Tag Archives: L’Île Bouchard

La Suze-sur-Sarthe, Friday 24th August 2012


La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

We were here at the end of December last year and we’re glad to be back at this charming aire by the river Sarthe in the summer.  It was quite full when we arrived last night at around 5 pm, but many of the motorhomes left by 10 am this morning.  It’s still only €3 a day with electric hook-up, but we’re a bit too far from the electricity supply stand, so we’re running on gas.

Pleasure boats at La Suthe-sur-Sarthe

It’s also very pleasant to see the pleasure boats moored at the landing stage, especially the ones decorated with hanging baskets and flower pots:  I wonder if the owners live in them permanently or just for the summer holidays.  Either way, it looks like a beautiful way to travel too and I wouldn’t mind having a go in one travelling along the canals and rivers.

La Suthe-sur-Sarthe


La Suthe-sur-Sarthe


We finally stayed at the tranquil Bords de Vienne campsite at L’Île Bouchard for 3 days as it’s just perfect for us, with lots of shade, a handy supervised beach on the river, clean facilities, free wifi and a Super U  supermarket and other handy shops just outside the camping.  It only cost €21 a day including the electricity hook-up, so all in all, it’s very good value for money.


Bords de Vienne Camping, L’Ile Bouchard


We left the campsite yesterday morning to visit Château Saumur, just under 40 kms northwest of L’Île Bouchard.  As usual, the main road D760 between L’Île Bouchard and Chinon was closed and we had to follow the diversion signs south toward Richelieu on the D757 and cut across country back onto the D749 main road and D751 to Saumur.

Chateau de Saumur

We found a nice shady car park by the river Loire, just 10 minutes’ walk form the Château and strolled there for our visit.  The château is a very impressive fairy-tale-like building on the outside and it’s now a museum for beautiful sets of fine china of various designs and origins, medieval wood-carvings, tapestries and even a collection of taxidermy rare animals, including a huge sturgeon caught in the river Loire.

Sample of tapestries on display at Saumur

There was a show going on in the château grounds which ran 3 times a day at 11 am, 3 pm and 5 pm, but we made the most of the peace and quiet inside the building before the crowds arrived after the show.

Medieval entertainment at Chateau de Saumur

The views of the town and the river are impressive and we took lots of photos of these stunning views.

Views of the Loire from Saumur Chateau

Something else that was very curious as we were driving along the Loire were the Troglodyte caves hollowed out in the chalky cliffs where wine is stored these days.

Views of the Loire from surrounding of Saumur Chateau

After our visit we intended to stop for the night at the Base de Loisirs of the Retenue de Pincemaille in Rillé, like we did at Easter in 2011, but there was a height barrier at the entrance of the fishing area and we had to park a few metres down the road, which wasn’t very handy for fishing purposes, but pleasant enough for lunch.  So, yet again, we had to swallow our disappointment and choose a different place to stop for the rest of the day and after lunch we decided to drive up north to La Suthe-sur-Sarthe, which wasn’t very straight forward from Rillé, following various national, regional and country roads.  Still, I was very pleased with my navigating skills and got us here without any wrong turns or getting lost in any way.  Who needs SatNav when I am on the map?

We’re going to stay here tonight as well for Adonis to enjoy a spot of fishing again and tomorrow we’ll be heading for Beaumont-sur-Sarthe, where there is a municipal campsite, between Le Mans and Alenҫon on the D338, so it shouldn’t take too long to get there.


Chateau de Saumur



Chateau de Saumur



Car park by Saumur Chateau






L’Île Bouchard, Monday 20th August 2012




Our pitch at Les Bords de Vienne,  L’Ile Bouchard


I can’t believe it’s been 2 years and 4 ½ months since we came here for the first time on our first ever trip to France in our motorhome and we had Pepo and Bramble with us then.

The place is just as charming and relaxed as we remember it, with the stunning willow trees on the bank of the river Vienne and loads of space around us.  The river is much lower now and there is a little beach with a sort of cordoned area for safe swimming, as the current is really fast.  The municipal campsite is a lot more lively now in the height of summer, with a few young families having fun playing, swimming and jumping from the floating pier to cool off from the heat.

Young families cooling off

Last time we were here on 5th and 6th April 2010 it was just us and another camper from Cornwall: happy memories already flooding back.

The truth is we weren’t planning to come here today, but to V.I.P. Pêche on the Plan d’Eau at Ayron, near Poitiers, but we were extremely disappointed to find it was shut when we got there.  Apparently the contract was terminated in April 2012 and, although there is still fishing in the lake, both the campsite and the shop/bar were permanently shut.  We couldn’t believe that it’d all happened so quickly, as we were only there last October when they were holding a fishing competition, which seemed to be very popular, judging by the number of fishermen on the banks of the lake.

L’Ile Bouchard and the river Vienne

So it was that we had to think quickly and come up with plan B and, after a glance at the map, I saw my circle round L’Île Bouchard, just over 1 hour’s drive north on the A10, from J.29 at Migné Auxances to Châtellerault at J. 25 and then just about 10 km west towards Chinon.  It was a good move, for we arrived at this campsite, Les Bords de Vienne, for 1 pm without feeling too tired and the calm and beauty of this place is enough to fill anybody’s heart with joy.

We’ve booked for 2 nights, but we might stretch it to 3, as there’s no rush to go anywhere.

So hot even the cows went for a swim

After leaving Dompierre-sur-Charente yesterday, we headed north on the D150 past Saintes and St Jean-d’Angely and the D950 past Aulnay to Melle, where there is an aire outside the municipal campsite, but it wasn’t quite appropriate and we headed for the Base de Loisirs de Lambon, just northwest of Melle, where we found another lovely lake, very popular with the Sunday pick-nickers and fishermen alike, so that’s where we stopped for the day to enjoy the shade and the fishing.  Everyone left between 8 and 9 pm, so we had the place all to ourselves again in another little gem of the French countryside at Deux-Sevres.

Sunset at L’Ile bouchard



Sunset at L’Ile bouchard


Evening entertainment at L’Ile Bouchard


Going …


Going …






Willows trees at L’Ile Bouchard


L’Ile Bouchard




Base de Loisirs de Lambon