The hilltop town of Sancerre stands on the left bank of the Loire, above a rocky spur. It thus overlooks the Sancerrois and its charming hills covered in vines, offering a delicious nectar which is highly prized by connoisseurs. A total of 366 vineyards proudly bear the AOC Sancerre appellation.
So you can see why Sancerre is a great place to visit, with vineyards covering nearly 2,800 of hills and slopes which enjoy perfect sun exposure. Their colour changes with the seasons, from bright green to yellow-orange shades when autumn comes... You can admire them to your heart's content from Caesar's Gate, with the peaks of the Morvan offering a pastel-tinted backdrop.
In Sancerre, you can also explore the old town with its narrow medieval streets winding their way into the heart of the town. On your walk, you will see 15th-century buildings and many galleries displaying the skills of local artists. So head for La Nouvelle Place and its esplanade, which is bustling in summer and winter alike, and hosts a lovely Christmas market at the end of the year!
One of the best-known monuments to visit in the heart of the town is the Tower of Fiefs. This attractive 14th-century relic was once part of the feudal castle of the Counts of Sancerre, and it's worth spending some time there. Climb to the top of its 195 steps to discover a unique view over the old town's rooftops and the surrounding hills! This journey through history continues to the belfry, an imposing stone structure with bays that stands 20 metres tall. It adjoins the Church of Our Lady, a magnificent monument with an elaborately carved façade.
Sancerre is a village in the Cher department, in the Center-Val de Loire region, on the borders of the Nièvre. The limit of its territory is close to the left bank of the Loire.
Located 43 km north-east of Bourges, the town (about 1500 inhabitants) owes its notoriety to the famous homonymous vineyard, whose name has been recognized since 1936 covers more than 2,700 hectares and produces the appreciated white wines (sauvignon grape variety) and red (pinot noir grape variety).
Perched on a hill at 310 m altitude, the old center dominates the vineyards and the banks of the Loire. Since the Revolution, Sancerre merged with the municipality of Chavignol, which forms a large hamlet more than 3 km from the center, famous for the production of goat cheese also benefiting from a registered designation of origin, the dung (fit thick round puck).
Former stronghold with a fortified castle, Sancerre paid a heavy price during the Hundred Years War and during the wars of religion and, in the Revolution, when a royalist uprising was repressed.
Rich in an exceptional historical and environmental heritage, it found in the twentieth century all its luster with its production of wines and cheeses. It is a must for green tourism enthusiasts... and greedy.
Sancerre has the label "city of character" since December 2017.
Before leaving to discover the rich soil (with moderation means!), The visit of the town of Sancerre can offer some beautiful discoveries. In narrow streets, many old houses are not short of picturesque.
There are also some mansions like that of Thaumassière (XVII).
We will include the visit of the church Notre-Dame (XVII) and that of the temple, an old chapel conceded to Protestants under the Revolution (XVIII). The building was precisely built with materials recovered from the sites of the ancient temples destroyed during the revocation of the Edict of Nantes...
Return to the civil heritage with the belfry, built in 1509, but without its bell and its clock in 1573. The ground floor hosts a chapel, and once on the first floor met the aldermen.
Finally unavoidable, the tower of the Fiefs, ultimate remnant of the 14th century feudal castle. A veritable dungeon 12 meters in diameter and 30 meters high, at its summit, a sumptuous 360-degree panorama reveals the landscape of the Sancerre. Open from April to October. Price: 2,50 euros.
The castle of Sancerre is also one of the remarkable monuments of the city. Guided tours of the park with tastings are offered. Information on +33 2 48 78 51 53.
Finally, a 12th century Romanesque portal from the old church of Saint-Père la None is visible in the park of the former sub-prefecture...
To miss anything of all these remarkable points, a "breadcrumb trail" comprising 28 stages was drawn on the ground, in the town of Sancerre. Brochures and leaflets on +33 2 48 54 08 21.
It is then time to better know the prestigious wines of the region at the House of Sancerre installed in an old house. Including film screenings, exhibitions, fun activities, garden of flavors, this space answers all questions in a friendly atmosphere. Open from April to early November. Entry: 8 euros. Information on +33 2 48 54 11 35.
The most curious, gourmets and gourmets, can then visit a producer...
A stage that can be included in one of the 20 themed hiking trails that have been designed on Sancerre and its surroundings. Note that special circuits adapted for families with children have been thought, called Randoland. Routes, brochures and information on +33 2 48 54 08 21.
Finally, cyclists have not been forgotten, with two tours for them (one allows to discover vineyards and heritage, the other the charms of the Loire). Information also on +33 2 48 54 08 21.
In a similar way, the cyclo-rail also makes it possible to discover the region and its charms from a bicycle-rail using the old line connecting Cosne-sur-Loire to Sancerre. A way to combine sport, conviviality and green and cultural tourism. Inquire at +33 6 85 22 80 72.