The Loire Valley, a wealth of nature and culture
The Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The site includes a section of the river valley stretching 280 kilometres, from Sully-sur-Loire in Loiret to Chalonnes-sur-Loire in Maine-et-Loire.
The region encompasses historic towns and cities such as Orleans, Blois, Amboise, Tours, Chinon, Montsoreau, Saumur and Angers, and crosses the departments of Loiret, Loir-et-Cher, Indre-et-Loire and Maine-et-Loire.
The Loire Valley draws its unique character from several elements. The Loire River and the land around it which have nourished the vines yielding Loire wines, and the people who have built a local cultural identity throughout history.
The outstanding royal Loire, the longest river in France and undoubtedly the wildest, is also one of the most surprising. Depending on the surrounding foliage as well as the water level and the weather, the Loire offers many different atmospheres that evolve with the seasons. Explore the flora and fauna that inhabit the Loire. Keep an eye out for terns and Eurasian beavers which you might spot with a little luck!
The land and terroirs of Loire offer a landscape of subtle nuances and sharp contrasts. The region’s vineyards in Orléanais, Côteaux du Giennois, Cheverny, Vouvray, Touraine and Saumur produce exceptional wines.
You’re almost certainly coming to visit Loire’s world-famous châteaux, those iconic estates whose former residents include some of history’s most illustrious figures. Imagine walking in the footsteps of King Francis I at Château de Chambord or perhaps the royal Château de Blois, the French kings’ favourite residence during the Renaissance.
Orléanais in the Loire Valley
The region of Orléanais encompasses several landscapes, the Loire Valley but also Sologne, Giennois, Beauce, Gâtinais and other places of natural beauty.
Situated at the top of a major bend in the Loire, Orleans, the region’s capital, offers a fine introduction to the Loire Valley.
A green city par excellence, Orleans encapsulates everything that is great about the Loire. Here, the river is omnipresent, wild, ever-changing and populated by a rich diversity of flora and fauna…
Its rich cultural and historic past is closely linked to the river. The city’s buildings are made of white, luminous stone. The bells and the two towers of Sainte-Croix Cathedral are never out of earshot or sight from the banks of the Loire!
The quayside offers plenty of excellent cycling opportunities. Venture further afield along the Loire à Vélo cycle route, reaching Combleux between the Loire and Orleans canal in the east, or Chapelle-Saint-Mesmin, Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency heading west.
Orleans and Orléanais make the ideal base for your holiday in the Loire Valley!