  • Take part in a free, open-air concert at the Trélazé Festival Estival. Internationally renowned artists come to perform there!
  • Rent a canoe-kayak to explore in complete freedom or follow the twilight tour supervised by the Ponts-de-Cé Canoe-kayak Club.


To save money by visiting several must-see tourist sites in Angers and its surroundings, book your Angers City Pass 24, 48 or 72 hours online. It’s great value and valid throughout the Destination Angers region.

Sites to visit:

All the activities to try:


Where to eat or drink down by the water?

Whether you prefer to have a picnic on the banks of the Loire, have a drink with friends in a dance cafe or dine in a restaurant with a view of the river, there’s a wide choice to savour the moment, and the local products!

Recharge your batteries while hiking or cycling

From small station to slate quarries - on foot

Do you like hiking? Then you’ll enjoy this journey which lasts a full day and has some wonderful surprises in store. Indeed, you’ll take in the Slate Museum where you can attend a cutting demonstration, and stroll in the slate quarry park where the lakes have a surprising colour. Along the way, Parc de Pignerolle in Saint-Barthélémy-d'Anjou, and its Orangery, offer a perfect setting for a short break before hitting the road again towards Ranloue Manor (if you’re on a bike, you’ll have to leave it at the entrance).

Loire and its horticultural plain - on foot

Enjoy daybreak or sunset to walk along the banks of the Loire, the light and landscapes enveloping you in extraordinary calm. Plant enthusiasts will be delighted by the Mediterranean Garden which runs along the quays in Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire. For an unusual visit to a place steeped in history, stop at the château-museum of headdresses and tradition. And if you’re creative and curious, come and discover the Rive d’Arts creative centre, which is also along your way.
Circuit also suitable for bikes.

Scents of the undergrowth - on foot

This path through orchards and blackcurrant groves takes you into the hilly countryside of Bauné. At a bend in the path, discover the view of Château de Briançon, dating from the 16th and 19th centuries. A pleasant walk in the countryside, alternating between hamlets with rustic houses and forest sections. Depending on the time of year, you can awaken your senses to the scents of the undergrowth.

Beauty of the Loire - on foot

In the heart of the Loire Anjou Touraine Regional Nature Park, discover the village of La Bohalle and its neoclassical church, and admire one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the Loire, its islands and sandbanks.
Circuit also suitable for bikes.

Loop between Loire and Aubance - by bike

From the Loire à Vélo cycle route, towards Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire, take in Brissac and its magnificent château. Over 52 km, you can observe the landscapes of the Loire, the tuffeau stone villages, mills and vineyards.

Angers, combining Loire and slate mines - by gravel track / bikepacking

This large 97 km loop from Angers can be discovered in 2 days, and passes through many of the destination's must-see places. Go on a cycling adventure and discover an exceptional location to enjoy with the Loire and its slate mines.

The Loire and the slate quarries aren't the only treasure in this region. And why not continue your journey to discover the charming towns around the lower Angevin Valleys, those around the Mayenne, or the towns and villages in the heart of the confluence and the vineyards ?


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