What to see in France

Camping in the Loiret, in the footsteps of the kings of France


Formerly the province of Orléans, the Loiret is now part of the Centre-Val-de-Loire region. A department that invites you to discover its grandiose heritage, with its rich history, its magnificent châteaux such as Sully-sur-Loire, its cities such as Orléans or its natural landscapes such as the numerous gardens, the Orléans forest or its wild lands such as the Sologne in the superb Val-de-Loire, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Loiret is also a welcoming area with accommodation in campsites for free walking.

Campsites in Loiret

There are more than 40 campsites in the Loiret that open their doors to you to visit this magnificent department. Like the campsite Les Bois du Bardelet ***** located a few kilometres from the town of Gien, between ponds and forests, you will enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and an indoor paddling pool for the little ones as well as bodies of water for canoeing or fishing. Le jardin de Sully *** campsite is situated on the banks of the Loire and in the heart of the Loire valley, ideal for visiting the châteaux. Le Martinet *** campsite in Briare offers chalets or canvas bungalows for rent, perfect for discovering the Brenne national park.

Orléans, former royal city

As the regional capital, Orléans is a city that is as surprising as it is attractive. Firstly, because of the number of its buildings, with the Gothic Sainte-Croix cathedral, whose construction began in the 13th century and was completed in the 19th century. The stained glass windows illustrating the epic of Joan of Arc, the rose windows in the transept and the woodwork are remarkable. Nearby is the Hôtel Groslot, which now houses the town hall. This superb Renaissance building is free to enter. Inside you will find Aubusson tapestries, sculpted furniture and a superb enamelled painting. The house of Joan of Arc, which she occupied in 1429, has now been transformed into a museum dedicated to her, as well as the Fine Arts Museum, which houses collections from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Finally, the Parc Floral de la Source, which houses magnificent themed gardens, the gardens of the Hôtel Groslot, ideal for a picnic, and the Jardin des Plantes and its superb orangery are the green lungs of the city.

The Sologne, peaceful and preserved

The Sologne is a natural and forested region of ponds and forests, ideal for nature lovers and hikers. In all, there are 2800 ponds which enrich the landscape. The GR 3C hiking trail crosses the Sologne du Loiret from east to west and allows you to discover an exceptional fauna and flora. You can see wild ducks on the ponds, see a great crested grebe or hear the bellowing of the cert in the distance. You will discover pretty picturesque villages with typical Sologne architecture such as Souvigny-en-Sologne, Chaumont-sur-Tharonne or Lamotte-Beuvron, the birthplace of the tarte tatin for gourmets! You can also admire the castle of La Ferté Saint Aubin and the castle of Le Moulin, known as the Pearl of Sologne.

Forest in Sologne
Forest in Sologne© IStock

Castles, witnesses of the history of France

Lancelot I du Lac was responsible for the construction of the Château de Chamerolles for 30 years! Formerly the home of his family, it was then abandoned in the 20th century and restored by the Conseil Départemental. Today you can see a mixture of medieval and Renaissance architecture, which makes the visit particularly interesting. The moat dates from the old medieval fortress, before the castle was built. You have to cross the moat to reach the magnificent Renaissance garden created by Lancelot II. After falling into disuse, it is now home to honeysuckle, roses, a vineyard, fruit trees, a vegetable garden and a two-hectare landscaped park.

The château of Sully-sur-Loire, built in the 14th century, was once the residence of the Duke of Sully, minister of Henri IV. It is the only château in the Loiret region to be classified as a "Grands Sites du Val-de-Loire". The castle remained in the de Sully family for four centuries before becoming the property of the Departmental Council 60 years ago. Its imposing architecture above the Loire has undergone many changes over the centuries. Inside, there are 16 rooms to discover, including the parapet walk, Sully's tomb, his flats and a tapestry of Psyche.

A former prestigious residence of the bishops of Orleans, the castle of Meung-sur-Loire offers a sort of dive into 13th century French life in a rather playful way. 20 rooms await you, from the dark cellars to the attic and the bathrooms. To make the immersion more realistic, 2,000 objects are displayed and put into situation. You can also enjoy the pretty little town with its old houses and the superb 11th and 13th century collegiate church of Saint-Liphard.

Sully Castle
Sully Castle© IStock

It is not a castle but a religious building, the one for which the small town of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire is famous, Fleury Abbey. Founded in 650, the magnificent sculpted capitals under the bell tower-porch and the Romanesque choir will delight those who love religious architecture. The porch tower of the abbey church is a particularly fine example of Romanesque art. An 11th century crypt in which the relics of St. Benedict lie is also worth seeing. An abbey whose beauty is well worth a visit.


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