What do you fancy doing during your holidays?
There will be detailed information provided in each cottage, with useful addresses for activities as well as practical matters, such as market days, shops, car mechanics, etc. But here are some links to activities in the region which you might want to consider.
Visiting beautiful villages and towns?
There are scores of beautiful villages and towns to visit in Auvergne. Among the larger ones are Clermont-Ferrand with its black cathedral, Vichy and its Thermes. Auvergne is also famous for its hundreds of medieval roman churches.
Enjoying French Gastronomy?
We provide lists of the numerous restaurants (cheap and less cheap) with our own appreciations and recommendations.
There are only a few good wines in the Auvergne region. The red wine is not for cellaring, but excellent for everyday consumption. 20 km from Bellenaves and Charroux is St Pourcain, founded more than 2000 years ago and the preferred wine of many French kings. It has been revived in recent years and is an excellent and cheap white wine (about 3 Euros). Our houses all have a wine cellar with a stock of red and white wine for the guests’ consumption, made available at cost price.
In 2002, Auvergne saw the opening of Vulcania, an interactive museum and research center devoted to volcanoes.
Hiking is very popular in Auvergne, be it in the Gorges de la Sioule along a river bed, or on the numerous extinct volcanoes just South of Bellenaves and Charroux. Maps with hiking trails are available.
Cycling and Mountain Biking ?
In the forests and landscapes around Bellenaves and Charroux or further away in La Montagne Bourbonnaise or further south in Auvergne (The Volvic Trophy is organised every year just South of Clermont Ferrand).
It is possible to rent horses at various locations throughout the country side.
The Gorges de La Sioule offer some excellent climbing locations with a magnificent vista of the riverbed.
There are many beautiful golf courses in the region. The closest is 30 km away.
All our guests have access free of charge to the 2 public tennis courts in Bellenaves. Just ask us for the keys.
Auvergne is criss-crossed by hundreds of streams and rivers with exceptionally good and well regulated fishing. The closest is La Bouble (3 km away) and La Sioule (10 km away). Bellenaves has a little lake also suitable for fishing. You will need to purchase a fishing licence.
Canoe and kayak rentals only 10 km away in the magnificent Gorges de la Sioule.
Auvergne has since Roman times been famous for its health spas and healthy waters. You can have a health check and ‘remise en forme’ of one day or more. The closest is Vichy, but there are numerous other possibilities.
Visit the hundreds of antique and brocante shops and weekend markets in the region. We provide lists of the best and most interesting.
Taking the train?
Numerous pittoresque trains and excursions are available all over Auvergne, where you will be able to admire the landscape from a new angle and pass bridges built by Gustave Eiffel, the maker of the Eiffel Tower.