Often nicknamed “Little Venice”, Vendôme is a beautiful town surrounded by branching arms of the Loir River. It boasts a rich history and is home to striking architectural monuments that range from 12th-century castle ruins to medieval ramparts and a Flamboyant Gothic-style abbey.
Things to do in Vendôme
Dominating Vendôme’s skyline is the Trinity Abbey, a Benedictine monastery originally founded in 1035 and designed in a Flamboyant Gothic style. Gaze up at the 80-metre-high Romanesque bell tower and marvel at the elaborately carved western façade before strolling through the fragrant garden of the adjacent cloister. A short stroll from Trinity Abbey takes you to Place Saint-Martin, which is dominated by a majestic church tower and a statue of the Marechal de Rochambeau.
Spend an afternoon wandering along the banks of the Loir River, which branches in two to envelop the centre of Vendôme. Admire the floral frescoes in Square Belot and visit the 13th-century Water Gate, a stone structure designed to control the water reaching the town’s mills. The remains of medieval ramparts line the river banks and include the fortified Islette Tower.
For sweeping views across Vendôme, climb to the ruins of the Château de Vendôme, which was constructed between the 12th and 15th centuries. Step through the historic Beauce Gate to explore the picturesque garden and the ruins of the Saint Georges collegiate, which was founded by Agnes of Burgundy.
Getting around Vendôme
Vendôme is around an hour’s drive from Tours and 45 minutes from Tours Val de Loire Airport while Paris-Charles de Gaulle is 2.5 hours away. Regular trains connect from Tours and Chartres to the Vendôme railway station while buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Vendôme is ideally explored on foot.