Located just an hour from Paris, Chartres reveals the charm of its outstanding environment. Historical monuments, medieval alleys and a plethora of churches, bridges, wash houses, flowery parks and more await. The city's rich heritage is remarkably well preserved.

It is also alive! An intense year-round calendar of cultural and associational events harmoniously combines music, contemporary art, dancing, street art, student gatherings and more. A special mention goes to Chartres en lumières, the greatest heritage light show in the world, which is held every evening from April to October and climaxes with the Fête de la lumière, the major end-of-summer event in Centre-Val de Loire, which blends light shows, stage designs, street performances and promenades for an evening.

Chartres also boasts a vibrant and growing sporting scene. It has become a destination for famous athletes whose names the crowd chants at established events: national and international swimming and paintball championships, as well as ground-breaking competitions such as the unparalleled Solar Cup (for solar-powered cars) and night-time urban trail running.

However, Chartres has a soft spot for cycling, as is only natural for the home town of Tour de France originator Géo Lefèvre. It has set the scene for Tour de France stages and the Paris–Tours on many occasions. It will be hosting the start of the illustrious autumn race again this year —a new opportunity to celebrate a sport it loves.

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