Culturez-vous

Art, travel and culture blog

| About

Welcome to the Terres du Val de Loire, an ideal area for a getaway combining history, nature and relaxation. Nestled between Orléans and Chambord, this destination is easily accessible by train, in less than 1h30 from Paris, and is perfect for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city without straying too far.

Here you’ll discover surprising buildings such as the Château de Meung-sur-Loire, nicknamed the “castle with two faces”, and the Notre-Dame de Cléry-Saint-André basilica, which houses the tomb of King Louis XI.

Beyond its rich cultural heritage, this region is also a haven of greenery , ideal for slow tourism. Let yourself be charmed by the bucolic landscapes as you cycle along the Loire and stroll through the flower-filled gardens.

What to do in the Loire Valley? What are the must-sees and the best places to stay? This travel guide offers you a selection of must-see sights, gourmet addresses and charming accommodations to make the most of your stay!

Article produced in collaboration with the Terres du Val de Loire Tourist Office

The destination in short

  •  How do I get there? By train, get off at Orléans station, then change direction for Tours, stopping at Meung-sur-Loire (10 min from Orléans) or Beaugency. From Paris, it takes just 1h30 to get there.
Carte des Terres de Val-de-Loire
  • When to visit? To enjoy the gardens and natural sites this region has to offer, opt for a visit between May and September.
  • How long to stay? The Terres du Val de Loire is a destination perfectly suited to “slow tourism”. You can discover it by taking your time, so it’s best to plan to stay at least 2 nights.
  •  How do I get around? Many visits can be made on foot or by bike (rentals are available – see below), but if you want to extend your stay it may be practical to rent a car.
  •  Who’s it for? This is a destination particularly suited to those in the mood for a quiet getaway. It’s perfect for families, couples or a trip with friends, combining sightseeing and Zen moments.
  •  How much does it cost? This getaway won’t break the bank! A round-trip train ticket from Paris costs €55. On site, you’ll find some great places to eat at reasonable prices (see the rest of this article), and visits to the region’s castles and gardens are affordable. As for accommodation, there’s something to suit every budget.

What to do in the Terres du Val de Loire? 6 must-do activities

Take a bucolic break at the Jardins de Roquelin

Just a stone’s throw from Meung-sur-Loire, the Jardins de Roquelin are a little paradise on earth! Labelled a “remarkable garden”, this haven of peace is the work of Stéphane Chassine, a passionate botanist.

Open your nostrils wide: no fewer than 450 varieties of old roses await you in these gardens, a real olfactory voyage.

The garden is also animated by a few animals (cat, dog, hens, roosters, geese, peacocks…).

Before you leave, don’t forget to visit our store, where you’ll find a selection of antiques and homemade jams.

 Lieu dit Roquelin, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
 From April 27 to September 29
 Every day except Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
 Self-guided tour: €6; guided tour €7
 Website: https://lesjardinsderoquelin.fr/

Follow the Rose Route 🌹

The Loiret department offers you a scented discovery of the region on the theme of roses! An itinerary of some twenty gardens, rose gardens and villages to discover the rose in all its facets.

Time travel at the Château de Meung-sur-Loire

It’s impossible to miss this castle, whose beautiful red facade can be seen in the distance, but if you approach it, you’ll discover medieval architecture. This blend of two architectural styles has earned the château de Meung-sur-Loire the nickname of the “château with two faces”.

Terres de Val-de-Loire

A bit of history… 🏰

Château de Meung-sur-Loire was once the residence of the bishops of Orléans. It was built in the 13th century by Bishop Manassès de Seignelay and enlarged over the centuries, notably during the Hundred Years’ War.

Many years later, in 1706, Bishop Fleuriau d’Armenonville restored the building and completely remodeled the garden side in a classical style with painted walls.

More recently, in 2022, the roof and painted facade were restored, bringing back to life this “red castle”, one of the very few painted castles in France.

A visit to this chateau is like stepping back in time, thanks to the many furnishings and objects that reveal the daily life of such a residence over the centuries.

The course is particularly suitable for families, with games for children and, in the gardens, a mini-farm, a knights’ course with nets suspended in the trees and the Land of Dragons, where fantastic creatures await you…

 16 place du Martroi, Meung-sur-Loire
 Opening times vary according to the season, please consult the château’s website.
 Full price: €12, €10 for under-25s and jobseekers, €8.5 for 4-15s, free for under-4s and over-80s.
 Website: https://chateau-de-meung.com/

While you’re in Meung-sur-Loire, take a stroll through the town, which is full of charm with its cobbled streets and “Mauves”, the name given to the small rivers that flow through the town.

Meung or Main? 🤔

“Meung-sur-Loire” is pronounced “Main-sur-Loire”, but don’t call the inhabitants of this town “Meugnois” or “Mainois” – no, no! Here, we call ourselves the “Magdunois”, a reference to the town’s ancient name, “Magdunum”.

Discover the medieval town of Beaugency

With the Loire River flowing at its feet, ancient monuments and charming alleyways, the medieval town of Beaugency is well worth a visit! Don’t miss the 11th-century Tour César, one of France’s tallest keeps at 36 meters; the abbey church of Notre-Dame; or the château (see below).

You can also book a guided tour to discover eight embroidered hangings preserved in the town hall, a unique example of 17th-century decorative arts (€5, free for children under 12).

Idée d'escapade en train depuis Paris : découvrez Meung-sur-Loire et Beaugency à deux pas d'Orléans 12

Visit the Château de Beaugency and its Digital Art Center

Beaugency’s other must-see is of course its château, built from the 11th century onwards and nicknamed “Château Dunois” after one of its illustrious owners, Jean de Dunois (1402-1468), Joan of Arc’s comrade-in-arms.

Today, the château is home to a digital art center with light, digital and, in some cases, interactive installations.

Château de Beaugency
Idée d'escapade en train depuis Paris : découvrez Meung-sur-Loire et Beaugency à deux pas d'Orléans 15

 2 place Dunois, 45190 Beaugency
 Opening times vary according to the season, please consult the château’s website.
 Full price: €11, €9 for 12-18 year-olds and jobseekers, €7 for 6-11 year-olds, free for children under 6.
 Website: https://www.chateau-beaugency.com/

Saluting Louis XI at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Cléry

Legend has it that the basilica was built following the discovery of a statue of the Virgin Mary in a field in the 13th century. Placed in a small chapel, the statue soon became famous and attracted numerous pilgrims, so much so that Philip the Fair decided to build a collegiate church around 1300, which was destroyed in 1428 by English troops during the Hundred Years’ War.

The church was rebuilt in the mid-15th century. Louis XI, who was devoted to the Virgin Mary, multiplied his donations following his victory at Dieppe in 1443, and made the collegiate church his burial place. He was the only king of the Valois dynasty not to be buried in the Basilica of Saint-Denis, though his skull remains visible beneath a grille in the nave.

Collegiate church or Basilica? ⛪️

The name “Basilica” is a title given by the Pope to a religious edifice, either because a particular event took place there, or because it houses a holy body or relic, or even as an honorific title. Notre-Dame de Cléry has been a basilica since 1894, when Pope Leo XIII granted it this title.

The Basilica can be visited free of charge on its own, but I highly recommend a guided tour , which will take you into areas usually closed to the public, such as Louis XI’s oratory and the king’s tomb (€5, free for children under 12).

 Rue Louis XI, 45370 Cléry-Saint-André
 Daily, 9am-7pm except during masses and ceremonies
 Free admission
 To know more

Recharge your batteries at Parc de la Folie Hubert

This 2-hectare park surrounds a sumptuous 17th-century residence built on the initiative of the Bishop of Orléans, Cardinal Pierre-Armand du Cambout. This haven of peace attracted Raoul Rochette, a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, who spent almost 25 years here, as well as an American commander who fell under its spell in 1944 and settled here after the war.

Today, this sublime park is the work of two botanical enthusiasts who have turned it into an enchanting place filled with fuchsias, orchids, cacti and century-old trees.

Open to visitors on summer weekends, the park also features three alpacas and Hubert, an adorable doggie who has become the park’s mascot!

 41 route des Marais, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
 Every weekend in June, July and August
 10am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 6pm
 Full price: €6, free for under-18s
 Website: https://www.lafoliehubert.com/

Stay at Folie Hubert 🛌

To take full advantage of this peaceful setting, you can also stay here: La Folie Hubert is also a two-bedroom gîte with a swimming pool.


Useful addresses: accommodation and restaurants

Where to stay?

Enter the dates of your stay below to see the available accommodations and their rates:

 

If you can, I highly recommend a stay at “Le Clos du Q’Hâtre ” in Cléry-Saint-André, a quiet B&B where the owners will give you a very warm welcome.

Chambre d'hôtes près de Beaugency et de Meung-sur-Loire

Three comfortable bedrooms are available in this family home, with the option of dining on site. The owners are former restaurateurs and offer top-quality home cooking. A real treat!

You can also stay at La Folie Hubert (mentioned earlier in this article) to enjoy the magnificent park and swimming pool, all just a fifteen-minute walk from Meung-sur-Loire station.

Where to eat and drink?

La guiguette La Capitainerie in Meung-sur-Loire

For a drink or a bite to eat on the banks of the Loire, stop off at La Capitainerie. You’ll find salads, tartines, local cheeses, Loire fish terrines…

Claire and Denis also offer a floating bed and breakfast and traditional boat trips.

 Embarcadère Quai Jeanne d’Arc, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
 Open from April to September
 Thursday to Monday, 11am to 11pm
 To find out more

The Tandem Café-Vélo in Meung-sur-Loire

In the heart of the town of Meung-sur-Loire, Le Tandem is a hybrid place where you’ll find a café-restaurant as well as a bike rental and repair workshop.

On the à la carte menu, in addition to daily specials, you can enjoy hearty croque-monsieur and tartines, as well as a selection of homemade desserts.

 22 rue Emmanuel Troulet, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
 Friday to Tuesday, 9am to 9pm; Wednesday, 9am to 6pm; Closed on Thursday

The Thés Cafés & Compagnie counter in Beaugency

In Beaugency, next to the Halles, you can take a relaxing break in this charming tearoom. You can also enjoy a pastry or an ice cream, all in a warm setting that doubles as a decorating boutique.

 4 place du petit marché, 45190 Beaugency, France
 Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 12:30pm and 3pm to 6:30pm
 Saturday, 8:30am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm
 To find out more


Interactive map

Find all the addresses mentioned in this article on this interactive map.

Tip: use the menu on the right to filter points of interest according to your search (restaurants, tours, accommodation…).

Enjoy your trip!


Article produced in collaboration with the Terres du Val de Loire Tourist Office.
All photographs in this article are the property of Culturez-vous and may not be reused without written permission.

Do you like Antoine Vitek's articles? Follow on social!
Comments to: Idea for a train trip from Paris: discover Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency, just a stone’s throw from Orléans

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Abonnez-vous à la newsletter

Abonnez-vous à la Newsletter

Chaque mois, recevez le meilleur de Culturez-vous dans votre boite mail !

Merci ! Consultez votre boite mail pour valider votre inscription.