Here’s a run that has it all: paths along the Loire River, the grounds of three castles, historic churches, great views, and a running track. Ambroise is a Loire Valley town located 22 km east of Tours. Note: entry fee might be required for some of the Châteaux. Thank you to Mark Miller for his route suggestions here.
‘Runseeing’ Tour. Our 8.5 km tour starts on the south side of the Loire at the Pont du Maréchal Leclerc. Run on the bridge to the L’Ile d’Or, an island in the middle of the Loire River. A highlight of the route is the ~4 km tour of the island, which includes the allée leading to the Chapelle Saint Jean (there’s a running track behind it!). Come back over the bridge, passing the Chapel of Saint-Hubert, an important Gothic chapel that’s also Da Vinci’s burial site. Then, run the grounds & panoramic terrace of the Château Royal d’Ambroise, a Gothic & Renaissance 15th-century chateau. Continue uphill on Av. Victor Hugo (note: narrow!) for 0.5 km to the Château du Clos Lucé, the former home of Da Vinci. (Add-On here with with the lovely wide gravel paths through a treed park).
Continue on Rue de Clos Lucé, then LEFT on the All. de Pont Moulin to see the Château Gaillard Amboise, a restored Italianate castle with lovely gardens & grounds (not really for running). Retrace your steps, but in instead of Av. Victor Hugo down the hill, bear RIGHT on Rue Léonard Perrault, passing the Panorama sur la Ville d’Amboise, which has a great view of the old town.
River Route. Run the paths along the Loire River as a standalone route or in combination with our Ambroise ‘runseeing’ tour. From the Pont du Maréchal Leclerc, a path heads for 4 km east along the south side of the river to the Etang de la Varenne sous Chandon (fishing pond). Nice water views, and some wooded sections. Part of the Loire à Vélo cycle path. Pleasant, flat and traffic free, going right past the Friday/Sunday Markets. It makes a nice extension to L’Isle d’Or for a long run.