© Ville de Bonneval//
Nicknamed the Little Venice of Beauce due to its lush surroundings and its surrounding moats still filled with water, Bonneval is the perfect place to relax your body and mind.
The pretty countryside retreat boasts a number of relics from the Middle Ages, including the former Benedictine Abbey of St Florentin, founded in 857, fortifications built in the 12th and 13th centuries, and a 15th century gate, etc.
The network of community-based activity is dense and varied, featuring over a hundred associations. Bonneval’s strength lies in its ability to offer all the benefits of a large town, whilst remaining rural. Tourists can enjoy a real change of scene by visiting the town’s moats and the River Loir on an electric boat ride. What could be more pleasant than quietly drifting along a calm little river, admiring the unspoiled flora and fauna?
© The city of Tours//Gabare
A very accessible city
Tours has always been a crossroads. It lies at the hub of five motorways, straddles a major European communication axis, boasts an international airport and is surprisingly easy to reach at all times with a motorway exit two minutes from the city centre. The city centre can be reached in an hour on the TGV high-speed train from Paris, which also links Tours to big French and European cities with many direct daily links. Since September 2013, the appeal of Tours and its urban community has been strengthened with a tramway that has been put into service, which will become one of the landmarks of the urban landscape.
Extensive scientific research
Although Tours is not renowned as being an industrial city, despite its glorious past in the automobile industry, it is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in high value-added sectors of activity closely linked to university and in particular medical research work. The city and its suburbs are part of three competitiveness clusters (Cosmetic Valley, Elastopole and the European Energy Efficiency Centre), demonstrating that this “philosophy” pays off and strengthening a situation that is the envy of many heavily industrialized towns.
A “well-being” city
The city of Tours and the province of Touraine in the Loire Valley, known as the “Garden of France”, make up one of the emblematic territories recognised by UNESCO in 2000 as a “living cultural landscape”. The area owes much of its beauty to a long tradition of royal and aristocratic residences along the “river of cultural landscapes”, built in particular during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was in this land of sophistication, abundance and regal banquets that Tours was awarded the label as an International City of Gastronomy. With its remarkable architectural heritage, Tours is the gateway to the Loire Valley.
Tours loves sport …
A healthy mind in a healthy body… This old saying is particularly true of Tours, where team sports, especially volleyball in League A and football in League 2, often put the city in the sports spotlight. But sport in Tours also means the simple pleasure of running and cycling along the banks of the River Loire or rowing, canoeing, sailing and windsurfing on one of the many lakes. Moreover, more than 600 hectares of parkland, woods and forests in the city centre or nearby allow people to enjoy their favourite outdoor activities, in particular at the lake’s water park and on the new compact golf course in the centre of the urban area. Every year 10, 000 people take part in the Tours and Nouvelle République 10 and 20-km race, proof, if any was needed, of the enthusiasm that Tours inhabitants have for sport. With 33, 000 members who belong to 160 clubs representing more than 120 disciplines, there really is something for everyone at all levels, which was proved by the “Sport’ouvertes” event, where all the sports clubs and associations presented their offer to the public in September.