Using the Le Mans region, in the Sarthe department (72) as a starting point, here are some of our suggestions for trips and itineraries that should not be missed, whether you are travelling as a family, a couple or alone. We have selected three itineraries starting from la Groirie: Mont Saint Michel, classified as a “wonder of the western world”, the château of Amboise, the residence of French kings, and the Second World War landing beaches at Omaha Beach. These excursions will give you a chance to discover the wealth of heritage and beautiful landscapes to be found in France.
2h15 / 170km
On your way to Mont Saint Michel, the hotel de la Groirie in Le Mans invites you to make a stop to discover the history of this castle, which was the château of the duchy of Brittany from 1000 to 1500. The one-and-a-half hour visit to the castle uses images and sounds to bring to life the history of the medieval fortress, daily life and the history of Brittany.
Take a small detour on your way from the hotel de la Groirie to Mont Saint Michel to visit Saint James. Here you will discover the American Cemetery of Montjoie Saint-Martin where, every year on Memorial Day, homage is paid to the American soldiers who lost their lives during the D-Day landings. This event takes place on the last Sunday in May.
The rest of the year round, you can walk the circuit called “Sur les Pas de La Liberté” (Following the Steps of Freedom), an 8km route with 14 information panels which will tell you the local stories related to the battle of Normandy. The route begins at the Place du Calvaire in Saint-James and ends at the American Cemetery of Montjoie Saint-Martin.
- Entry to the cemetery free of charge every day from 9am to 5pm
Your route from the hotel de la Groirie ends here in Mont Saint Michel. Apart from the famous abbey, the town itself is well worth a visit. A stop at several unmissable points of interest will help you to deepen your knowledge of the location.
This magnificent Abbey is a stunning example of medieval architecture from the 11th to the 16th century.
Four museums are dotted along the streets of the town:
- The history museum: containing ancient paintings, sculptures and arms, and also a reconstruction of the Mount’s prisons, dungeons and oubliettes.
- L’Archéoscope: This museum offers a digital show that tells the story of how the Mount was built.
- The museum of the Sea and Ecology: Here you will find out about the tidal system, the works carried out to safeguard the site and the problems caused by the sandbanks.
- The Logis Tiphaine, residence of Bertrand Duguesclin: Visit here the historic residence of the Constable of France and his wife.
1h25 / 140km
The Hotel de la Groirie suggests a visit to this château, which was the residence of the kings of France from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Lose yourself as you wander around its corridors, balconies, roofs and gardens, which will take you to the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.
In the heart of the city of Amboise, discover the château that was home to the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci. This Historic Monument immerses us in the daily life of the master of the house, where he saw out his days, with exhibits of some of his inventions reconstructed in the wooded park. You will also be able to discover the workshops where the inventor spent endless hours perfecting his designs.
The Hotel de la Groirie invites you to immerse yourself in this 15-hectare forgotten paradise of Dom Pacello, right in the heart of the royal city.
This estate is the perfect meeting point between the French and Italian artists of the Renaissance.
The Hotel de la Groirie invites you to stop at this magnificent château, just a few minutes away from the city of Amboise. Its history was marked by some illustrious women who played a major role in the history of France: Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici and Louise Dupin, the Lady of the Enlightenment.
As you head towards Blois, after your visit to the city of Amboise, the Hotel de la Groirie invites you to stop off and visit this unmissable estate on the tour of the Châteaux de la Loire. This estate is renowned for its heritage, art and gardens.
2h10 / 210km
The Hotel de la Groirie recommends that you make a small detour on your route to take in this village, officially listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Take a walk along the river and enjoy the peace and tranquillity offered by the magnificent setting in the hills known as the “Alpes Mancelles”.
La Groirie invites you to admire and visit this town’s cathedral, recognised as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This magnificent building can also be enjoyed at night, when it is illuminated by the “Musilumières” audiovisual show.
The Hotel de la Groirie invites you to stop in this characterful town, where you can visit the château of William the Conqueror and the Château de la Fresnaye
Overlooking the town of Falaise, you can admire the château of William the Conqueror and its impressive keep.
- The château is open every day from 10am to 6pm without interruption.
The Groirie invites you here to take a stroll in this château’s magnificent park, and also visit the different rooms in the château that are used nowadays to host exhibitions.
It is impossible not to think of this memorial, which retraces the events of this dark period of our history, when your destinations are places where many events were played out.
- See online ticket sales for the schedule
The hotel de la Groirie suggests that you stop here, 200m from Omaha beach, in this memorial museum that was created to commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives on the Normandy beaches in 1944.
A chance to stroll along the avenues and the clifftops to gather your thoughts and discover a page in the history of France.
Trips further afield starting from La Groirie: