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  • Writer's pictureMary Anne Bordonaro

Orleans, France: 3 Things I Love About the Loire Valley

As a teaching assistant in France, you are assigned a town to live in. While you may want to make your own plans, if you want a long-term visa and seven months of croissants, wine, and cobblestone streets, you go where they tell you.

I grew up by the ocean. In fact, until I went away to college (a whopping three hours away from home haha!) I had never lived farther than 15 minutes away from the Atlantic. When I applied for TAPIF, I requested schools in the South of France. I dreamed of sunshine and Mediterranean waves.

I ended up in Orleans.

More landlocked and cloud-covered than I would have liked, it was a bit of an adjustment moving there. However, after living in Orleans for eight months, I fell in love (at least a little bit) with the city.

While it is small, Orleans has a lot to offer and is a great choice if you are visiting the Loire Valley.

Close Proximity to Paris

With Paris just an hour away, Orleans can be an option for a day trip from the capital. And if you lived in Orleans like me, you can spend your weekends walking along the Seine if you are so inclined.

If you are vacationing in Paris and you are looking for short escape from the busy city, you can hope on a variety of buses or trains that leave throughout the day.

There is an Activity for Everyone

If you like history or art, go check out the Saint-Croix Cathedral, the Musee des Beaux Arts, or the Maison Jeanne d'Arc. The Cathedral is one of the tallest in all of France, and the gothic architecture and massive bell towers are amazing.

If you like sports, Orleans is a part of Loire a Velo (a well-known continuous biking trail along the Loire River Valley) and many people go kayaking or canoeing down the river.

If you want to just take it all in, there is an endless amount of winding streets, quaint houses, and small shops and restaurants to explore.

The Loire Valley Looks Like a Fairy Tale

Orleans is a part of the Loire Valley, which back in the day was the preferred place for French aristocrats to build their chateaux (i.e. castles).

At least five castles are within an hour of Orleans, so you can spend a day (or two, or three) roaming the valley and living out your childhood fantasy of being a Disney princess.

Are you ready to visit Orleans?

If any of this sounds interesting to you and you want to add Orleans to your itinerary for your next trip to France, check out my article in Journeys of Girls about the Loire Valley or message me with questions!

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