Last year’s work trip introduced us to a lot of charming places in the Sarthe and Mayenne departments. Between two days in Le Mans and a visit to Angers, we visited a handful of other places. In my opinion, these are the best day trips from Le Mans. Think picture-perfect villages, hidden countryside hamlets, and small historical towns. Only accessible by car, these places are perfect for slow travel. Places where you can spend a few days and already feel at home because life seems to move at a slower pace there. Without further ado, here are the best unique day trips from Le Mans!

day trips from le mans


My absolute favorite out of these, Asnières-sur-Vègre was an accidental discovery. We were spending the night nearby and glancing at an illustrated map of the area during dinner. Somehow, Asnières-sur-Vègre grabbed our attention and one simple Google search was enough to make our decision. Luckily, Vanessa and I are of the same opinion when it comes to making random detours for unique places. The following morning, we were completely engrossed by how picturesque this village was.

The old bridge surrounded by old houses makes for such a quaint little scene. Somehow, I found it to be reminiscent of tiny British villages. It must have been the 18th-century bridge, the blossoming flowers in the river, and the lush green landscape. In short, it was so captivating and it felt like we had uncovered a hidden gem. One thing is for sure, Asnières-sur-Vègre is one of the most unique day trips from Le Mans that you can do!


So easy to miss, this tiny village has a population of about 130 people. Yet, Chenillé-Changé is so enchanting and scenic. Think cute half-timbered houses coupled with abundant greenery. One of its most fascinating aspects is the communal garden that we accidentally stumbled upon. Its size and plant variation was impressive. From vegetables and herbs to fruits and flowers, there was everything you might think of. And it’s the inhabitants who mutually take care of the garden!

day trips from le mans, chenille-change garden

As you enter Chenillé-Changé, you can spot an alluring castle, Château des Rues. Eventually, you’ll encounter the boats by the river Mayenne. It might be minuscule but it sure packs in a lot of charm. Preserving the allure of the olden days, it’s a unique and serene destination.

day trips from le mans, chenille-change


Our last stop before heading to Le Mans, Malicorne-sur-Sarthe made for an interesting visit. Renowned for its Malicorne pottery, it’s a small town hiding a lot of history behind its name. The Earthenware and Ceramic Museum is the perfect introduction and if you’re interested in more, there are a handful of ateliers you can visit. During our short stay, we discovered Atelier Vézanne, a unique jewelry shop. The owner and creator Clélia produces jewelry that features motifs from antique ceramics. It’s such an original idea and no souvenir from Malicorne-sur-Sarthe demonstrates your visit better!

Aside from that, you shouldn’t miss the castle and the old mill. They’re both nearby. Overall, Malicorne-sur-Sarthe is an extremely walkable city. Tiny and compact but quite adorable! Our lunch spot was La Petite Auberge, a quaint restaurant by the river. We enjoyed a delicious meal on the terrace, soaking up the sun. And before we knew it, it was time to hit the road. As we drove off to Le Mans, I reflected on all the different destinations we had visited. From small towns to picturesque hidden villages. I hope these unique day trips from Le Mans inspire you to explore the French countryside for yourself because there is so much to see!

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