Set on the banks of the Loire, at the gateway to Sologne and on the fringes of Orleans Forest, Orleans can be best described as a garden metropolis.
The region boasts extensive biodiversity and thriving plant life owing to the rich sandy soil around the Loire.
The city even became a point of transit for the transportation of plants by waterway in the 18th century. This blossomed into a love affair between Orleans and flowers. Indeed, this passion for beautiful blooms soon found its muse—the Orleans rose.
Come and explore the natural side of Orleans whose green heritage is the fruit of centuries of planting and gardening.
Parks and gardens
In facts and figures, Orleans is:
- 330 hectares of woodland visible within 1.5 kilometres of the Cathedral towers;
- 25,000 trees including 203 ‘remarkable’ trees of 45 different species;
- ‘4 flowers’ ranking awarded by the ‘Floral Towns and Villages’ competition;
- 18 public parks and gardens.
As you’ll see, Orleans is France’s finest garden city!
You may not have time to fit in a visit to every park and garden in Orleans.
You’re sure to find the ones that you’ll like best in the list below!
Parc Floral de la Source Orléans – Loiret
Classified as a ‘Remarkable Garden’ by France’s national garden scheme, the Parc Floral is 35 hectares of open spaces for plants and wildlife situated at the source of the Loiret.
Popular with gardeners and walkers, Parc Floral de la Source is a green oasis that can occupy you for a few hours or a whole day.
The butterfly house and tropical garden add a touch of the exotic to your visit. A great day out with friends, family or a special someone during a weekend getaway or city break!
Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes is an ornamental and botanical garden set in 3.5 hectares of grounds. It is also an experimentation centre for plant life.
Don’t miss the impressionist corner, the colourful shrub border, the remarkable trees, the hives, the bedding plant test beds, the conservatory, the climate gardens, the rose garden, the shrubs of tomorrow, the palm grove and the play area.
Parc Louis Pasteur
Parc Louis Pasteur is a large garden composed of expanses of lawn bordered by pretty, well-tended flowerbeds.
The variety of plant species, monuments and statues will keep adults entertained while children can enjoy the playground and puppet theatre.
Jardin de la Charpenterie
Jardin de la Charpenterie is a hanging garden with views of the Loire.
With its vast lawn, pergola, copses, pavilion and playground, the 5,000-sq.m garden is a perfect destination for the entire family to relax.
Jardin de l’Évêché
This classical garden affords a fantastic view of the apse of Sainte-Croix Cathedral and the 18th century façade of the former bishop’s palace.
The garden also hosts concerts.
Jardin de l’Hôtel Groslot
The grounds of Hôtel Groslot are Romantic-style gardens.
A fine example of a typical garden in 19th-century Orleans.
Features include a Ginkgo biloba tree and the porch of St. James’ Chapel.
Take a book and find a spot to read on the grass…
Jardin de la Vieille Intendance
The grounds of a large mansion, Jardin de la Vieille Intendance is tucked away behind Hôtel de la Vieille Intendance.
This little-known garden offers an unexpected tree-lined stroll right in the heart of the city.
Orleans, a green metropolis
Once you’ve explored the city parks and gardens, venture further afield to visit the pockets of green space in the wider area: Jardin Hélène Cadou, the most recent addition, or Parc du Moins Roux; laze on the beach or enjoy the many sports activities on offer at Île Charlemagne, or head to Pointe de Courpain to surround yourself with nature.
Green highlights in Orleans
The metropolitan area hosts a number of plant-focused events each year.
Parc Floral de la Source kicks off the calendar of green goings-on with its annual garden show (Salon des Arts du Jardin) in April and the park’s late-night openings from spring to autumn.
An explosion of colour, fragrance and plant diversity… In Orleans, the last weekend in August is Fêtes de la Saint-Fiacre, a festival named after the patron saint of florists and vegetable growers which celebrated its 212th edition in 2018.
Founded in 1959, an international rose competition takes place every September in Jardin des Plantes. This event and the rose festival which runs at the same time are a testament to the city’s rich horticultural traditions.