Surrounding area


Sarthe is a department of Pays de la Loire and as such counts over fifty castles, many of which are open for visits. Boasting 7 small character towns including Montmirail, and with two rivers running through it – the Sarthe and the Huisne, offering 86 km of waterways – not to mention 14 000 hectares of public forests and myriad more wonders… this region is a celebration of nature and heritage!


Car racing is also a prominent feature of Sarthe, attracting every year in June car race enthusiasts from all over the world with its major event – the legendary race ‘24h du Mans’ – and for amateurs of vintage cars, ‘Le Mans classic’, a natural extension to this event that takes place every two years in July.


Thanks to its vicinity with the capital, Sarthe and the Pays du Perche Sarthois to which the Montmirail village belongs benefit from an ideal location for those who wish to get away for a weekend and enjoy a change of scenery in a lush, peaceful and authentic countryside, where cultural and sporting activities can be found in abundance.


Click on the video to discover the Perche Sarthois



A mere hour and a half from Paris (via the A11), 35 minutes from Le Mans, 1 hour from Angers and Chartres, 1 hour twenty minutes from Tours and 2 hours from Rennes and Nantes, Montmirail is a town located in the East of the Sarthe department and bordering Maine, Perche and Orléanais, on the ancient road that connected Le Mans to Chartres.


First a stronghold before becoming a fortified mound and lastly a medieval fortress, Montmirail has been a strategic and defensive site throughout. Located on one of the culminating points of the Sarthe at an altitude of 248 meters, the large village winds around the castle, which is a historical landmark once home to the Princess of Conti, legitimate daughter of Louis XIV and Mme de La Vallière. Perched on the Mons Mirabilis – which means ‘the mount from which one admires’ in Latin… – Montmirail possesses a fine architectural heritage alternating between red brick, tuffeau stone and lime plaster, earning it the label of ‘Petite Cité de Caractère de France‘ (in English, ‘small character town of France’ – a French label recognising high-quality architecture and a will to preserve it).

Thus, as you roam the narrow picturesque streets you will discover ancient wall-walks, which are remnants of the medieval city walls, bourgeois residences such as Maison Conti, which was built at the beginning of the seventeenth century by the Princess of Conti to accommodate her steward, a small church dating back to the twelfth century, the bailiff’s house, a salt store, a garden of medieval inspiration at the foot of the recently restored battlements, and of course the castle, which is open for visits from 1st May to 15 September and throughout the year for groups.


Sarthe offers a diversified range of leisure activities that are highly popular with families, and encompass protected natural areas, bucolic walks, be it by the river, in remarkable gardens or to visit the many castles and religious heritage buildings and museums.

Heritage :

 Remarkable parks and gardens:

Museums :

Forests :

Vineyards :

The South of Sarthe also boasts vineyards that are very much worth a visit, two of which have been granted the French certification ‘appellation d’origine contrôlée’:

Family activities:

Local gastronomy:

And two Star Products !

Local markets in Perche Sarthois:

Open air activities:

Mountain biking, hiking and pony trekking, tree climbing, canoe-kayak, zip-line…

In Alpes Mancelles: 4 ‘sentiers GR’ (long-distance footpaths) and 50 hiking routes, 25 mountain bike trails and 550 km of paths.

Major cycle routes: biking through the Sarthe offers 420 km of sign-posted routes, 37 km of which are green routes.

Horse riding activities:

Waterside activities:

Golf Courses:

And the ever-popular car events:

Do get in touch to let us know about activities and good places you’ve discovered!

Contact us