The Region - Loire Valley, Sologne & Berry
An important river crossing-place on the road from Valençay to Romorantin with a bridge since Roman times, Chabris was once the site of the ancient Bishop of Bourges's feudal fortress. Its church was built over the tomb of the celebrated 6th century hermit Saint Phalier.
Now a village of some 2,600 people, it features a remarkable range of facilities. For practical matters there is a post office, three banks and a tourist information office. Shops offer everything from electrical equipment, local wines, bread and cakes, to groceries and newspapers. Meals can be taken at bars, cafes and restaurants at a range of prices while regular entertainment is provided at the beach dances and the local disco. There is a doctor, a dentist, a pharmacy, a vet and a Poodle Parlour!
For those with an inclination to indulge in sporting activities, Chabris boosts a sandy river-side beach, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, superb river, canal and lake fishing and great cycling. A short drive will take you to many other facilities .
Sports & Leisure
Our little town boasts a range of organised sporting activities including: walking, cycling, fishing, horse riding, shooting, water sports, flying, tennis, badminton, golf, football and boules.
Chabris is in the valley of the river Cher and as such, there is plenty of easy walking on flat ground in the area. Long distance footpaths pass through the village and there are many local paths, including several well signposted circuits. Country lanes and access roads provide safe passage into the heart of the countryside while there are also paths along the river bank and beside the canal. Woodland, open country and waterside walks: we have it all!
The region is very popular with cyclists and in 2005 a stage of the Paris - Nice race ended in Chabris. There are over 25 signposted circuits in the immediate surroundings and many more further a field, including a 1,500-mile pan-European trail that follows the Loire and will eventually reach Budapest! Don't forget to stick the bikes on the roof rack.
Fishermen are extremely well catered for with river, canal and lake fishing all available nearby. There are detailed signs by the river Cher guiding them to the best spots. Carp, Barbel, Pike, Zander, Catfish and many others are fished in local waters.
A world-class zoo, theme parks, the beach and a recently expanded play area are all available within Chabris or close by. The narrow guage railway is a great way to explore the area.
Beauval zoo, with the richest animal collection in France, is just a few miles away in nearby St. Aignan. It is well worth the 16 Euro (11 Euro for children) entrance fee and attracts 4.5 million visitors a year. Web site: ZooParc de Beauval
Food & Drink
Throughout France, and this region is no exception, local restaurants are proud to offer dishes using fine local produce. We would be pleased to advice guests on restaurants to suit all budgets in Chabris and surrounding towns and villages. Particular food and drinks are famously produced in the region:
Wine - AOC Valencay and Touraine, producing red, rose and particularly white, of high quality. The sparkling Cremant de la Loire is also well worth a try, with Vouvray, near Tour, being especially well-known. The other AOC wine nearby is that of Cheverny, while to the east are the vineyards of Reuilly, Quincy, Sancerre and Poully sur Loire.
You must try the local goat cheese: Valencay cheese is the shape of a truncated pyramid (Napoleon's orders) and this, and those from Selles-sur-Cher are dusted with charcoal during manufacture. Goat cheese has been made in the area since the Saracens were expelled in the 8th century and there are many others to try. The Saturday market is a good place to hunt for a selection.
Many of the riverside cliffs have been carved out to create caves, some inhabited, some used for wine storage and others for the production of mushrooms. Visits to the mushroom caves can be made in Bourre.
It is said that the best French is spoken in the area around Tour and the regions proximity to Paris means that it has been a playground for the wealthy for hundreds of years. Castles and Chateaux are evidence of both luxury living and a troubled past but this fortunate region continues to attract visitors to “The Garden of France”.
Chabris is at the heart of the central Loire region, junction of the Touraine, the Berry and the Sologne. There is so much to see and further information can be found in guides available from the Tourist Ofiice in the centre of the village. Most are available in English and English-speaking staff are on hand to assist. Also worth considering is the Eyewitness travel guide to the Loire Valley.