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COUNTRY BREAK : ORLÉANS LA NOUVELLE

For around twenty years, Orléans has undergone a major facelift under the leadership of its mayor Serge Grouard. This historic city, located just an hour from Paris, is transforming to charm tourists and attract new residents. Bet won since the beauty was elected “Most attractive city in France” in 2022.



vue de la cathédrale d'Orleans et de la Loire
© rosshelen

Its motto The City in the Countryside perfectly characterizes Orléans, a small, quiet, charming town located an hour south of Paris. Framed to the north by the plains of Beauce and to the south by the forests of Sologne, crossed by the Loire, and the Loiret a little further down, the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region offers quiet days to its inhabitants. The strategic crossing of its land and river routes have shaped its history and made Orléans' fortune. Forever marked by its liberation from the English by Joan of Arc in 1429, an omnipresent figure throughout the city, Orléans has remained discreet since the Second World War, crushed by its proximity to the capital.


Since the beginning of the 2000s, the Loire city has undergone a major facelift and now offers its visitors beautiful strolls from its historic center to the quays of the Loire, through its cobbled pedestrian streets, lined with colorful half-timbered houses. Everywhere, the city encourages greening, and the facades of houses and points of greenery are flourishing everywhere. Between historic buildings, museums, gardens, alleyways, markets and new shops, Orléans has become an essential tourist stopover when visiting the Châteaux de la Loire, and invites you to taste its art of living for a day or a weekend.






WALK & ACTIVITIES


Sainte-Croix Cathedral

Emblem of the city, Sainte-Croix is ​​one of the five largest Gothic cathedrals in France. Its construction began in 1287 but it was officially inaugurated on May 8, 1829. Joan of Arc prayed there, Henry IV launched its reconstruction in 1601, Louis XIV financed the transepts which pay homage to him by displaying his motto and his emblematic sun. Its stained glass windows tell the story of Joan of Arc. An essential step.

Place Sainte-Croix 45000 Orléans


L'Hôtel Groslot

A stone's throw from the cathedral stands the Groslot hotel built by the architect Androuet du Cerceau in the 16th century. Coffered ceilings, walls hung with painted canvas, molded paneling, furniture covered in Cordoba leather and heavily carved, Aubusson tapestries... Nothing was too beautiful for Jacques Groslot, bailiff of the King of France! A sculpture of Joan of Arc welcomes you and invites you to discover behind the superb red brick facade, the history of this private residence transformed over time into a “common house”, where Francis II died, who came to preside over the States General from 1560 with his mother, Catherine de Medici.

2, place de l'Étape 45000 Orléans


La Maison de Jeanne d'Arc

The city is inseparable from the "Pucelle d'Orléans" which marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War. Entering the city on April 29, 1429, Joan of Arc and the French troops chased the English from the siege of Orléans on May 8, 1429. The city has always preserved the memory of Joan of Arc and celebrates its heroine every year, from April 29 to May 8, as part of the Joan of Arc Festival, recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage.

3, place du Général de Gaulle 45000 Orléans


FRAC Museum

A public collection of contemporary works of art installed in a former military site in the city center and whose architecture is by Jakob+MacFarlane. Permanent and temporary collections, workshops for children...and all this is free!

88, rue du Colombier 45000 Orléans


Fine-Arts Museum

The Orléans Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1797, is one of the oldest French provincial museums. Its permanent collection covers artistic creation from the 15th to the 20th century with an exceptional collection of Italian, Flemish and Dutch paintings, as well as an important collection of French works from the 17th and 18th centuries including a remarkable cabinet of pastels. To celebrate 150 years of Impressionism, the Musée d'Orsay is lending 178 works to the regions. Orléans will be entrusted with The Portrait of Julie Manet by Renoir and the Portrait of Louis Bouglé by Toulouse-Lautrec.

1, rue Fernand Rabier 45000 Orléans


The banks of the Loire

In the heart of the landscapes of the Loire Valley, La Loire à Vélo offers you an 800 km journey. On the banks of Orléans, you can take advantage of the docks for a stroll under the century-old plane trees which line the royal river, or you can have a drink in a tavern on sunny days.


Le Parc Floral de La Source

On the south bank of the Loire river, the Parc floral de la Source offers twelve thematic gardens. From the vegetable garden to the rose garden and the tropical garden, the park is a 35-hectare green setting. Also on site, a farm, a butterfly greenhouse, a restaurant and food trucks.




parc floral de la source dans la brume
© parc floral de la source

SHOPPING


Cas Rares

A cutting-edge and elegant decorative selection that offers furniture, objects and accessories.

4, place du châtelet 45000 Orléans


Maison Henri.M

New and pretty home decoration from yesterday and today sourced by Carla from @macame_objets.


Renouveau

THE trendy shop in Orléans! A selection of street wear, sneakers, goodies in an electric blue and firecracker yellow case with a swinging musical background.

1, rue Charles Sanglier 45000 Orléans


Fleurs Fleurs Fleurs

Brand new boutique in the developing Les Carmes district. A modern design and bouquets of French and seasonal flowers composed by Camille. Favorite address!

63, rue des Carmes 45000 Orléans


Fleurs d'Antan

A first boutique in Sologne then a second which opened in an old house in the center, Fleurs d'Antan offers lovely bouquets of dried flowers.


Flea Market

Every Saturday morning, the fleas settle on the mail. Furniture, paintings, records and books to hunt for all morning.

Bd Alexandre Martin 45000 Orléans






FOODING


Les Becs à Vin

A warm bistro atmosphere where traditional homemade dishes are served at lunchtime, and natural organic wines are tasted with cheese or cold cuts boards in the evening. Favorite address!

8, place du Châtelet 45000 Orléans


Glou-glou

A sign at the entrance warns the client: No penny, no beverage! A good restaurant, a wine bar and a cellar in the very lively rue de Bourgogne that you absolutely must try.

157, rue de Bourgogne 45000 Orléans


Gric

Chef Marie Gricourt (hence Gric!) opened this restaurant in the fall of 2023, which offers local cuisine that respects the seasons, prepared in the kitchen open to the dining room.

8-10 rue des Halles 45000 Orléans


Rose & Léon

A delicatessen which sets up its restaurant under a flowered and shaded terrace during spring and summer time.

5, rue du Petit Puits 45000 Orléans

@roseetleonlegardemanger


Becqués

Bulk organic aperitif locally sourced in a pretty setting. To take away or to enjoy on site.

86, rue des Carmes 45000 Orléans


Mrs Dalloway

A brand new coffee shop that has just opened its doors and its terrace in the old town. A selection of hot and cold drinks and homemade pastries to enjoy in a vintage and cozy atmosphere.


Epi'pop

The best bread in town! An organic bakery open weekdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. where people queue to get their special sourdough breads! Special mention for the lemon cake and the oil pump!

5, rue au Lin 45000 Orléans


Vinaigrerie Martin Pouret

Since the Middle Ages, Orléans has been the main river port where boatmen traveling down the Loire stopped before delivering wine to Paris. During this stopover, the wines which had gone bad were then put aside and transformed into vinegar. In 1580, the King of France signed the ordinance which laid the foundations of the method of manufacturing Orléans Vinegars and Mustards. The city thus becomes the French capital of these essential products of our gastronomy. Since 1797, Maison Martin-Pouret, the last Master Vinegar Maker of Orléans, has seduced the finest palates with its variations of vinegars, mustards and pickles with original and authentic recipes.

11, rue Jeanne d'Arc 45000 Orléans


Food Markets

In Orléans, every day its market! On Thursdays in the Dunois district, Fridays on the Place du Martroi or Saturdays on the dock of the Loire, the city offers a daily market where you can buy fresh and local products.





SLEEP


Le Chalet

As the website announces, the Chalet is a piece of history to rent by the river. This 1862 chalet was renovated by the influencer Alice Moireau, originally from Orléans. An enchanting setting on the banks of the bucolic Loiret to forget everything for a weekend. Favorite address!

186, impasse du Plissay 45160 Olivet


Gogaille Orléans

The new Gogaille hotel group has just opened several addresses in Orléans. A total of 45 rooms on four sites distributed in old houses in the city center. Ultra-connected comfortable rooms, common rooms and a restaurant which opens in September.


Cabocher

Live an unusual experience by sleeping on a toue cabanée de Loire, a traditional wooden river boat which was used as a ferry or for fishing. In addition to the overnight stay, a 2-hour river trip, dinner and breakfast served at the table are included in the service.

36, quai de Loire 45000 Orléans





A LITTLE FURTHER... ONE HOUR MAX


Combleux village

Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, this boatman's village invites you to stroll along the banks of the Loire and along the canal. We stroll past the sailors' houses. A must-see is a stopover at the historic Restaurant de La Marine and its tavern-like terrace, ideally located under the plane trees on sunny days.

To note! You can reach Combleux from Orleans by bike along the Loire.

Meung-sur-Loire & Beaugency

Downstream from Orléans, the Jardins de Roquelin, le Jardin Arboretum d’Ilex and the parc de la Folie Hubert. These green settings will offer you a real bucolic break and will not fail to surprise you! Here too, you can go by bike to Meung-sur-Loire along the Loire...or by kayak.


Yèvre-le-Châtel

Labeled "Most beautiful village in France", this charming village nestled in the green Rimarde valley enchants its visitors with its pretty limestone houses and flowery streets. Imperative! Book a table at Aux Bons Vivres before your visit.


Sologne

Sologne is a natural forest region which begins south of Orléans and extends into Berry. It is the starting point for many walks, bike rides or horseback rides. You will discover its dense forests, its wild fauna and flora, its some 3,000 ponds, its impressive estates and its numerous golf courses. Not to be missed, the Soeurs Tatin tea room in Lamotte-Beuvron where you can taste their famous tart.





 

Informations


Go

from Paris

By train 25 trains per day - average time 1h10.

By car 1h00 - co2 emission : 6,07 kg


from Tours

By train 21 ter per day - average time 1h20

By car 2h00 - co2 emission : 12,14 kg


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cover picture credit © phil fiddyment


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