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A Cycling Tour Along the Banks of the Loire (27.7 km or about 1h45)

The Orléans region has over 155 km of La Loire à Vélo’ cycling routes, not to mention its many side loops. So many choices! We suggest one particularly beautiful itinerary, which starts 10 km west of Orléans at the Pointe de Courpain, a nature reserve where the Loire and Loiret rivers meet. From there you’ll continue along the banks of Loire, past the lovely little waterfront town of Meung-sur-Loire and its astonishing 13th century château, often called the ‘two-faced’ château because of its medieval façade on one side, and 18th century front on the other.  

While you’re there stop at the Les Jardins de Roquelin, a 1-hectare garden on old farm along the Loire, close to Meung’s château, and where in the true Loire tradition, roses are ubiquitous. There are over 400 varieties – ancient and modern, climbing and scrambling, all carefully colour–coordinated and bearing enchanting names. There’s a nursery onsite, open all year–long, so you buy or order and recreate your little piece of Loire Valley heaven back home.

Then head off to Beaugency, a beautiful little town listed as one of ‘France’s Loveliest Detours’ with its medieval half-timbered houses, narrow winding streets, cluster and 26-arch bridge, the oldest on the Loire. The Château de Beaugency, recently re–opened after 11 years of renovation work, is a 15th century grand townhouse, once a royal residence, and well worth a visit. 
And on you go to the famous ‘Blue Waters’ of Tavers only 2 km from Beaugency. This pleasant little village has creek with quicksand that winds its way through a valley dug in the middle of the town, bordered by picturesque washhouses and mills. The creek leads to an extraordinary site: the ‘Blue Waters’, a mix of groundwater sources from the Beauce and the Loire, which creates a bubbling and gives the water, with its aquatic plants, an almost other-worldly emerald-green and translucent colour.

After all that pedalling, schedule a breather at La Ginguette de la Corne des Pâtures, a friendly open air café on the banks of the Loire in Baule, 25 km west of Orléans. This popular riverside haven attracts young and old alike with its good food and drink, and great music ranging from the old-time accordion music, contemporary pop and some really cool jazz. You’ll find yourself up and dancing in no time flat – a perfect way to chill out, get to know the locals and let the good times roll!

For more information and maps, click here: