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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Sarthe

Sillé-le-Guillaume is a small town in Sarthe, in Pays de la Loire region, 35 km north-west of Le Mans, on the borders of Mayenne and Normandy.

Former stage of the pilgrimage to Mont Saint-Michel, Sillé-le-Guillaume developed as a strategic point and two fortresses were erected there, an oppidum then a fortress, in the 11th century, transformed into a castle in the 15th.

Held by Guillaume de Sillé and his descendants, barons who served the Count of Maine to resist the assaults of the Bretons and Normans, the city also became a commercial crossroads and its agricultural fairs made its reputation in the nineteenth century.

Now with its own activities, Sillé-le-Guillaume (about 2,500 inhabitants) has preserved an authentic town center while enhancing its state forest of more than 3,000 hectares and a lake of 35 hectares suitable for swimming and water activities. A tourist and leisure base is located there, called Sillé-Plage. With the historical center of the city, this makes the city a popular destination, labeled Green Station.

Geographical information

Tourism labels
Latitude48.1828180 (N 48° 10’ 58”)
Longitude-0.1275330 (W 0° 7’ 39”)
AltitudeFrom 115m to 260m
Surface area12.90 km²
Population2406 inhabitants
Density186 inhabitants/km²
PrefectureLe Mans (21 mi, 38 min)
Insee code72334
IntercommunalityCC de la Champagne Conlinoise et du Pays de Sillé
RegionPays de la Loire

Nearest cities & towns

Le Grez1.8 mi (6 min)
Saint-Rémy-de-Sillé2.1 mi (6 min)
Pezé-le-Robert3.7 mi (8 min)
Rouez3.7 mi (12 min)
Rouessé-Vassé3.8 mi (8 min)
Crissé4.1 mi (9 min)
Saint-Pierre-sur-Orthe4.7 mi (8 min)
Saint-Martin-de-Connée5.3 mi (9 min)
Parennes5.4 mi (8 min)
Mont-Saint-Jean5.5 mi (13 min)
Vimarcé5.8 mi (10 min)
Montreuil-le-Chétif6.7 mi (12 min)
Conlie6.9 mi (11 min)
Saint-Germain-de-Coulamer7.5 mi (15 min)
Ségrie7.9 mi (14 min)

Things to see and do

A stay at Sillé-le-Guillaume can begin with the discovery of its historical heritage including many listed buildings.

The castle that dominates the city was built in the late fifteenth century on the remains of a fortress partially destroyed after the Hundred Years War.

The shape of a quadrangle flanked by towers at the corners, it has a dungeon that was never used, however, because of the evolution of military technology. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, nature wings were added more residential. The whole remains very impressive and reflects the evolution of the military art. Open all year for groups and in July and August for individual visits. Wednesday, dramatized visit to families. Entrance: from 2 to 5 euros. Information at +33 2 43 14 23 43.

We will not forget, at Sillé-Beach, to focus on the remains of the first fortress of Carolingian era (dating from before the year one thousand). This castle old (referred to in the region "oppidum") was abandoned after the Breton and Norman invasions. The ruins are a rare example of what was then the military architecture.

Back in the village, a visit is the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, former collegiate Romanesque near the castle. Built in the eleventh century, but was rebuilt many times. At the level of the older parts, a distinction that the twelve apostles are represented on the vaults. A scene of the Last Judgment was also preserved. More contemporary, the windows of the nineteenth and twentieth century are remarkable, such as that contained Baroness Jeanne-Marie de Maille, now classified. As for the furniture of the church, it is also contemporary with the exception of the sixteenth century stalls. To understand all the riches of the site, brochures are available at the entrance.

Note that thematic tours are offered to fully appreciate the historical heart of the city. Walks "floating head" in order not to miss anything of carved faces, skylights and windows of the houses of the fifteenth century, and quaint architectural details that mark the old districts, and guided tours to better understand what were housing and daily life once. Information at +33 6 83 37 06 49.

It is then time to head Sillé-Beach across the large forest formerly exploited to provide the charcoal needed for the metallurgical activity.

The entire site can be discovered by a tourist train service on weekends and bank holidays from April to September and daily in July and August. Information +33 6 63 18 45 68.

At the beach itself, bathing is not supervised in July and August. A path was laid for wheelchairs and a special chair is available for disabled people wanting to swim.

For sailing, canoeing or paddle, contact the sailing center at +33 2 43 23 21 77. Initiation possible, and boat rentals.

A mountain bike base is located nearby. A dozen marked trails are arranged to cross the lake and through the forest. Information at +33 6 67 44 36 38.

The archery and rock climbing are also among the possible activities on the basis, as tennis (bring own equipment and book short +33 2 43 20 11 04), while a pony carousel awaits children (inquire +33 6 85 40 48 65).

Finally, for lovers of fishing, the big lake as the adjacent ponds are ideal sites. Inquire about suitable places and regulation at +33 2 43 20 10 32.

For hikers (on foot, mountain bike or horseback), Sillé-le-Guillaume (city side or the forest and beach) as moult nearby area offers tours and thematic trails to enjoy a green environment, the remarkable biodiversity and rich in small Heritage... maps, brochures and information +33 2 43 20 10 32.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities

The first Saturday of June, in Sillé-Plage, fishing festival. For specialists like beginners, with entertaining and convivial animations.

The 4th Sunday of July, medieval festival in the castle. On the program, fun animations, costumed parades, ambulatory music, meals in the Middle Ages fashion.

On the first Sunday in August, a horse race at the hippodrome, on the edge of the forest.

The first weekend of September, the Raid Ox Terra, in Sillé-Plage, proposes nature trails for a team of two to mountain biking, canoeing or running.

The last weekend of September, the Gamelle Trophy offers in good humor mountain bike races for young and old.

Finally, to discover the wealth of the terroir, a market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays morning in downtown.

Final FFPS Veterans Carp
Soybean Trophy sun
Friendly Fishing: carp Night
Halloween Party and Cucurbitaceae
Competition Archery Indoor
Hiking Telethon
Christmas market


Friday 25 september
Min. 8°C - Max. 14°C
Saturday 26 september
Min. 6°C - Max. 15°C
Sunday 27 september
Min. 6°C - Max. 14°C

Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Alps Mancelles 15 km.

Laval, Le Mans and Alencon to 35 km.

Circuit 24 Hours of Le Mans 40 km.


Last nameOuting typeDifficultyDurationDeparture municipality
Beef Road
HikeEasy3h45Jauzé (23 mi)
The greenway of Saosnois: a territory to discover!
HikeEasy3h25Saint-Longis (25 mi)
Discovering Bonnétable
HikeEasy55 minBonnétable (25 mi)
Circuit vtc Bonnétable, Terrehault, Jauzé, Courcemont, Beaufay, Briosne lès Sands
All-terrain bike itineraryIntermediate1h35Bonnétable (25 mi)
Pays Domfrontais
Cycling itineraryIntermediate5h00Soucé (32 mi)


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



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