The Arche de la Nature spans some 450 hectares.
Entry is free, including to the working farm located within the park, very popular with children.
You don’t even need a car, you can access the park via the tramway. The nearest stop is Gué Bernisson. This is the ideal place to take a stroll away from the noise and bustle of the circuit or the city. Hikers, runners, Nordic pole walkers and mountain bikers all enjoy the green open space, which is bordered by the river Huisne and encompasses the water centre and woodland centre as well as the farm. The water centre (Maison de l’eau) explains the river’s ecosystem in a series of aquariums while
the woodland centre presents the flora and fauna in an interactive, multisensory exhibition. You will also find an organic market garden with herbs and flowers opposite the farm buildings.
The Abbaye de l’Epau, place of culture
Founded in 1229 by Richard the Lion Heart’s widow, queen Berengaria of Navarre, this abbey is one of the most beautiful cistercian buildings in France.
In 1959, the abbey was restored thanks to public funding and has since been a major cultural venue. Nearly all the original buildings are still intact and stand in beautifully tranquil walled grounds. Don’t miss the photography exhibition in the gardens at the moment!
Already here? Use our website for suggestions about what to see and do
The Already here? section of our website is the best place to go for advice on tourist attractions in the area. Just say what you feel like doing and when and we’ll point you in the right direction!
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For more information: www.tourisme-en-sarthe.com
PHOTO (JP Berlose): L’Arche de la Nature, a splendid expanse of parkland on the outskirts of Le Mans
Text: Tourisme en Sarthe / Sarthe Développement