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What to do on the banks of the Loire

The good life, in a natural setting

Ideas for things to do and tours to take along the Loire valley for the whole family. You might almost forget that there are châteaux everywhere!

From St Laurent-Nouan to Rilly-sur-Loire, your trip along the river allows you to discover the Loire in all its aspects.

The Loire valley has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Both up and downstream of Blois, the valley is a centre of innovation and enthusiastic enterprise.

Starting from St Dyé-sur-Loire, your journey takes you to a nautical base - the Val des Châteaux, with canoe and kayak rentals for both guided and free river trips, lasting from two hours up to several days. You start near you'll start a little higher upstream in Muides-sur-Loire, coming back down the river at your own pace to St Dyé-sur-Loire, with its beautiful view over the old port of Chambord.

Whether cycling or walking, take the opportunity to visit the Maison de la Loire, while passing through the streets of the village of St Dyé and its church. Learn about local people and their customs, the fauna and flora of the region, how the Loire has deeply influenced the local economy. Games and workshops, offered free of charge, make it a fun and educational experience.

Coming back to the banks of the Loire, you'll undoubtedly come across the typical wooden boats of the region, known as gabarres, futreaux, toue cabanes and carrieres, depending on their form and function. They are still made in the tradition of our ancestors, with certain modern comforts such as an engine. You can book a boat trip in one of these at the Maison de la Loire, and even sleep on board!

 

Cycle routes Loire à vélo and Châteaux à vélo

The Loire River has excellent cycle paths on both banks between Muides-sur-Loire and Blois (20km), then on the left bank only towards Chaumont-sur-Loire. Along the tow paths you'll pass from village to village, enjoying the landscapes and especially two exceptional viewpoints, one over the Château de Ménars (itself not open to visitors) and the other over the city of Blois.

 

If you are cycling from Chambord, you'll probably stop at Blois. Why not add a little time to enjoy a boat ride from the port of La Creusille with the Observatoire Loire. Visit the scenographic display, which described the history of the river when it was the major commercial highway of the country!

All that pedalling along the river is sooner or later going to make you think of jumping right in! Why not take a canoe or a kayak for a fun adventure with Loire Kayak.

After Blois, continuing down the Loire for some 20 km, a bridge and a château suddenly emerge from nowhere - this is Chaumont-sur-Loire.

A picture postcard the little boats that anchor at the foot of the village and below the château. Ask the local boat keepers where to embark. Tell them how much time you have, because they won't bring your trip to an end until you say so - they love it too much! Boat trips with short walks and picnics on the river islands - the boaters of Chaumont (Millère Raboton) lead you on a delightful river journey!