Broaden horizons Orléans Loire Valley

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    Broaden horizons Orléans Loire Valley

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    Visit Orleans,
    the Loire Valley Next to Paris 

    Orleans is a key city in French history, the city of the Dukes of Orleans was strongly linked with the Capetien royal family. It is nowadays a big and dynamic city, head of the Centre Loire Valley region. Nevertheless Orleans is not on the list of the major Loire Valley Sights. Well, it should be. Recently the old city center, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley, has been systematically renovated. Orleans large heritage is now highlighted from Ancient Rome, to Medieval or Renaissance periods, and, in the modern era, from the 17th to 20th centuries. 

    Orleans surrounding includes great natural and historical sights, as an easy access to famous Loire Valley Châteaux. The city clearly deserves a stop and is a good base if you visit the Loire Valley. Orleans is also a great weekend destination as it is the closest Loire Valley point from Paris (+/- 115 km). We propose at Broaden-Horizons.fr a large Orleans sightseeing tour offer and we will be happy to guide you during your next stay in Orleans.

    Guided Tour Services to Make the Most of Your Stay in Orleans Loire Valley

    Why Visit Orleans Loire Valley ?

    Multicolored half -imbered houses close to the Orleans cathedral © Broaden Horizons 

    Orleans is the capital city of the « région Centre-Val de Loire« 

    Meaning that Orleans is the capital city of the Loire Valley region.

    A city with more than 2000 years of history

    A heritage twice recognized nationally and internationally as Orleans is part of:

    • Villes d’Art et d’Histoire Label
    • UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley

    Orleans is a green city 

    The old city is now a large pedestrian walkway, the Loire quayside are a popular stroll place and plenty of green spaces await for you in the south of the city.

    A city surrounded by nature

    • The Forêt d’Orleans : France’s largest national forest
    • The Sologne : Natura  2000 largest European Site of Community Importance

    Orleans is also surrounded by Loire Valley heritage sites

    Some of the famous Loire Valley Châteaux are easily accessible from Orleans, but you will also discover in the east of the city an off-the-beaten-track Loire Valley.

    The crossing of two famous routes

    • Loire by Bike
    • Camino  de Compostela (Way of Saint James)

    Loire Valley Wines

    Orleans is bordered by two vignards the Orleans and Orleans-Clery.

    The closest Loire Valley sight from Paris at only +/- 115 km

    Intercity trains drive you from Paris-Austerlitz station to Orléans in +/- 1 hour.

    The hôtel des Créneaux was the Orleans city hall till the French Revolution period. Built in the first years of  the 16th century under King Louis XII, it is a famous example of transition between Gothique and Renaissance style  © Broaden Horizons. 

    Discover Orleans heritage

    • A long and rich history, with a lot of French historical milestones, role of Joan of Arc, in 1429 in the siege of Orleans, is one of them.
    • Joan of Arc, often called the Maid of Orleans is the city heroine. Orléans is the right spot to learn more about her. 
    • Sainte-Croix huge gothic cathedral is a unique exceptional monument.
    • Saint-Pierre-le-Puellier 12th-century romanesque collegial-church.
    • Recently renovated old city center with plenty of historical timbered houses.
    • rich Loire Valley Renaissance heritage from traders’ houses to prestigious royal related mansions
    • A more recent diverse architecture from the 17th-century mansions to Art Nouveau, Art Deco, or post WWII experimental reconstruction.
    • Orleans Museum of Fine Arts is one of the most important outside of Paris.
    • The FRAC (Regional Contemporary Art Collection) in its impressive new building presents the most recent artistic expressions. 
    • Hôtel Cabu Historical Museum exhibits an exceptional Gaul and Gallo-Roman bronze treasure showing an extraordinary and unique expression of Celtic art.
    • The Loire quayside, remains of the former Orleans port are now a popular place to take a stroll along the river banks, as the Orléans Canal towpath.
    • The La Source Parc Floral, a 35-hectare garden with its 17th-century château.
    • A traditional Saturday morning flea market.
    • The Orleans gastronomical tradition like the Martin Pouret Mustard & vinegar,the Quince Jelly Cotignac or theOrleans & Orleans-Clery Loire Valley wine, with red (Meunier & Pinot Noir grape), white (Chardonnay variety) and rosé (Meunier variety).

    Orleans is the Place of two Famous Loire Valley Festivals

    Both of them, the Joan of Arc Festival and the Loire Festival are related with Orleans heritage.

    The Orleans Joan of Arc Festival

    The 8 of may of 1429 after having besieged Orleans during months the English army finaly gave up the place.

    This event is the watershed of the Hundred Years between France and England and Joan of Arc is considered as the main actor of this French Army success. 

    Since then, each year, Orleans eternally grateful is  celebrating Joan of Arc from April 29 to May 8th, a time of fireworks, parades and medieval fair. The Orleans Joan of Arc Festival in French « Les Fêtes de Jeanne d’Arc«  is one of the oldest one in Europe.

    Visit Orleans the Loire Festival summer 2017 © Broaden Horizons 

    Visit Orleans : Orleans Joan of Arc Festival in spring 2018 © Broaden Horizons

    The Loire Festival

    Orleans stands at the northernmost point of the Loire River, therefore, the closest to Paris This strategical position is one of the explanation of the weight of the city in French history. Orleans economical prosperity was also directly due to this position. The Port of Orleans was also the port of Paris. Orleans was then one of France more considerable economic center until the arrival of the railway which rapidly ended with the activity of the Port of Orleans. 
    Each two years, in September, Orleans is celebrating is Former Port. The Loire Festival in french « Le Festival de Loire » is the most important inland waterway transport festival in Europe.

    Orleans is the Place of two Loire Valley Famous Festivals

    Both of them, the Joan of Arc Festival and the Loire Festival are related with Orleans heritage.

    Visit Orleans : Orleans Joan of Arc Festival in spring 2018 © Broaden Horizons

    The Orleans Joan of Arc Festival

     The 8 of may of 1429 after having besieged Orleans during months finaly gave up the place.

    This event is the watershed of the Hundred Years between France and England and Joan of Arc is considered as the main actor of this French Army success. 

    Since then, each year, Orleans eternally grateful is  celebrating Joan of Arc from April 29 to May 8th, a time of fireworks, parades and medieval fair. The Orleans Joan of Arc Festival in French « Les Fêtes de Jeanne d’Arc«  is one of the oldest one in Europe.

    Visit Orleans the Loire Festival summer 2017 © Broaden Horizons 

    The Loire Festival

    Orleans stands at the northernmost point of the Loire River, therefore, the closest to Paris This strategical position is one of the explanation of the weight of the city in French history. Orleans economical prosperity was also directly due to this position. The Port of Orleans, was also the port of Paris. Orleans was then one of France more considerable economic center until the arrival of the railway which rapidly ended with the activity of the Port of Orleans.   

    Each two years, in September, Orléans is celebrating is Former Port. The Loire Festival in french « Le Festival de Loire » is the most important inland waterway transport festival in Europe.

    Its Surrounding is Another Reason to Visit Orleans

    Once you will have visited Orleans you will see that there is a lot to discover in the urban area and the surrounding 50 km (Mappy references).

    Between Loire and Forest treasures

    • Watermills along the Loiret River banks in Olivet (+/-4 km)
    • Yèvre-le-Châtel medieval fortress  (+/- 48 km)
    • La Ferté Saint-Aubin Château (+/- 24 km)
    • The Orleans & Orleans-Cléry Loire Valley Vineyards (+/- 16 km)
    • The forêt d’Orleans : biggest French national  forest ( +/- 7 km)
    • Sologne forest and its beautiful ponds (+/- 10 km)
    • Sologne Center Parcs les hauts de Bruyère (+/- 40 km)

    Château de Sully-sur-Loire – Credit Ddouk Unplash

    A prestigious sacred architecture

    • Our Lady of Cléry-Saint-André Basilica (+/- 16 km)
    • Romanesque Saint-Mesmin Church (+/- 6 km)
    • Saint-Liphard collegiate church (-/+ 21 km)
    • Notre-Dame de Beaugency Abbey Church (+/-26 km)
    • Beaugency Saint-Étienne Romanesque Church (+/- 26 km)

    Châteaux de Chambord – Credit Borian Mongel Unplash

    Sologne forest with its magnificent ponds – Credit Emlew Pixabay

    Off the beaten tracks Eastern Loire Valley

    • Combleux Loire banks  and canal village (+/- 9 km)
    • Fairytale-like Château de Sully-sur-Loire (+/- 42 km)
    • Château de Châteauneuf-sur-Loire (+/- 27 km)
    • Abbey Church of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire (+/- 35 km)
    • Carolingian oratory of Germigny-des-près (+/- 30 km)

    Carolingian oratory of Germigny-des-Près has been constructed by Théodulf Bishop of Orleans and abbot of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire between approximately 803 and 806. This is the  only church in France with a Carolingian mosaic. Only  few kilometers away stands Saint-Benoit one of the Christianity most famous abbey,founded in 640, it is also called Fleury Abbey. The present edifice built from the 11th century is famous for its Romanesque Figurative carved capitals, king Philip I rests there  © Broaden Horizons.

    Plenty more Loire Valley Châteaux

    • Chamerolles (+/- 32 km)
    • Meung-sur-Loire (+/- 21 km)
    • Châteaudun (+/- 50 km)
    • Beaugency Château and Medieval Dungeon (+/- 26 km)

    And for sure world famous Château de Chambord (+/- 46 km)

    Its Surrounding is Another Reason to Visit Orleans

    Once you will have visited Orléans you will see that there is a lot to see in the urban area and the surrounding 50 km (Mappy references).

    Between Loire and Forest treasures

    • Watermills along the Loiret River banks in Olivet (+/-4 km)
    • Yèvre-le-Châtel medieval fortress  (+/- 48 km)
    • La Ferté Saint-Aubin Château (+/- 24 km)
    • The Orleans & Orleans-Cléry Loire Valley Vineyards (+/- 16 km)
    • The forêt d’Orleans : biggest French national  forest ( +/- 7 km)
    • Sologne forest and its beautiful ponds (+/- 10 km)
    • Sologne Center Parcs les hauts de Bruyère (+/- 40 km)

    Sologne forest with its magnificent ponds – Credit Emlew Pixabay

    Off the beaten tracks Eastern Loire Valley

    • Combleux Loire banks  and canal village (+/- 9 kM)
    • Fairytale like Château de Sully-sur-Loire (+/- 42 km)
    • Château de Châteauneuf-sur-Loire (+/- 27 km)
    • Abbey Church of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire (+/- 35 km)
    • Carolingian oratory of Germiny-des-près (+/- 30 km)

    Château de Sully-sur-Loire – Credit Ddouk Unplash

    A prestigious sacred architecture

    • Our Lady of Cléry-Saint-André Basilica (+/- 16 km)
    • Romanesque Saint-Mesmin Church (+/- 6 km)
    • Saint-Liphard collegiate church (-/+ 21 km)
    • Notre-Dame de Beaugency Abbey Church (+/-26 km)
    • Beaugency Saint-Étienne Romanesque Church (+/- 26 km)

    Carolingian oratory of Germiny-des-Près has been constructed by Théodulf Bishop of Orleans and abbot of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire between approximately 803 and 806. This is the  only church in France with a Carolingian mosaic. Only  few kilometers away stands Saint-Benoit one of the Christianity most famous abbey,founded in 640, it is also called Fleury Abbey. The present edifice built from the 11th century is famous for its Romanesque Figurative carved capitals, King Philip I rests there  © Broaden Horizons

    Plenty more Loire Valley Châteaux

    • Chamerolles (+/- 32 km)
    • Meung-sur-Loire (+/- 21 km)
    • Châteaudun (+/- 50 km)
    • Beaugency Château and Medieval Dungeon (+/- 26 km)

    And for sure world famous Château de Chambord (+/- 46 km)

    Châteaux de Chambord – Credit Borian Mongel Unplash

    Our Orleans City Tours

    The best way to visit Orleans Loire Valley.

    Our Orleans tours are led by a qualified licensed guide who also owns the VPAH Loire Valley Acreditation.

    Our guided tours are available in English, French and Spanish.

    We propose during all the year private VIP tours as an offer for bigger groups. For this kind of guided tour, for which you chose your date, prices vary with the size of the group.

    During the high season, we also organize tours open to any individuals following an agenda shown on this page, price is then 10 € per person.

    We currently proposed three Orleans city tours 

    • Generic Orleans City Tour : An Orleans walk designed for newcomers who want to discover the city. Two possible duration.
    • The Orleans Joan of Arc Walking Tour. This Orleans guided tour focus on Joan of Arc : story, footsteps and iconography. 
    • Orleans Cathedral and around Guided Tour : to know all about this half millennium architectural challenge of the Loire Valley. 

    Our three Orleans walks have been designed to be dissimilar from one another, so you can follow all  the three if you want.

     New tours are coming soon

    • Orleans River Loire Banks Tour
    • Renaissance in Orleans Walks

      Orleans Museum of Fine Arts

      With no doubt the best art gallery of the Loire Valley

      This museum with five levels dedicated to its permanent collection is definitely something you should not miss when visiting Orleans.  The Orleans fine arts museum is showing a huge collection going from the end of the Middle Ages to the 20st century.

      Guided tour Orleans. Guided tour Orléans. Ariadne in Naxos, Le Nain brothers © Orléans Museum of Fine Arts

      If this museum is famous for its pastel gallery (known to be the second one in France after Le Louvre), it also shows an impressive number of works by foreign old masters as Correggio, Annibale Carraci, Guido Reni, Velázquez, Van Dick, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Batoni... and also French ones as de La Hyre, Le Nain brothers,  Rigaud, Fragonard, Boucher, Quentin de La Tour, Chardin,  Delacroix,  Boudin, Courbet, Gaugin… or sculptors as Rodin, Maillol, Bourdelle, etc.

      Guided tour Orleans. Allegoriy of Astronomy by Laurent de la Hyre © Orleans Museum of Fine Arts

      Don’t miss this rich museum if you visit Orleans Loire Valley. We  will be happy to guide you in this exceptional place, so do not hesitate to follow one of our Orleans Museum of Fine Arts tours.

      Guided tour of the Orleans Museum of Fine Arts

      Make the most of your visit of Orleans Loire Valley with a private tour (English, French or Spanish) of the Orleans Museum of Fine Arts.
      Three tour duration are available. Prices start from 39 € (for two people).

      Guided tour Orleans. Study for the Massacre of the Innocents, Léon Cogniet © Orleans Museum of Fine Arts

      This museum with five levels dedicated to its permanent collection is definitely something you should not miss when visiting Orleans.  The Orleans fine arts museum is showing a huge collection going from the end of the Middle Ages to the 20st century.

      If this museum is famous for its pastel gallery (known to be the second one in France after Le Louvre), it also shows an impressive number of works by foreign old masters as Correggio, Annibale Carraci, Guido Reni, Velázquez, Van Dick, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Batoni... and also French ones as de La Hyre, Le Nain brothers,  Rigaud, Fragonard, Boucher, Quentin de La Tour, Chardin,  Delacroix,  Boudin, Courbet, Gaugin… or sculptors as Rodin, Maillol, Bourdelle, etc.

      Don’t miss this rich museum if you visit Orleans Loire Valley. We  will be happy to guide you in this exceptional place, so do not hesitate to follow one of our Orleans Museum of Fine Arts tours.

      Guided tour of the Orleans Museum of Fine Arts

      Make the most of your visit of Orleans Loire Valley with a private tour (English, French or Spanish) of the Orleans Museum of Fine Arts.
      Three tour duration are available. Prices start from 39 € (for two people).

      Orleans on demand guided tour services

      Custom-made Orleans guided tour

      You didn’t find what you want in our ready made Orleans Loire Valley walks and tours offer ? You want a 1 or 2-hour tour on a specific subject we don’t cover ? Or you want a guide in Orleans for  half  a day (4 hours max. duration) or a full day (8 hours max. duration). Contact us on the dedicated page and we will be happy to prepare a tour just for you !

      Custom-made Orleans guided tour

      You didn’t find what you want in our ready made Orleans Loire Valley walks and tours offer ?

      You want a 1 or 2-hour tour on a specific subject we don’t cover ? Or you want a guide in Orleans for  half  a day (4 hours max. duration) or a full day (8 hours max. duration). Contact us on the dedicated page and we will be happy to prepare a tour just for you !

      Corporate, business to business services

      You are a professional interested n Orleans Loire Valley tourism ?  DMC, tour operator, museum… any need to:

      • Take responsibility of one of your tours
      • Temporary exhibition
      • Custom-made tour

      Corporate, business to business services

      You are a professional interested in Orleans Loire Valley tourism ?  DMC, tour operator, museum… any need to:

      • Take responsibility of one of your tours
      • Temporary exhibition
      • Custom-made tour

      Large group tours in Orleans

      If you are a group of more than 6 people, we consider you as a large group,  this means that you can’t directly book on our private VIP Tour offer which is limitated to groups of maximum 6 persons.

      Nevertheless, all the private VIP Tours offer is accessible to large groups but as organization tasks are bigger than with little groups you have to contact us first. We also have a specific offer for large group.

      Large groupstours in Orleans

      If you are a group of more than 6 people, we consider you as a large group,  this means that you can’t directly book on our private VIP Tour offer which is limited to groups of maximum 6 persons.

      Nevertheless, all the private VIP Tours offer is accessible to large groups but as organization tasks are bigger than with little groups you have to contact us first. We also have a specific offer for large group.

      Our services in Orleans

      Broaden Horizons Orléans
      Val de Loire

      Contact

      contact.orl.en@broaden-horizons.fr

      Orleans guided tour services

      Reach Orleans

      Located at a little more than one hundred kilometers in the south of Paris, Orléans is easily accessible by intercity train (approx. 1 hour) from Paris-Austerlitz train station.

      Orléans guided tours : Logo of FNGIC French national federation of guide interpreters and speakers

      Your  licensed guide in Orléans is the holder of card n° CG 17-45-05, he is a member of FNGIC which is a member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations.