Chinon, France is the perfect destination for vacationers looking to explore the beauty of the Loire Valley.
Located in the historic region of Touraine, Chinon offers a variety of activities such as visiting famous châteaux, taking leisurely strolls along its picturesque riverside paths, and savoring some of the area’s finest wines.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy some of the city’s cultural attractions or sample its local cuisine, Chinon has something for everyone – including you.
The Loire Wine Route is a journey through one of the most beautiful wine regions in France ! Walk along the majestic Loire, visit the many castles: plan on settling for a few days because you won’t have enough in one day to discover everything! But for now, let’s at least start with the town and the Chinon wineries.
Best things to do in Chinon France
When visiting Chinon, take the opportunity to wander down its narrow and winding streets between half-timbered homes and tufa mansions that tell of its past. The majestic fortress soaring atop a hill overlooks the lower town below while providing access to Sainte-Radegonde chapel, offering breathtaking vistas of slate rooftops from every angle. Don’t miss out on seeing the Grand Carroi or exploring where banns meet as well!
1. The fortress of Chinon
Without question, you must make the journey to the royal fortress that towers over Chinon and overlooks the scenic Vienne River. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of vineyards beneath as well as an up-close glimpse at this vibrant town’s history!
2. The lively Museum of Wine and Cooperage
Dédé la Boulange has managed to create a bustling and fascinating museum of wine and cooperage which displays his collection of tools. It is essential that you visit this wonderful restaurant too, and sample the regional cuisine specialities like fouaces or fouées.
3. The Museum of Art and History
Come explore the rich and fascinating history of Chinon at Le Carroi museum. Established in 1905, this historic site invites curious visitors to join them as they journey through time from the Middle Ages to present day. If you have an interest in learning more about France’s unique past or appreciating timeless works of art, then a visit to Le Carroi is highly recommended!
4. Visit the Domaine de Noiré
Embark on a journey of discovery at Domaine de Noiré, and explore their winery and cellars to learn all about organic farming rules and biodynamic methods. Get ready for an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe!
5. An escape game at Pierre and Bertrand Couly
Take part in an oenological escape game at Domaine Pierre and Bertrand Couly. Here at Winalist, we have tested it and we loved it. Unfortunately, we didn’t really make the heist of the century, but we did have a good laugh! So, if you go through Chinon tours, don’t miss this fun opportunity!
6. Picnic & wine-tastings at Château de Minière
This delectable picnic, prepared by our partner “Vincent Cuisinier de Campagne”, features a dish of local, organic and homemade cuisine accompanied by a side salad and dessert. And to top it off: two glasses of Minière wine! Plus, the Château offers lodgings with access to its swimming pool for an idyllic weekend getaway.
7. La Dilettante shop
The Breton family—pioneers in the field of biodynamic and natural winemaking within Loire Valley—have opened a remarkable space at 27 Rue Voltaire in Chinon. This magnificent hub is part-tasting room, part exhibition gallery, and a curated flea market all rolled into one! And that’s not all; it even comes with its own beautiful apartment to host you during your Chinon tours.
Chinon Wine Events & Things to do
Chinon winegrowers in the city
On April 23, 2022,[ the Les vigneron.ne.s event] will be held in town and winegrowers will offer a glimpse into their vintage! For only 5 euros, you could get yourself a glass to sample these unique wines – don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to tantalize your taste buds with exquisite flavors from around the world!
Meet local winegrower – ascent weekend
For three magical days, from Thursday, May 26 to Saturday, May 28, 2022, 50 esteemed winemakers and vintners of the Chinon appellation warmly welcome you into their homes. This is your chance to gain firsthand knowledge about local customs and culture – an experience you won’t soon forget!
Wine Thursdays all summer long
For 8 consecutive Thursdays, from July 7 to August 25, 2022, AOC winegrowers gather in the majestic fortress of Chinon to introduce guests to their wines and give them an opportunity to purchase any they may have tasted. Admission rates are 10.50€ for adults and 8.50 € reduced rate – come explore this unique experience!
Vineyards wine hikes – September
Join us on a journey through the Loire Valley wine region with one of our local winegrowers, and discover all that this region has to offer by wine tours. From tastings and food pairings to exploring the local heritage sites, your getaway will be filled with delight! As an added bonus, we’ll provide you with a tasting kit so that you can savor each flavor along the way.
Register now at www.vvr-valdeloire.fr – french website for September 3rd & 4th 2022!
Basic foods: Rabelais, wine, ideas – November
From Thursday, November 3 to Sunday, November 6 in 2022, come experience a truly unique event held in France; the perfect union between wine and philosophy. Download the program at www.lesnourritureselementaires.fr for more information!
Wine tourism activities in Chinon
Chinon is an ideal location for a variety of ways to get some exercise; walking, horseback riding, cycling or even driving. We recommend exploring the Basse Vallée de la Vienne area and its attractions such as Château de Crissay, the ruins of Abbey Tranchelion and Romanesque church Avon-les-Roches. Don’t forget to include Panzoult and Rivière on either side of the river in your itinerary!
Our recommended route is to take the road towards Candes-Saint-Martin, Huismes, and Lerné. These lands are rich in history with many enchanting churches, washhouses, ornate dovecotes and charming alleyways. Beyond that you can also find spectacular castles and monuments of note as well as houses belonging to famous writers. Discover these architectural masterpieces for yourself!
Discover & book best wine experiences and excursions in Chinon or others cities in Loire valley region thanks to our guide with Winalist!
Chinon France FAQs
Castles to visit in Chinon and its surroundings?
– The Château de Rivau: established in Lémeré, the Château de Rivau is located 12km from Chinon. Quickly accessible by car, the building stands out for its architecture. If its design remains medieval, its style is directly inspired by the Renaissance.
– Fontevraud Abbey: 15 km from Chinon, Fontevraud Abbey is one of the most famous attractions in the region. Since 1099, the estate has been the resting place of French and English monarchs. Transformed into a prison under Napoleon, the abbey released its last prisoner in 1985.
– The Château de Villandry: if you have to travel 27 km to reach the Château de Villandry, the estate quickly makes you forget the distance traveled thanks to its legendary gardens. Maintained to keep its beauty of yesteryear, the castle seduces with its imposing park that tourists from Chinon appreciate.
Which grape variety for Chinon?
Chinon wine comes from the Cabernet Franc grape variety which expresses nuances through its link to the terroir. Born on light soils made up of sand and gravel on the banks of the Vienne, the wine of Chinon is round in the mouth, supple and pleasant. You can find it in red, rosé and even white!