The village of Châteauneuf-sur-Loire (45 Loiret, Centre Val-de-Loire) lies just to the east of Orléans on the River Loire . The highlight is on the ruined Chateau which sits in the middle of a large park surrounded by trees and this is the site for an impressive Rhododendron Festival (Fête des Rhododendrons)  – 17 – 19 May 2024

The festival features plant displays, gardener’s market stalls, workshops, exploration of the park, treasure-hunt and a firework display!

There is the Loire Maritime Museum (Musée de la Marine de Loire) in the former stables of the château strange given that here is more than 250 miles from the sea (at Saint-Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire!)

For more info see

Rhododendrons are grown for their spectacular flowers, usually borne in spring. Some also have young leaves and stems covered in a striking dense woolly covering (indumentum) and some – the deciduous rhododendrons or azaleas – have good autumn colour. RHS

Hotel du Parc
Hotel du Parc

Stay at the Hotel du Parc on the banks of the Loire River, just 250 yards from the Chateau and the Loire Maritime Museum – see Hotel du Parc

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