The tradition of guinguettes
From May to September, you can find the “guinguette” spirit well and alive along the Loire, Cher, Vienne and Indre rivers. These open air cafés invite you to dance, play and get together over a drink or a meal, all in an atmosphere that combines the colours of the summer and all the tastes of a true vacation!
From one waterway to another, what all guinguettes have in common is an ambiance that is convivial, playful and friendly. Their individual styles vary, however, as some are focus on the inherited traditions of the Seine and of the Marne while others revisit it.
On the banks of the Loire
Left bank - Tours sur Loire
The ambiance of this guinguette varies from one day to the next, as it offers crafting and origami workshops canvases and painting supplies for aspiring (or seasoned) artists by day, while transforming into a festive atmosphere by night. Whether sitting at a table or on a lounge chair, you can take in a show, concert or outdoor film screening.
Right bank: Rochecorbon guinguette
By the water’s edge at the foot of the Tuffeau, Valley, the Rochecordon guinguette is the biggest in France with a seated capacity of 1,200. All ages will find a beat to move to on the 300 square meter dance floor, with an orchestra, ballroom dancing, salsa, or rock available depending on the night. You can taste some fried fish and play a game of pétanque, beach volleyball or shuffleboard, and swing and games are available for kids. The Loire is reachable by canoe or via the Saint Martin de Tours boat, just a stone’s throw away.
On the banks of the Vienne
Pouzay beach guinguette
The creators of this guinguette were inspired by the open-air café of Rochecorbon, and so the big tent by the Vienne moves in full swing to the rythm of waltz, tango, zumba, country and folk.
The guinguette spirit in Chinon
From Danton quay, the views of the royal fortress of Chinon are unbeatable. The musicians who play here are mostly local, whether amateur or professional, and workshops are offered in areas such as juggling, dancing and badminton that are free and open to everyone.
On the banks of the Indre
On Fridays and Sundays from 3 to 8 pm, couples dance to the sounds of an orchestra or accordion music under a large tent by the Indre. From the beach café of Montbazon, there is a great view of a former dungeon dating back to the 10th century.
On the banks of the Cher
Perhaps this regular can best sum up Avertin harbor in Saint-Avertin: “I go there often in the afternoons to have some tea and a waffle or crêpe, or maybe in the evening have an aperitif. It’s a magical place where people are happy to get together, dance and laugh.”
“An elsewhere near you” is the slogan of the open-air café in the Isles, in Véretz. While you won’t find an orchestra or tea dances here, but evening jazz, family entertainment and a view of the sunset on the Cher are guaranteed. Visitors come to enjoy the change of scenery, quiet, comfort and the poetic setting: you can even spend a night in an Inuit tent.