A metropolitan area rooted in its regional and national surroundings Ideally located at the heart of many major transport routes, the city is open to the world around it. It is easily accessible and attractive, with a motorway and an international airport, as well as the recently opened second part of the high-speed rail line between Paris and Bordeaux, which places Tours at the centre of the Atlantic network.
A hotspot of French innovation The historic MAME site (a creation and innovation centre) has become the epicentre of French Tech Loire Valley and home to emerging new technologies. Building on its past, Tours has now established itself as an important cluster of research and training. Its Regional University Hospital and University, with a total of 30,000 students including 11% from abroad, play a major role in this success.
The art of living well Tours has been traditionally known as the "Garden of France" and it has preserved this heritage with no less than 400 hectares of green spaces. In 2017, the organisation that oversees the development of green spaces in French towns and cities named Tours as the French city with the greatest amount of greenery. The art de vivre in Tours also extends to its cuisine, with the creation of the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie; the city boasts an outstanding architectural heritage as well as a thriving cultural scene for all tastes and ages.
A sporting city Throughout the year, Tours plays host to many international sporting events. Paris-Tours is a major example, as are the Howard Hinton Sevens (rugby sevens) and the Nuit des Titans (Thai boxing). These competitions are the pride of the city and contribute to its impact on the sporting scene. Tours also shines through the results achieved by clubs such as European volleyball champions Tours VB. However, sport is also practised at lower levels in Tours. The city boasts more than 30,000 licence holders, who belong to around 200 associations and clubs in over 70 different disciplines.
Under the imposing silhouette of Notre-Dame cathedral, Chartres boasts an exceptional living environment in which its many medieval streets play host to historical monuments, areas for relaxing, parks and flower gardens… Constant attention is lavished upon this exceptional heritage, through a rich and varied cultural programme, ranging from the most classical of expression to contemporary forms. “Chartres en Lumières” (Chartres in lights) is the leading event that showcases Chartres’ heritage. Every night, from April to January, the finest architectural sites are lit up and their façades become canvases on which history is brought to life. Through its duration and amount of internationally renowned sites, this event is unique and attracts almost one million visitors per year. Chartres is a city of culture and light but is also a sporting city which, since more than ten years ago, has been regularly welcoming many national and international championships. Whether in table tennis, swimming, billiards, squash, BMX, etc, the battles for podium places in many disciplines take place here. Indeed, Chartres has received the Olympic label Terre de Jeux 2024 and the Odyssée, its pool complex, has been chosen as the training base camp for the Australian Olympic swimming team for the next two years. However, one of the sports that really gets the pulses of Chartres’ inhabitants racing is cycling. This passion has been borne out by the success of the various stages of the Tour de France hosted in Chartres. For each new race, the entire city comes out to cheer on the sport’s champions. This will again be the case in 2022, as the city of Chartres will host the start of Paris-Tours for the fifth consecutive year.