At the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers, with its waterside houses, Candes-Saint-Martin is unquestionably a pleasant place to stop in Indre-et-Loire. You will be charmed by its narrow, flowery streets and its large country residences made of tuffeau stone with slate roofs. On a wander around the town you will surely end up at the imposing fortified collegiate church, built in the 12th and 13th centuries and dedicated to St. Martin. What's more, it offers a beautiful view of the confluence where the Loire and Vienne rivers meet. Another interesting viewpoint is at the top of the village's hill: from there, you will have an unobstructed view over the surrounding landscapes. At the heart of the Loire Valley, Candes-Saint-Martin can pride itself on being listed among the Most Beautiful Villages of France.
Candes-Saint-Martin is classified among the 156 most "beautiful villages of France". It is one of the oldest Gallo-Roman villages in the Loire Valley. It still has its medieval structure and offers an exceptional built heritage.
The built heritage of Candes-Saint-Martin is very rich. Many of its buildings are classified as historic monuments. This medieval village with cobbled streets and flowers has preserved very beautiful houses.
The village offers an urban landscape typical of the Loire Valley: large tufa stone houses covered with black slate. Small steep streets where it is good to stroll will lead you to the various remarkable places not to be missed.
Candes-Saint-Martin is very related to the life of Saint Martin of Tours. He died there in 397, at the very site of the present collegiate church, which is dedicated to him. It is a jewel of the Gothic architecture of Anjou, built from the end of the XIIth to the beginning of the XIIIth century. Some elements of military architecture were added to it in the 15th century (buttresses, machicolations, battlements and walkway).
Candes-Saint-Martin also features an unusual landscape. It is located in the heart of the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Parc Loire Anjou Touraine. Its relief is divided into three entities: the plateau, the valley and the hillside. The plateau, at ninety meters above Candes-Saint-Martin, offers a splendid panorama on the valley of the Loire and the Vienne and especially the famous confluence of the two rivers. Over the centuries, erosion has created a very steep hillside that is one of the characteristics of this tight village between Vienna and vineyards...
La batellerie, an essential activity of Candes-Saint-Martin until the middle of the 19th century, is still found through toponymy (Rue des Mariniers, Port, Fishermen...), but especially with the restoration of sailboats' holds where the boats And traditional boats continue to approach.
The most beautiful view of the village remains the "Pointe du Véron" (facing it, between the two streams) from where the imposing collegiate seems to watch the tranquility of the village.