Perched at an altitude of 312 meters, and overlooking the Loire and its vineyards, the small town of Sancerre offers an exceptional panorama. On the left bank of the Loire, this medieval city is located northeast of Bourges in the Cher department in the Centre Val de Loire region. You can stroll through the narrow and picturesque streets of the old town while admiring the historical heritage of the village (notably the Château de Sancerre). Whether you are a lover of gastronomy, culture or sport, the Sancerre region offers you a wide choice of activities to do.
Take the opportunity to discover the Sancerre vineyard, which extends over more than 2800 hectares of hills covered with vines. Meet the best producers of Sancerre who will welcome you to their estate to discover the famous white wine of Sancerre made from the sauvignon blanc grape variety, and their red wine made from the pinot noir grape variety. You can also taste the crottin de Chavignol, a famous goat cheese made from this terroir.
Discover below all our suggestions for visiting the city of Sancerre and its surroundings for a day or a weekend.
The Fiefs Tower
Built at the end of the 14th century by Guy de Dammartin, the Fiefs tower is the last vestige of the feudal castle of Sancerre, which originally had 6 towers. Indeed, this castle, built at the request of John III, Count of Sancerre (from 1348 to 1398) was partly destroyed at the end of the 17th century. Today, the Fiefs tower, which is located in the park of the Château de Sancerre, is 12 meters in diameter and 40 meters high. After climbing the 195 steps, you can enjoy a superb 360° panoramic view of the Loire Valley, the medieval city and the vineyards of Sancerre.
Visit of the Medieval City
Don’t miss a walk through the typical alleys of the medieval city. Listed among the “Most Beautiful Detours of France”, the city of Sancerre offers a rich historical heritage. Follow the “Fil d’ariane”, whose leaflet is available at the tourist office, laid out on the ground at 28 points throughout the city to discover, through the picturesque alleys, the old buildings, the art galleries or the historic monuments. On the program: The belfry, the Saint-Père la None church and its famous Romanesque portal, the Grand Hôtel de la Thaumassière, the Eglise Notre-Dame….
Parks and Gardens
The romantic park of the 7-hectare Château de Pesselières, in Jalognes, 15 kilometres south of Sancerre, was created in the second half of the 18th century by the Marquis de Puységur. After a long period of neglect, it was restored in 2007 to offer you today a place of calm and serenity. Go for a walk and discover the three-hundred-year-old boxwood alley, the labyrinth of hornbeam, the flowered vegetable garden or the pretty river that crosses the garden. This place received the “remarkable garden” label in 2013, and is maintained in an organic way.
15 kilometers from Sancerre, discover the Garden of Mary. You will be able to see more than 500 varieties of roses and you will also find shrubs, pond, vegetable garden, orchard… Totally maintained naturally, this quiet place which extends over 2 hectares has obtained the label “Remarkable Garden” in 2017. From spring to autumn, Marie will welcome you to her garden filled with charm and serenity.
The Cathedral of Jean Linard
Jean Linard’s Cathedral, built between 1961 and 2010, is a unique and atypical place located in Neuvy-deux-clochers, 15 minutes by car from Sancerre. Jean linard has built this building throughout his life using recycled materials in harmony with nature. In a bucolic setting, you can discover a large house but also a superb sculpture garden. This original and colorful site, classified as a historic monument since 2012, is a collection of architecture, sculpture, ceramics and mosaics.
The Vesper Tower
Built in the 12th century by Hugues II de Vesvre, the Tour de Vesvres is located in the commune of Neuvy-deux-clochers between the vineyards of Sancerre and Menetou-Salon. This fortified house with thick walls was classified as a “historic monument” in 1993 for its history and architecture.