On the left bank of the Loire stands the imposing shape of Château de Sully-sur-Loire
, surrounded by moats.
This medieval fortress was the property of Maximilien de Béthune, better known as the Duke of Sully and the Master of King Henri IV's artillery.
Take a wander through the Middle Ages on a visit here: dungeon, parapets with arrow slits, guard room, etc, all transporting you back in time.
Under the roofs, the remarkable 14th-century structural woodwork bears testimony to the talent of the journeymen carpenters of Orléans. But the Château is not just a medieval showpiece; in June, its walls thrum to the sounds of concerts in the Festival de Sully et du Loiret
On the edge of Orléans Forest, Château de Chamerolles
and its gardens combine the sober medieval style with the refinement of the Renaissance.
An ode to lovely scents, its museum takes you one a trip through the history of perfumes, from the 16th century to the present day. As you stand in front of the scent panel with 270 bottles of varied essences, you can easily imagine the professional "nose" composing his subtle perfumes. A treasure trove for elegant women, the "perfume cellar" gave them a huge choice of fantastic scents in which to envelope themselves.
To round off the excursion, feast your eyes on the exhibition of legendary perfume bottles, all cleverly illuminated.
Each year, Orléans
, the town of Joan of Arc, celebrates the woman who liberated the town in 1429.
Set on the banks of the Loire, the town has very close links with its river, to which it pays due homage every two years in the Festival de Loire
. Recently refurbished, the Orléans waterfront has had all the magic of bygone days restored to it.
Anchored opposite the Place de la Loire, an "unexplodable" 19th century steam boat, built for the occasion, renews the Loire tradition and is an invitation for conviviality. You can taste Loire Valley wines and regional produce.
A subtle mixture of tradition and modernity, Orléans boasts a great many treasures which you can uncover in the typical streets, parks and gardens, via the townhouses, religious monuments
. They will reveal the secrets of a town which has provided a backdrop for some of the key events in the history of France.