The forest

Sologne occupies a large part of the Loir-et-Cher. Oak, birches, ferns, Corsican pines, maritime pines and even chestnut groves can all be found here. The network of lakes is very dense and makes it the biggest wetland area of international interest in continental Europe. But even if Sologne is the best known of the wooden areas in the department, there are forests everywhere; in particular just outside Blois and also to the North of Vendôme.

Examples of activities :

  • Biking or hiking circuits in Sologne
  • Visit la Maison du braconnage (poachers), la Maison du cerf (stags) la Maison des Etangs (large ponds) in Sologne
  • Sologne Nature Environnement organizes events around the ponds in Sologne
  • A circuit to discover the bois de l’Oratoire woods in Vendôme

The river and tributaries

The Loire and 2 other big rivers, the Cher and the Loir flow through the Loir-et-Cher, water is everywhere; you will be constantly either following the river banks or crossing rivers. The biggest rivers (Cher, Loir, Beuvron, Cisse) are navigable in small vessels (canoe-kayak, small boats…).

Examples of activities :

  • Discover the secrets of the Loire at the Loire Observatory or at the Maison de la Loire
  • Hiking or biking paths along the Loire or along other rivers
  • Trips in canoes or kayaks
  • Cruise on the Loire in a traditional boat

Gardens, gardens everywhere

The Loire Valley has got lots of gardens to visit; they are part of the royal history of the area.

Some gardens to visit :

  • International Garden Festival in Chaumont-sur-Loire : a combination of landscaping and contemporary art. The 26th edition will take place in 2017; the theme will be « Flower Power ».
  • Les jardins à la française in Chambord : open to visitors in March 2017, the new gardens were laid out according to Chambord estate plans dating back to the 18th century.
  • Le château de Beauregard , previously a hunting lodge for François 1st, boasts a 40 hectare (98 acre) park listed among French Historical Monuments and includes a Portrait garden, intended to mirror the famous Portrait Gallery in the castle.
  • Le jardin du Plessis-Sasnières : in the Loir Valley, this garden has received the « Outstanding Garden » label and has been progressively transformed by its owner Rosamée Henrion into an English style park. Stretching over 11 ha, (28 acres) it is a true paradise located in a valley and perched on the hillside.