This stretch of the Loire Valley runs from the exit point for Orléans, to Cléry Saint André and then on to Saint Dyé sur Loire, near Blois and Chambord. In addition to visiting charming villages such as Meung sur Loire or Beaugency, visitors can also enjoy the many outdoor activities offered by the surroundings.
Cléry Saint André
Cléry Saint André (45370)
At 10 kilometers from Orleans, the charming village of Clery Saint André, with its medieval and Renaissance houses, is dominated by the impressive Basilica. Many outdoor activities can be done in the area (hiking along the Loire and the vineyards ... ). Located on the pilgrimage route to Saint Jacques de Compostela, the village hosted many pilgrims. You will notice in particular the building of the Tourist Office ("La Belle Autruche"), the town hall building ("Les Trois Rois") or that of the current school of music ("La Fleur de Lys").
111 rue du Maréchal Foch, 45370 Cléry Saint André
Website - tel : 02 38 45 94 33.
October through March : Wednesday and Friday : 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
April through September : Tuesday and Thursday : 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
July and August : Tuesday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ; Sunday: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Tourist Office offers tours "Walking around the Basilica" or "Wine Route of Orléans."
Notre Dame Basilica
Open daily : 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visits by appointment : vault and Louis XI oratory, spiral staircase and the Saint Jacques Chapel.
An audio tour lasting 30 minutes is available at the Tourist Office (free in exchange for an identification card) .
The Notre Dame Basilica of Clery was built in the 15th century in the heart of the village in a Gothic style. An important place of pilgrimage on the route to Saint Jacques de Compostela, it owes its magnificence to the Valois dynasty and especially King Louis XI, who even chose to be buried here.
Though it was built in the 15th century, the history of the basilica dates back to 1280, when a statue of the Virgin was discovered by farmers around the site. The place was quickly attributed miraculous powers. The news spread and the number of pilgrims forced Philip IV and then Philippe VI de Valois to build a large church worthy of the miracles recorded there. This first building would be destroyed during the Hundred Years War by the British. Louis XI decided to rebuild the building. And on December 21st, 1467, the collegiate church became a royal chapel. Abandoning the royal tradition that kings were buried in Saint Denis, Louis XI was buried here on September 7th, 1483. The chapel of Saint Jacques was built in the early 16th century for pilgrims on the route to Compostela.
It was not until 1894 that the church receives the honorary title of basilica from Pope Leo XIII.
Not to miss: the Saint Jacques Chapel from the 16th century, the tomb of Louis XI and the spiral staircase.
In the municipality of Cléry-Saint-André and its surroundings, vintners welcome visitors in their cellars to discover the wines within this AOC, a protected origin area. A list of vintners is available from the Tourist Office.
Village market (the second Sunday in September)
For the event of the pilgrimage to Notre Dame, which is traditionally held the Sunday after September 8th, the village market invites you to discover and taste local produce and crafts. Artisans, shopkeepers, local producers, antiques market and fairground entertainment is planned.
Grape harvest festival of Mareau-aux-Prés (1st Sunday in October)
In honor of its wine business, the town celebrates the year’s grape harvest.
Apple Fair in Cléry-Saint-André (3rd weekend in October)
Traders, artisans, farmers and vintners offer their products. Fairground, antiques and sporting events.
Meung sur Loire (45130)
At the heart of the Loire Valley and the Valley of the Kings, Meung sur Loire is a charming village with picturesque streets lined with half-timbered and stone facades that invite visitors to linger. Let yourself be lulled by the gentle sound of the Mauves, small rivers shaped by the hand of man that run through the city and submit to the many paddle wheels of the mills in the city. These mills produced flour, paper, powder, hide, and in them skins were tanned and cloth was beaten ...
Not to miss :
The castle of the bishops of Orleans, with medieval and 18th-century facades, is a history book of architecture styles. A jewel of religious heritage : The Collegiate Church of Saint Liphard has proudly stood over the Loire for nearly a thousand years.
Moulin de la Poterne 1 rue Emmanuel Troulet, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
Website - tel : 02 38 44 32 28.
Mid-November to mid-April : Tuesday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 5 :30 p.m.
Mid-April to mid-May and September to mid-November : Tuesday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 5 :30 p.m. ; Sunday : 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mid-May to August: Tuesday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ; Sunday : 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Permanent exhibition on the mills. The Tourist Office offers bike rental for adults and children (€10 / day). If you like fishing, the Tourist Office also provides permits for the day to fish in the Mauve or the Loire Rivers.
Collegiate Church of Saint Liphard
The Collegiate Church of Saint Liphard was created in the 11th century by a college of canons at the place of the tomb of the saint. Some elements still date from this period, such as the bell tower in the lower part, but most of the collegiate church that we see today dates from the 12th and 13th centuries (the spire and the bells, the choir, the transept and the nave).
Château de Meung sur Loire
16 Place Martroi, 45130 Meung sur Loire
Website - tel : 02 38 44 36 47.
Full price / reduced price : €9 / €7. Children from 5 to 15 years old : €5.50. Free for children under 5 years old .
Open from March to October:
March, the weekend: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
April, May, June, September and October, daily except Monday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July and August, daily: 10 a.m.to 7 p.m.
Visitor guides available in English, French, German, Spanish and Dutch : €2
Entertainment videos, music and medieval festivals in the summer. Many themed tours throughout the year.
Château de Meung was the residence of the bishops of Orleans, who were also the Lords of Meung. The first traces of the castle, then backed by the collegiate church, date back to the 12th century. The first building is the work of Manassès de Garlande, bishop from 1146 to 1185. In the following century a new castle was built by Manassès de Seignelay, bishop from 1207 to 1221. Three of the four corner towers of the fortress are still visible from this period. In the 16th century the large rectangular body was doubled and entrance tower with a drawbridge was added.
In the 18th century the current facade was erected, along with the chapel and vestibule.
During the visit you will discover 30 furnished rooms, as well as an underground portion consisting of a prison and torture chamber.
For children: Children’s guide « A robot at the castle », a treasure hunt with Walter the Robot. Medieval workshops.
Main entrance gate of the city, the Amont Gate was built in 1629. From the top of the tower, the watchman could ring the bell in case of danger.
Espace Culturel La Monnaye,
22 Rue des Remparts, 45130 Meung sur Loire
Tel : 02 38 22 53 36.
Hours: Wednesday and Friday : 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ; Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ; Sunday : 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed on public holidays, in August and at the end of December.
The Meung sur Loire Museum owes its name to the function it occupied during the 17th century as a mint (the word monnaye comes for the word for money in French). A copper coin was made here, the Liard.
Three permanent exhibition sections make up the circuit of the museum:
The first section is dedicated to writers who lived or moved to Meung sur Loire. The second section is devoted to archeology and paleontology. The objects presented retrace the geological history of the valley as well as its first occupants. Finally, a third section is dedicated to Gaston Couté (1880 - 1911), poet and libertarian singer from the village. Features photographs, drawings and poems.
Relais Louis XI
2 Rue Saint Pierre, 45130 Meung sur Loire
Website - tel : 02 38 44 27 71.
Cannot be visited.
The Louis XI Coaching Inn housed a royal stud farm in the 14th century. These private stables of the king allowed him to change horses and even spend the night, which Louis XI often did. Thereafter, under the House of Valois, it flourished. During that period many kings lived in the castles of the Loire (Blois, Chambord ... ) and passing by was a must. It was finally abolished in the early 17th century, and today houses a hotel.
Musée Van Oeveren - Musée de l'escrime et du duel
Clos de Bel-Air, 45130 Meung sur Loire
Website - tel : 02 38 45 35 82.
Full price/ reduced price : €7/ €5.
Open daily except Mondays in July and August : 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
This museum houses the largest collection in the world of fencing and dueling artifacts.
Jardins de Roquelin
Website - tel : 06 70 95 37 70.
Price: €6. Free for those under 18 years old
Open every day except Tuesday from late April through September: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Classified as a « Remarkable Garden »
This garden contains an outstanding collection of old roses and other plants that will delight visitors with their colors and scents.
Several ports were located along the banks of Meung sur Loire. Most have disappeared, and the only traces they left are the cellars dug into the hillside. The Port du Bout du Monde was one of the most active on the Loire, hosting traders of wine, flour, grain, salt, spices ...
The pont de pierre
The Stone Bridge, of which its remains are still visible, dates back to 1216. Undertaken by Bishop Magnassès de Seignelay, at its origin it was a defensive structure with turrets. The toll that was originally created to maintain the bridge was removed in the 15th century. A few years later, a flood swept it away. The only bridge that crossed the Loire at this time, it was not until the 19th century that a new bridge was built across the river, 200 meters from the previous one.
Festicolor (end of May)
World music festival
Festival de Contes au Jardin - Tales in the Garden Festival (Wednesdays in July)
The Bridge Festival (September)
Saint Martin Fair (November 11th)
A big popular fair.
Festival of moving shapes (around November 11th)
Chambres d’Hôtes « La Mouche Abeille »
La Mouche, 45130 Meung-sur-Loire
Website - tel : 02 38 44 34 36.
Price from €100.
Due to its strategic location, the heavily fortified city of Beaugency was prosperous in the Middle Ages. The city was attached to the crown in 1292. During the 15th century, the manor was included in the duchy of Orleans. It would therefore experience a boom of which many testimonies of this prestigious past have survived. Visitors will discover a rich and varied heritage (religious, civil or military) along its streets.
3 place du Docteur Hyvernaud, 45190 Beaugency
Website - tel : 02 38 44 54 42.
October through April : Tuesday to Saturday : 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 5 :30 p.m. ;
May and September: Monday to Saturday : 10 a.m. to 12 :30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 :30 p.m. ;
June, July and August: Monday to Saturday : 10 a.m. to 12 :30 p.m. / 2 p.m. to 6 :30 p.m. ; Sunday and holidays: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Tourist Office offers various tours of the city, departure from the Tourist Office. You will also find ideas for bike routes, such as the Beaugency - Chambord trail : Distance: 26 kilometers. Tour duration : 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Hôtel de Ville
Place du Docteur Hyvernaud, 45190 Beaugency
This magnificent building, which now houses the Town Hall, was built around 1526. Although the majority of its facade is Renaissance, it has some medieval architectural forms. The facade is decorated with coat of arms of the Dunois family and the symbol of François I, the salamander. Hidden on the first floor in the hall of honor are beautiful embroidered panels from the 17th century. Visits of the room and its wall hangings are by appointment through the Tourist Office.
Tour de l’Horloge
Rue du change, 45190 Beaugency
Cannot be visited.
The Clock Tower has housed the town clock since 1511. But its functions were many as part of the second enclosure of the city, and this gate and belfry served as a prison until 1526.
29 Place du Martroi, 45190 Beaugency
Private property. Cannot be visited.
This half-timber and brick town house is typical of the early 16th-century commercial architecture. The ground floor shop opened onto the street via two large bays with decorated frames, and the second floor was residential. The facade features Saint Kitts, Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Jacques carved in wood.
Eglise Saint Etienne
Place du Martroi, 45190 Beaugency
The Church of Saint-Etienne, formerly known as Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was built in the 11th century. The bell tower was raised in the following century. After serving as a warehouse for a long time, it now houses a gallery for temporary exhibitions.
Rue Porte Tavers, 45190 Beaugency
The Tavers Gate, very well preserved, is the last survivor of the seven gates that provided access to the city. It was part of the third defensive enclosure (early 12th century) and defended the southern entrance of the city.
Saint Firmin bell tower
Place Saint Firmin, 45190 Beaugency
The Saint Firmin bell tower is a vestige of an old church demolished during the Revolution. At 50 meters high, it dates from the 16th century. The entrance gate is in a flamboyant Gothic style. The bell tower contains four bells that chime the 15th century song "Orleans, Beaugency, Notre- Dame de Clery, Vendome" three times a day.
Maison des Templiers
Rue du Puits de l'Ange, 45190 Beaugency
Private property. Cannot be visited.
The oldest civil building in the city, this Romanesque house dates from the late 12th century. It is said to have belonged to the Knights Templar (see "Causses and Cévennes - Plateau du Larzac"). Of note in particular are the beautiful columned window frames with arches.
Tour de Caesar
This defense tower, 36 meters high, dates back to the 11th century. This is one of the last examples of Roman military architecture. In the 16th century it was used as a support for the residence of the Lords of Beaugency. But the castle was burned down during the Religious Wars and finally collapsed in 1840.
The Château Dunois
Cannot be visited.
The Château Dunois was built around 1440 on the site of an old medieval fortress, and was the residence of the lords of Beaugency. It owes its name to Jean Bastard of Orleans (1403-1460), companion in arms to Joan of Arc, Count of Dunois and Lord Beaugency. Renaissance additions were added by his descendants. The castle was transformed into a warehouse during the Revolution before the Loiret department acquired it in the 19th century.
Place Dunois, au pied du donjon, 45190 Beaugency
The Notre Dame Abbey dates back to the end of the 11th century, but was largely rebuilt in the 17th century after it was burned during the Religious Wars. It became a parish church during the Revolution.
It was here in 1152 that the marriage of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine was annulled. She would then marry the future King of England, Henry II Plantagenêt.
From the Romanesque period, the church has retained the chevet, the entrance gate, the transept, and the capitals ...
Tour du Diable
The Devil's Tower was part of the walled city. It was built in the 11th century and modified in the 15th century by the Count of Dunois. Legend says that after construction of the bridge, the devil sought refuge here, and still remains today ...
The bridge of Beaugency
The first bridge dates back to the 11th century. Although it was revised many times over the following centuries, it is, at 435 meters long, the longest stone bridge built on the Loire. Legend says that it was the Devil's work and that he required a soul as a sacrifice in exchange. The people offered him a cat instead. Since then, the inhabitants of the city were nicknamed cats. This bridge was once fortified with a complete defensive system (walls, tower, drawbridge, gate ... ). Several chapels were built on it, including the Saint-Jacques Chapel on the third pile for the reception of pilgrims on the route to Saint Jacques de Compostela.
Beaugency and the Loire
Beaugency’s prosperity owes much to its bridge, which long remained the only passageway between Orleans and Blois. The history of the city remains closely linked to the Loire and its port, active until the 19th century. Today the city still faces the river, and offers numerous nature walks along the banks, which are home to many mammals, migratory birds and abundant flora.
Free circuit (booklets available at the Tourist Office).
Book and Youth Expo (April)
Beaugency beach (mid-July to mid-August)
Beaugency Festival (late August)
Wine Fair (mid-September )
Saturday (all day) and Wednesday (morning)
Accommodation and Eating
Hotel-Restaurant de l’Ecu de Bretagne ***
Place du Martroi, 45190 Beaugency
Website - tel : 02 38 44 67 60.
Room from €81.
Restaurant – traditional cuisine
Saint Dyé sur Loire (41500)
Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire was one of the most important ports on the Loire in the 16th and 17th centuries. This small village has a historic center rich with heritage : Renaissance houses, a church from the 15th century, narrow winding Streets, wells, remains of former fortifications, a harbor ... Beyond this historical and architectural heritage, Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire is an ideal starting place for a canoe ride on the river or on foot along its shores toward the discovery of a rich and unspoiled nature.
The creation of the town followed the installation during the 5th century of a hermit named Déodat. The latter left his cave to found a small convent before he died around the year 530. It became an important place of pilgrimage, and many churches, each larger than the last, were built at this location. Naturally, the town developed around this pilgrimage site.
The village was fortified starting from the 13th century. In the 15th century Louis XI came to Saint Dyé on a pilgrimage offers a shrine to house the exhumed relics of Saint Dyé. During the next century, in 1523, Francis I also stopped here. At that time, with the construction of the Château de Chambord, the port of Saint-Dyé grew considerably. The decline of the city cames in 1773, when a new road was opened from Paris to Spain.
Tourist Office and Maison de Loire
73 rue Nationale, 41500 Saint Dyé sur Loire
Website maison de Loire - tel : 02 54 81 68 07.
October through April, Tuesday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m./ 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
May through September, daily: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m./ 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Closed on Sunday on May)
The Maison de la Loire hosts the Tourist Office. This home is a former relay post from the 17th century. The Maison de la Loire and du Loir-et-Cher proposes discovery and advocacy for better knowledge of the river, its heritage and its environment. Many activities are geared toward children, especially during school holidays. For adults, nature outings, tours and conferences are organized throughout the year. Many exhibitions are centered around the Loire: the Loire navy, river trade, ports or fishing.
Eglise de Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire
The present church dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, but its history began well before, during the 5th century with Déodat monk who lived as a hermit in the vicinity. It is said that Clovis came to visit him, and brought him the financial support necessary to build a monastery. Several buildings replaced one another, finally arriving at the church that we see today.
For a long time the church was a place of pilgrimage on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostela. It was said that the "ring of Saint-Die" cured eye-related.. The tomb of Saint Dié is preserved inside. Of note in particular is the high altar (1877), decorated with carved scenes recounting the meeting of Dié and Clovis, the altarpiece from the 17th century and the small symbolic figurines, the marmosets, recounting the main events in the life of Saint Dié (16th century).
Old houses and mansions
Thanks to the economic excitement caused by the construction of the Château de Chambord, the appearance of the village would evolve and become substantially richer during the 17th and 18th centuries. Many mansions were built during this period for the families of notables and merchants.
In the 13th century the village was fortified, and the walls that surrounded the town featured three gates that allowed access to the city. Twenty towers scattered along the ramparts provided defense. Today the remains of five towers and some sections of the walls are still visible.
Val des Châteaux Canoë-Kayak
Base Nautique, Chemin de la Croix du Port , 41500 Saint Dyé sur Loire
Tel : 02 54 81 67 53 or 06 40 19 05 31.
This association organizes canoeing trips on the Loire.
Accommodation and eating
Hôtel-Restaurant Manoir de Bel Air ***
1 Route d'Orléans, 41500 Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire
Website - tel : 02 54 81 60 10.
Room from €100.
Restaurant : "Menu" from €40.
Restaurant Auberge du Bon Terroir – traditional cuisine
20 Rue du Huit Mai 1945, 41500 Muides-sur-Loire
Website - Tel : 02 54 87 59 24.
"Menu" from €32.