The Loire Valley stretches 280 kilometers along the the central part of the Loire River in central France. The area is known for its vineyards, orchards, historic towns, and architecture. Running in the Loire Valley is special, with routes incorporating gorgeous riverfront paths, castles, and quiet, hillside vineyard roads.
It’s impossible to cover every scenic spot in the Loire Valley, given that the area itself is a Unesco World Heritage site. So we’ve focused our routes in some of the main historic towns along the Loire River, organized below from west to east: Orléans, Blois, Ambroise, Tours, Chinon, Montsoreau, Saumur, and Angers. Some of the best places to run in the Loire Valley are on the extensive series of riverfront paths, and some of the panoramic roads passing by vineyards in the hillside just above the water. See also our separate guide to Nantes. We’ve also added a section on the Loire à Vélo, a long-distance cycling path that covers some of the most scenic sections of the Loire Valley. There are also many opportunities to create your own run on the scenic hillside roads connecting the orchards and vineyards — use caution as most of these roads don’t have a shoulder.