Orléans – Unspoilt countryside on the Loire

When you think of Orléans, most people’s first thought is of Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans. Without her, the town would certainly not be what it is today. But Orléans has much more to offer – especially a whole lot of countryside. Let the travel and food blogger, Reisehappen, whisk you away to Orléans to be enchanted while discovering the green side of the city.

Beautiful blooms in the city – discover Orléans by foot

The town’s classic sights like the famous Sainte Croix cathedral, the Hôtel Groslot d’Orléans, the Jeanne d’Arc house, the city parks and Place du Martroi are wonderful to discover on foot on a city tour. All of the sights are impressive, but what is more striking are the seas of blossom that are scattered all over the town. Every street corner smells fragrant and the blossom, so unlike other towns, bestows a particular flair on Orléans– you have the feeling of wandering through a huge garden yet you’re in the middle of the town.

From beaver to birds – explore Orléans by water

You get to know a completely different side of Orléans by water. Once upon a time, the old Loire barges brought every kind of goods from the Loire via the canals to Orléans. Today the Seafarers’ Organisation offers tours on these old barges. During the trip, you hear stories from bygone times, learn lots of interesting facts about the town and the different types of boats whilst soaking up the charming views of the Loire and Orléans. If you’re lucky you may even see beavers, birds building their nests and duck families paddling along the Loire with their ducklings – and this, in the middle of the town.

Vintage Vibes – Explore Orléans in a red retro buggy

Another just as lovely and out of the ordinary way to explore Orléans is with one of the red, electric vintage buggies from MOTReCITY. The environmentally friendly electric cars are not only stylish, but they mean you can get to interesting places that lie outside of the town. For example, Combleux. What’s more, Cédric Seignerin does more than rent out the chic red buggies, he also offers really exciting and entertaining tours through Orléans and the magical Loire valley.

The picturesque Loire valley – a romantic stroll through Combleux

Along the Loire you can find unspoilt countryside, and not just in the heart of Orléans, but also in the enchanting villages in the Loire valley. Picturesque Combleux lies right on the Canal d’Orléans and the Loire. On a romantic stroll from Combleux to Checy, there are spectacular views of the adorable pastel-painted little houses, the delightful little bridges, weeping willow and the duck families, waddling about on the banks.

French specialities with a view – Restaurant de la Marine in Combleux

If you don’t want to miss out on a beautiful view of the countryside when eating, then you’re in exactly the right place in Combleux! At the charming Restaurant de la Marine, in the summer you can relax on the patio overlooking the canal in the shade of the trees. In cooler weather, you can enjoy the view through the windows of the restaurant. The local specialities are tasty either way. The French think so too; hordes come from far and wide at the weekend to eat here.

Restaurant de la Marine - 12 L'Embouchure, 45800 Combleux

Forget time – the Parc Floral de la Source

Only a few kilometres outside of Orléans’s city centre, the Parc Floral de la Source treats you to a botanical voyage of discovery. Besides gorgeous themed gardens with iris, dahlias or fuchsias, depending on the season you can admire the seas of blossom made from tulips or narcissi. In the wonderfully fragrant rose gardens opposite the castle, it’s bliss relaxing in a lounger in the sunshine before continuing the walk to the source of the Loiret, which also offers the pink flamingos in the park a home.

Ver di Vin

Even in Sabine and Laurent Brochard’s restaurant Ver di Vin, the motto is “the more natural, the better”. You won’t find anything too fancy, just superbly prepared creations made from fresh ingredients from regional producers – buffalo mozzarella on a lentil salad with regional wild herbs was heavenly. Whilst Laurent and his crew work their magic to create la crème de la crème, Sabine’s passion is the wine. She serves a fine wine with each course, but still takes time to chat and share her second passion, for Orléans, with her guests. Sabine has all the best insider tips for the town at the ready.

Ver di Vin - 2 Rue des 3 Maries, 45000 Orléans

Orléans in the Loire Valley