La Loire à Vélo is awash with unique spots, out-of-the-ordinary accommodation and amazing places to visit. Here are some of our recommendations!
Fishing huts between Corsept and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins
These shacks rising above the ocean are like a childhood dream. These buildings interspersed along the itinerary between Corsept and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins are a typical feature of the area. Pull over at one, and you will perhaps meet a fishermen who will tell you about his daily routine, his fishing techniques, and maybe share a meaningful moment with you, a discussion about the surrounding fauna and flora, a classic local meal… or simply a delightful encounter!
Panoramic view over the majestic Les Folies Siffait garden from La Varenne
This unique garden on the banks of the Loire, with terraces, alcoves and balconies, was constructed by Maximilien Siffait between 1816 and 1830. It exudes a strange, dreamlike atmosphere, which we can only imagine strolling through, as this fragile site has been closed to the public since 2014 – apart from heritage days… You can observe this verdant setting, with 900 species of trees over 3 hectares, from the tower of La Varenne church. Stop and admire this magical sight!
Soak in the view from the Briare Aqueduct
At Briare, the 662 metres of the aqueduct span the Loire River! Lined with 72 street lamps and flanked at either end with finely crafted monumental pilasters, this structure connects the Canal Latéral à la Loire to the Briare Canal. You can cross it on foot, by bike or of course on the water! From the early morning mists to sunset over the Loire, the Briare Aqueduct offers a fantastic view of the river and surrounding countryside. While you’re there, take advantage of the opportunity to stroll around the pretty marina.
Admire the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne
The little village of Candes-Saint-Martin is located at the exact point where the Loire and the Vienne rivers meet. Here, the view of the merging rivers is magical. You will be charmed by this small village, listed as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. It’s delightful to explore the small back streets, tufa stone houses crowned with slate roofs, and cobbled quaysides, which testify to the past of this former fishing and inland waterway port. From the village, you can do a short 4 km walk to explore these treasures and climb to the highest point, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the valley!
Unique places to stay
A night perched in a fishing hut in Corsept
Visit them, admire them, spend a day there… and a night as well! At Le Manoir de l’Espérance, you can enjoy the charm and authenticity of these typical local buildings and spend a night underneath the stars. Summon your breakfast with a foghorn, and with the same kind of winch that raises and lowers the day’s catch of plaice, it will be hoisted up to you in a fisherman’s basket. If you wish to dine there as well, you can order a fisherman’s hamper.
A night in a windmill in Rochefort-sur-Loire
Come and enjoy the tranquillity and uniqueness of a location perched above a picturesque village, amidst the vines with a panoramic view of the vineyards, in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Loire Valley. During your stay in this totally circular building, you will have access to a bar, a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge and an adjoining terrace exclusively for your use.
Sleep in a caravan near Sancerre
The setting? The Sancerre hill, vineyards and the Loire River 150 metres away! Karine and Yvan offer a warm welcome amidst this exceptional landscape in Saint-Satur. Loire Nature Découverte offers different types of accommodation for rent. We suggest that you check into one of the two charming, fully equipped caravans. During your stay, you can also head out in a canoe for an accompanied trip along the Loire River.
Spend a night on the water near Chambord
Outre-Loire, a pretty cabin boat, will be your cosy nest for the night. This traditional Loire flat-bottomed boat is moored at the quayside of the small village of Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, which is in fact the former port of Chambord. Here, you can enjoy a unique stay with a magical view of the river. Fall asleep lulled by the waves and sounds of the river and surrounding nature. A one-of-a-kind experience not to be missed!
Incredible places to visit
A house in the Loire in Couëron
During your journey, you will spy a building in the Couëron estuary that will make you smile – a house taking it easy on the bed of the royal river. Its shutters are closed, no-one knows whether it is still inhabited… there’s no boat to be seen, but perhaps its residents are waiting for nightfall to venture out… A house in the Loire to be observed day and night!
A blue museum in Trélazé
At the Musée de L’Ardoise, located in the heart of a former slate quarry, discover this material and traditional savoir-faire. You can see demonstrations of slate splitting the old way, and tour the exhibition rooms based in a former match factory… This unique place is a blue goldmine. Take a visit back in time to one of the region’s typical trades.
The International Garden Festival of Chaumont-sur-Loire
At the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, you can see artworks and visit gardens, each one more amazing than the last. On 22 April, the latest edition of the unmissable International Garden Festival opens its doors. “Biomimetics in the garden – nature, an infinite source of inspiration” is the theme of this year’s event, based around thirty or so gardens in bloom. Alongside them, contemporary artworks and creations will be presented in the grounds, stables, outbuildings and château, a setting that truly does them justice.
Come and explore the Château de Meung-sur-Loire and its dungeons
A few kilometres away from Orléans, the Château de Meung-sur-Loire tells its story through more than twenty furnished rooms adorned with numerous strategically positioned objects. The tour will lead you from the château’s attic to its dark underground chambers, which were used as a prison! The poet François Villon was the most famous prisoner locked up in these dungeons. Shivers guaranteed in the torture chamber!