Discover Gien in the Loiret (45)
Gien, called “pearl of the reconstruction” for its architecture is also known for the Faîencerie (museum and factory store) and its castle (1st castle in the Loire) built in red brick that houses the Hunting Museum and its famous trophy room and frame in the shape of an overturned ship’s hull. Also visit the red brick church that has been completely rebuilt.
The “sailors of the Loire” ships, which are called toues cabanées and fûtreaux, give life to the charming riverbanks and the Briare Canal and aqueduct are close by, making this area excellent for “water-based” activities including river boat tours and rides through the locks; even the Mantelot locks in Châtillon sur Loire which are a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Etang du Puits lake (30 km away) is a water sports and swimming center that is very popular in summer.
In terms of fine cuisine, there are all the famous wines (Sancerre, Coteaux du Giennois, Pouilly, Menetou-Salon etc…), cheeses (Crottin de Chavignol goat cheese), sweets (Tarte Tatin, Nancay Sablés, Croquets from Sancerre and the Berry …) and fish (Loire pike perch) or wild game (in season).
Fishermen will find the “good spots” whether in the Loire or the many lakes that surround it where you can purchase a “one-day fishing license”.