Orléans Walking Tour – Loire Valley, France

Private Orléans guided tour. Discover Orléans in the Loire Valley an ideal place for a city break weekend at only one hour from Paris. Our Orléans city tour is done by a certified guide.

Pavillons d'Escures, Orleans, Loire Valley, France

Orléans Walking Tour: Place du Martroi, Orléans main square, with its famous Joan of Arc statue. Orléans Loire Valley, France © Broaden horizons

Orléans Walking Tour in a nutshell

+/- 1.5 hours tour: 59 € for 1 to 2 people + 6 € per extra person.
+/- 3 hours tour: 99 € for 1 to 2 people + 10 € per extra person.

  • Private Walking Tour in English
  • Two durations: 1.5 hours or 3 hours
  • Really private tour = your party only (10 people max.)
  • Postgraduate (MPhil) certified French national guide
  • Flexible time schedule 7/7 if available
  • Online booking & payment


What’s in the tour?

Roman Empire

Middle Ages

Learn about Architecture & History


Moderne Era

Your Private Guide in Orléans

Certified French national guide.
Centre-Loire Valley Region accreditation (VAH).
BA, Magna cum laude, Heritage Developpement & Preservation at Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers.
Postgraduate (MPhil) from Paris Dauphine-PSL University.

Why to visit Orléans?

Orléans, France is a famous city and a lot of places in the world have been named after it, first and foremost New Orleans, Louisiana in the USA.

With more than 2000 years of existence, Orléans is a key city in French history with a large heritage highlighted by a recent renovation of the old city center. Orléans rich heritage is officialy recognized by being:

  • part of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley,
  • classified as « ville d’art et d’histoire » (city of art and history French heritage label).

The location of Orléans, Loire Valley nearest city from Paris, made its port, until the 19th century, one of the main France economical center.

The proximity of Paris (+/- 115 Km), its architectural diversity, its exceptional cathedral and Renaissance heritage, its Loire banks and the nature very present all around make of Orléans, the city of Joan of Arc, an ideal weekend destination.

Half-timbered houses of differente colors in Orléans, Loire valley, France

Newly renovated Orleans old city center. New public garden created in front of an old street with numerous half timbered houses. If the oldest half-timbered houses are from the Middle Ages others are from the Renaissance, the 17th or 18th centuries. The different typologies of wood frames and colors depend of the period of construction. © Broaden horizons.

Why an Orléans Guided Tour, Why with us?

Orléans rich heritage from Roman Empire to 20th century worth a tour.
You will follow the tour with its creator.
Our private formula is the opportunity to ask your dedicated guide any related questions.
Our guide which is really local is a qualified professional.

Orléans Tour Glimpse (1.5 Hours)

The 1,5 hours Orléans Walking Tour, privately, in a little group exclusively yours, is the most efficient way to discover Orléans and its rich history. Four main themes are broached during the tour: 

1. Gallo-Roman Orléans: Cenabum then Aurelianorum

  • Gallo-Roman city wall remains
  • Decumanus, Cardo ( Gallo-Roman main streets)

2. Medieval Orléans 

  • Belfry (end of Middle Ages)
  • Des Créneaux house (13e et 15e centuries)
  • Joan of Arc House (reconstruction)

3. The Renaissance in Orléans 

  • Hôtel Groslot (where King François II died)
  • Des Créneaux hôtel (transition Flamboyant Gothic to Renaissance)
  • Hôtel Cabu (2nd Renaissance: Henri II style)
  • Campo-Santo (Former Cemetery Renaissance galleries)

4. Modern Era

  • Sainte-Croix  Cathedral (rayonnant, flamboyant & modern Gothic)
  • Loire Quay and ancient fluvial port
  • Pavillons d’Escures  (17th century mansions)
  • WII Post-war years reconstruction (Orléans experimentation)
Photo of the Loire river bank, Orléans, Loire Valley, France.

The Loire river banks in Orléans. Recently renovated the quays are the heritage of the ancient port of Orléans on the river Loire. The port of Orléans was very active until mid 19 th century. Nowadays the quayside are a popular stroll destination © Broaden horizons.

An Exceptional Architectural Heritage of a Great Diversity 

The route of the Orléans Walking Tour will allows you to discover for sure the rich Renaissance heritage of Orléans but also some unexpected aspects of the city as for example the diversity of its architecture:

  • Half-timbered houses 
  • Art Deco District 
  • Art Nouveau  building
  • Classical 
  • Neoclassical

We will also speak about Modern Gothic, neither Glamboyant Gothic nor neo-Gothic: an architectural exception to be discovered during your Orléans Walking Tour.

Photo of Sainte Croix Cathedral from place de l'Etape in Orléans, Loire Valley, France.

View from the place de l’Étape of the Orléans Cathedral an unic monument: a gothic cathedral built in the modern era. © Broaden horizons

Orléans Tour Glimpse (3 Hours)

Extra Content

The 3-hours Orléans Walking Tour is based on the 1,5-hour tour. Nevertheless the tour route is notably enlarged alowing the discovery of some extra points of interest of the city, like for example two prestigious Renaissance Mansions:

  • La Vieille Intendance also called the « Logis du roi » (King house) ;
  • Jeannot le bouteiller (King François I’s sommelier) Mansion. 

The Art Nouveau and Eclectic buildings of the Republic street and the « Palais de justice » (Law Court), Orléans biggest neoclassical building, are some of the other monuments we will discover in this extended version of the tour.

The 3-hours  tour normally also allows a short visit of hôtel Groslot. 

More Comfort and Flexibility

Globally this long tour option gives more time to do everything more comfortably and see a larger zone of Orléans city center.

Moreover, the Orléans Walking Tour route has been optimized to show you as many places as possible. We have designed the tours to be dissimilar from one another, so don’t be afraid to also follow our « Orléans Joan of Arc tour » and « Orléans Cathedral tour ».

Nevertheless, the magic word of the three hours private Orléans Walking Tour is flexibility.

So, if you want the extra part of the tour to focus more on Joan of Arc and / or on the Orléans Cathedral we will be happy to adjust the tour content per your request, if possible.

Pavillons d'Escures, Orleans, Loire Valley, France

Veille intendance mansion and garden also called « Logis du roi » (King house). It was build in the begining of the 16th century under the reign of Louis XII formely duc of Orléans.© Broaden horizons.

Half-timbered houses of differente colors in Orléans, Loire valley, France

Loire River’s photo : the cathedral and the George V bridge. It was constructed instead of the medieval bridge around which English and French with Joan of Arc where fighting during the hundred year war

Know more about Orléans before your Tour

Orléans today

A Newly Restored Recognized Heritage

Nowadays Orléans is the capital city of the «Région Centre-Val de Loire » (Loire Valley region), the core city of a 281 899 inhabitants urban area.

Since the beginning of the years 2000 Orléans old city center has been systematically restored. The result is impressive!

A Green City

With many green zones and an easy access to the Loire and Loiret river banks, Orléans is an ideal place for nice and relaxing strolls.

A City Very Easily Accessible from Paris

At only one hour by intercity train from Paris, Orléans is the closest point of the Loire Valley from the French capital. So drop in for an easy day trip and a nice Orléans city tour with us!

Orléans History Overview

Orléans is before all a city of the Loire Valley with an exceptional location on the northern point of the river Loire (the nearest to Paris). This strategical location contributed to giving Orléans an important place in French history :

  • 451: Attila, Hun King gave up the siege of Orléans.
  • 848: After the partition of the Carolingian Empire, Charles the Bald is crowned king of West Francia (earliest stage of the Kingdom of France).
  • 511: Orléans Council, Clovis gather Gaule’s Bishops.
  • December 987: Robert le Pieux coronation in Orléans.
  • December 1022: first stake of medieval Christianity
  • 1108 Louis VI le Gros coronation in Orléans cathedral.
  • 1306: founding of the Orléans University (4th in France).
  • May 8, 1429: Jeanne d’Arc, English gave up Orléans siege. 
  • 1567: Prince of Condé made Orléans the capital of Protestant France.
  • June 1940, WWII Bombings, 20% of city center is destroyed.  

Key vocabulary of the Orléans Walking Tour

Here bellow is a bit of vocabulary you will need to make the most of your Orléans Walking tour:

Gothic related vocabulary: pointed arch, gable, finial, niche, canopy, dripstone, turret etc.

Renaissance related vocabulary: capital, pilar, pilaster, column, doric, ionic, corinthien, composite, scallop, dentil etc.

Orléans Walking Tour Artists & Architects

  • J.A. Houdon, works of the sculptor on the cathedral facade
  • P. Belmondo, sculptor, father of actor Jean-Paul Belmondo
  • Marie d’Orleans, sculptor, King Louis-Philippe daughter
  • Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, Renaissance architect
  • François-Narcisse Pagot, 19th-century Neoclassical architecte
  • Pol Abraham : WW II Orléans reconstruction architecte 

Street Art is also visible, if you know where to look ! 

Photo of the Hotel Groslot gardens to illustrate an Orléans guided tour in the Loire Valley, France.

Hôtel Groslot 19th-century romantic gardens (in which are the vestiges of the Saint James Chapelle), one of the numerous green spaces of the city. Hôtel Groslot was probably build following plans by famous Renaissance Architect J. Androuet du Cerceau. In the courtyard is a romantic sculpture of Joan of Arc by princess Marie d’Orléans. © Broaden horizons.

Our other tours in Orléans – what else to do around

Thematic Orléans Walking Tours

We offer two more tours of Orléans in English:
Orléans Cathedral and its Distric Tour
Joan of Arc & Orléans Walking Tour

Orléans Museum of Fine Arts Tour

Orléans Museum of Fine Arts is one of the richest outside of Paris, a Loire Valley must-seen. Don’t miss it if you visit Orléans and make the most of it with Our Orléans Museum of Fine Arts Guided Tour.

More Activities an Landmarks in the Orléans Area

Check our dedicated page, Visit Orléans the Loire Valley next to Paris where are listed points of interest around Orléans as: Loire Valley Castle,  Joan of Arc related places, abbeys, etc.

Half-timbered houses of differente colors in Orléans, Loire valley, France

Ariadne in Naxos by Le Nain brothers, one of the numerous masterpieces of the Orléans Museum of Fine Arts. Do not miss this important landmark of the Loire Valley! The museum houses important collections of paintings from the 16th to the 20th centuries and the second 18th century pastel collection in France after le Louvre’s one. Photo credit Orléans Museum of Fine Arts.

Orléans guided tour reviews

Fantastic Tour in Orleans!

Yves with Broaden Horizons just took us on a thorough and extremely enjoyable tour on Joan of Arc and other history of Orleans. His English was great, his knowledge about the architecture, art and life of St. Joan was vast. This was my favorite tour in France thus far!

Ann B.

Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA - September 2019 - Tripadvisor

Things to know before Booking

Meeting Point

In front of the Hôtel Groslot,
place de l’Etape, 45000 Orléans.

Access: Tram line B, station Cathédrale.

Attention Points

  • Tour is on foot.
  • Prices do not include transportation, food, drinks or any other extra services.
  • Neighborhood tour: we don’t enter in monuments unless otherwise specified.
  • Tour duration & content are purely indicative, they may vary due to contingencies.
  • Weather: the tour will start on schedule rain or shine.

Book the Orléans Walking Tour

Choose below your tour: You will then be  asked : -> choose the number of people, date & hours of visit -> after our validation-> pay on line.