Le Mans Mini Guide
Tell me why I Should Race to Le Mans for a Break?
There’s the obvious answer which is to visit the town for the famous 24 hour race held every June when the town is lit up with car tail lights and the spectators try to stay awake for the whole of the race. To see Le Mans at race time is unforgettable but for the rest of the year it still has plenty to interest the tourist. The old town is simply stunning and looks like a film set from a medieval movie. The Saint Julien Cathedral is something special too. Built in medieval times it is one of the largest cathedrals in France.
How do I get to Le Mans?
There’s a small airport nearby with only domestic flights arriving there. Ryanair fly to Tours Airport
but it’s then an arduous 70 mile journey to Le Mans. Far easier is to fly into Paris
and take the superfast TGV right to Tours. You can then hire a car and visit all the sights under your own steam.
What Else is There to see Apart From the Race in Le Mans?
There’s a great museum in the old town called the Musee de la Reigne Berengere which details the history of the town. Berengaria of Navarre, after whom it’s named, and wife of Richard the Lionheart, founded the Abbaye de L’Epau outside the town. Once just ruins, sensitive restoration has left the 11th century buildings as a perfect setting for concerts and dramas. On the outskirts of the town you’ll also find the old Roman walls, almost complete in places but missing in others, they were constructed in the 3rd century.
What can I buy There in Le Mans?
Try some memorabilia from the Le Mans circuit. Almost anything bought there will be timeless and well received as gifts. There’s clothing, copies of original circuit hardware and models of the vehicles that have endured the race. It’s also possible to buy sealed tins of the local produce ‘rillettes’, which make great gifts for those back home.
What Should I eat in the Town?
The answer has got to be the gastronomic feast of rillettes spread on freshly baked baguette. It makes for a delicious but messy lunch, especially tasty when washed down with a glass of the local beer. Apart from this, there are many international restaurants in the town catering for the multinational fans that go there to see the race or simply the race circuit.
What About Festivals in Le Mans?
The city is renowned for its sleepiness most of the year and festivals are something it reserves for the weeks before the race. Then, all manner of bands, fairs and circuses head into town and the bars and restaurants overflow with humanity. On the day of the race, the streets are crowded as is the circuit and it’s the lifelong dream of some fans to walk on the track after the race.