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Sport and leisure activities


Aerial sports

Balloons and hot-air balloons

Loiret tourist board – See Know before you go.

Aérocom – At Onzain - t 02 54 33 55 00 - www.aerocom.fr (in English). From Amboise, Blois, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chenonceaux.

Pays de Sablé Tourist Office – t 02 43 95 00 60. Discover the Sarthe Valley in a hot-air balloon.

France Balloons – t 02 54 32 20 48 - www.franceballoons.com (in English).

Helicopter

Flights ranging from 10min to 2hr.

Jet Systems Hélicoptères Val-de-Loire – At Dierre - t 02 47 30 20 21 - www.jet-systems.fr (in English).

Air Touraine Hélicoptère et Montgolfière – At Neuvy-le-Roi - t 02 47 24 81 44 - www.a-t-h.com (in English).

Jet Systems Hélicoptères – Le Mans-Arnage aerodrome - t 02 43 72 07 70 - www.jet-systems.fr (in English).

ULM

French ULM Federation – t 01 49 81 74 43 - www.ffplum.com.

Free flying

Most aviation schools, generally located in aerodromes, offer first flights, flights and aviation lessons (two-seaters, gliders, free flying, etc.).

French Federation of Free Flying – t 01 45 44 04 78 - www.ffvv.org.


Bicycling

Explore the Loire by bicycle (“Loire à vélo”). Over 800km of routes from Nevers to the Atlantic Ocean including signposted, safe roads and bridleways as close to the Loire and its tributaries as possible. Information: www.loire-a-velo.fr.

French Federation of Cyclotourism – t 01 56 20 88 88 - www.ffct.org.

French Federation of Cycling – t 01 49 35 69 24 - www.ffc.fr.


Canoe-kayaking

The most suitable rivers are the Authion, Cisse, Conie, Cosson, Huisne, Indre, Loir, Sauldre, Thouet, Vienne and, of course, the Loire.

Centre Regional Canoe-Kayaking Board – t 02 47 63 13 98 - www.canoe-regioncentre.org (in English) .

Pays-de-Loire Regional Canoe-Kayaking Board – t 02 41 73 86 10 - www.canoekayakpaysdelaloire.fr.


Golf

French Federation of Golf – t 01 41 49 77 00 - www.ffgolf.org.

Pays-de-la-Loire Golf League – t 02 40 08 05 06 - www.ligue-golf-paysdelaloire.asso.fr.


Hiking

The GR 3 runs along the Loire Valley, passing through the forests of Orléans, Russy and Chinon.

The GR 3c cuts through Sologne from Gien to Mont-près-Chambord.

The GR 3d goes through the Layon vineyards.

The GR 31 links Mont-près-Chambord, on the edge of the Boulogne forest, to Souesmes, via Sologne.

The GR 32 cuts through the Orléans forest.

The GR 335 “from the Loire to the Loir” runs from Vouvray to Lavardin.

The GR 35 runs along the Loir Valley.

The GR 36 (Channel-Pyrenees) runs from Le Mans to Montreuil-Bellay.

The GR 46 runs along the Indre Valley.

French Federation of Hiking – t 01 44 89 93 93 - www.ffrp.asso.fr.


Historic Châteaux de la Loire Routes

The towns and villages of the Loire have devised a wide range of themed itineraries to introduce the visitor to their architectural heritage. The historic routes are dotted with signs. Information: www.routes-historiques.com.

Children

The “Entrez dans la cour des Grands” routes in Touraine and Anjou provide an amusing introduction to châteaux, museums, parks and gardens for 7-12-year-olds. Information: www.entrezdanslacourdesgrands.com or www.tourism-touraine.com (in English).

Châteaux de la Loire pass

Attractive rates for several of the region’s 18 major sites, from Sully-sur-Loire in Nantes. Several types of passes depending on the length of your stay and the number of châteaux you want to visit. Information: www.valdeloire.org (in English).


Horse trekking

Famous for its stud farms and National Riding School at St-Hilaire-St-Florent near Saumur, the region is home to countless riding centres.

Centre-Val de Loire Regional Board of Equestrian Tourism(Cher, Indre, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher et Loiret) – t 02 54 42 95 60 - www.crecvl.org.

Pays-de-la-Loire Regional Board of Equestrian Tourism(Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne et Sarthe) – t 02 40 48 12 27 - www.crte-paysdelaloire.com.


River cruises

Pays-de-la-Loire River Tourism – t 02 41 23 51 51.

Live aboard boats

Live aboard craft are fitted out for 2 to 12 people. Boats are hired without captains and do not require a permit. The following waterways are navigable: Loire, Maine, Mayenne, Oudon, Sarthe, together with the canal section of the Cher and the Berry canal.

Le Boat – t 04 68 94 42 80 - www.leboat.fr. For rentals around the Briare.

Maine-Anjou Rivières – t 02 41 95 10 83 - www.maine-anjou-rivieres.com (in English). Maine, Mayenne, Oudon, Sarthe.

France Mayenne Fluviale – t 02 43 70 13 94 - www.canalous-plaisance.com. Mayenne, Oudon, Sarthe.

Anjou Navigation – t 02 43 95 14 42 - www.anjou-navigation.fr (in English). Maine, Mayenne, Oudon, Sarthe.

Coches de plaisance sur le Cher – t 02 54 71 77 23 (Saint-Aignan tourist office). From Noyers-sur-Cher to Selles-sur-Cher, on the Berry canal.

Boating excursions

Mini-cruises on board “tall ships” (fûtreau, chaland, gabare, caravelle and toue) are organised on the Maine, Mayenne and Oudon.

Bateaux touristiques– t 02 38 37 12 75 - www.bateaux-touristiques.com. Cruises on the Briare.

La Belandre – t 02 47 23 98 64 - www.labelandre.com (in English). Cruise and commentary leaving from Chisseaux and taking in Chenonceau château.

L’Oussance – t 02 38 46 82 91. Cruises along the Orléans canal, departing from Châteauneuf-sur-Loire.

Le Sologne – t 02 38 66 12 58. Cruise-excursions on the Loiret, departing from Olivet.

Batellerie Promenade – t 02 41 42 12 12 - www. bateau-croisiere-union.com. Departing from Angers and Châteauneuf-sur-Sarthe, river boating on the Maine and the Sarthe.


Wine

Enquire at tourist offices (particularly at Amboise, Angers, Bourgueil, Chinon, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Saumur, Vouvray) for detailed information.

InterLoire – t 02 47 60 55 00 - www.vinsdeloire.fr. Wine merchants and growers of Anjou, Saumur, Touraine and Nantes.

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