Landscape

A selection of beautiful landscapes in the neighborhood of L’Estefana. Ask us for more options.

Loire
Target group: Everyone
Boating, fishing, hiking, cycling: in many ways you can discover nature on, in and around this beautiful river. The Loire completely depends on rainwater and that makes it turbulent in some seasons. Salmon and migratory birds thrive well in the midst of the rich but fragile flora. The natural course of the river creates beautiful (private) beaches where you can enjoy a picnic with your ‘feet in the water ‘. Buggy and rollator-friendly ‘voies vertes’, small towpaths and quiet country roads lead you to beautiful villages, towns and castles along the last and longest (1012 km) untouched river of France.


Canal de Roanne à Digion
Target group: Everyone
This channel runs parallel along the Loire and was realized in the period 1827-1838 to allow inland navigation from Digoin to Roanne because the Loire was not suitable for this. It is 55 kilometers long and has 10 locks to bridge the height difference of 37.27 meters. It was once the intention to continue the channel and connect it to the Rhone via the Canal of Givors. Because other means of transport were commonplace, this has never happened. Now it is a quiet channel for recreational shipping.


Iguerande
Target group: Families with children
Large picnic spot at the bridge over the Loire. There are playgrounds for children, a jogging track, a large fishing pond (separate from the Loire), and on the Loire itself a beautiful pebble beach where you can bathe and can watch how canoeists paddle past. You have to know where it is and that makes it a quiet place, even in high season. Cross the bridge, keep left towards the water. Drive past the parking place, go as far as possible and you will automatically reach the fish pond. Good base for a bike ride on the ‘voie verte’.


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Taste

Market at Marcigny
 
Target group: Everyone, the animal market is fun for children
Do not think this is a small market! This is the region’s weekly market, where everyone from the region arrives. The market starts very early on Monday morning and lasts until about noon. If you have a relaxt breakfast at first, it is difficult to find a parking space. This market offers everything: vegetables, fruit, meat, cheese, spices, textiles and of course the animal market. Children are allowed to pet the animals. There are large stalls, but also farmers with a few eggs and the excess vegetables from their own vegetable garden. Real regional products. Tip to store your vegetables here: much cheaper (and tastier) than from the supermarket. If you like fresh meat you can consider buying a chicken for a few euros.

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Culture

A selection of cultural attractions in the area of L’Estefana. Ask us for more options.

Abbaye La Bénisson-Dieu
Target group: Everyone
This abbey was founded in 1138 by Saint Bernard’s followers. The roof is very nice, from a distance you see this the best. The abbey has a turbulent history. It is estimated that the abbey at its peak counted about 5,000 monks who either stayed in the abbey itself or in one of its numerous outbuildings within the region. After the French revolution, all monks had disappeared. The buildings were sold and served as quarries. A few years later the church was bought by the villagers to become a parish church. From that base, more and more has been restored to the allure of today.


Abbaye de Charlieu
Target group: Everyone
The foundations of this abbey date from 872 and soon it fell under the management of Cluny so you will encounter many cluniac ornaments. The 12th century Grand Portail has withstood the rigors of the French revolution. There is a beautiful cloister in the abbey and in the adjoining rooms you can admire holy art. You can also go up to the ridge of the église abbatiale Saint-Fortuné. At the end is an exhibition with contemporary art. Wander around in the small, cozy center with half-timbered houses and narrow streets.


Cluny
Target group: Everyone, horse lovers
Homeport of the Order of Cluny, founded in 910. For five centuries, until the construction of St. Peter’s in Rome, this abbey church was the largest religious building in Europe. Thanks to strict monastic discipline and charity, the order was imitated in large parts of Western Europe and became a pilgrimage site for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Even if you do not have much with religion, Cluny is worth it. Go to the stud farm Haras National, founded in the time of Napoleon. Visit the stables and a horse show. Horse routes have been set out in the area. In the summer there are beautiful medieval shows here.


Chateau Saint-Hugues – Semur en Brionnais
Target group: Everyone, especially children
One of the oldest castles in Burgundy, the first foundations of the square dungeon (22 meters high) are from the end of the 10th century. Residence of the famous Semur family and also the birthplace of Saint Hugues, abbot of Cluny. Rare example of a donjon from the Roman period. In addition to archaeological finds in and around the castle, there is a collection of posters about the French Revolution. You can visit the castle freely or with a guide. Childeren could dress up as princess or knigt. Walk on to the freely accessible Grenier au sel. In this ‘tax office’ the hated salt tax was saved, one of the reasons for the French Revolution.


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Active

A selection of sports activities near L’Estefana. Ask us for more options.

Kanoë – Baugy
Target group: everyone who is sporty and wants to get wet, children
There are different routes and boats. You reserve the desired route and boat at least a day in advance. You go to the boarding point in Baugy, there the boats are loaded and you get a life vest and watertight. You will then be taken upstream to the chosen mooring place on the Loire in a van. Then paddle to the starting point in Baugy where you can relax with a drink if you want. Very nice with children. In the summer the river is low and you can swim in the Loire on the way.


Grottes de Blanot – Blanot
Target group: everyone for whom steep stairs are no challenge, children from 8 years
Personal guided tour in small groups in French or English. 800 steps lead you to a depth of 80 meters (and later up again). Through exciting, narrow and slippery winding corridors you pass 21 halls with stalachmites and stalactites, each with their own appropriate name. Some are 400 million years old. Adventurous for children. Temperature in the caves is 12 degrees! In the forest around the caves it is also nice to walk.


Forêt de Lespinasse – Vivans
Target group: hikers, mountain bikers, mobility scooter / buggy
Beautiful oak forest (455 ha) full of history. In his comments on the Gallic War, Julius Ceasar talks about a skirmish between the legions Arvernes and Aspinassia in the Texonnaria Valley, the forerunner of this forest. There are different routes (hiking or mountain bike), indicated with cheerful figures. There is also a walk for disabled / buggies. There are also fens where you can fish (with permit!) And beautiful picnic spots. Also visit the visitor center Le Grand Couvert in Vivans to learn all about this forest.


Cascade de Pisserotte – Arfeuilles
Target group: everyone with mobility, children
These beautiful, not too big waterfalls are slightly below Arfeuilles. The legend is that here was an unfathomably deep abyss. Everyone who looked into it disappeared into the depths. The villagers tried to fill the whirlpool with boulders, but the whirlpool vomited everything up again, resulting in a waterfall. The course of the waterfall is different in every season. You can have a nice picnic and in the quiet parts you can paddle, nice and refreshing. Good starting point for a hike or mountain bike tour. The GR3 (part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de la Compostela) runs right past here.



Ski area – Chalmazel
Target group: Everyone
With a chairlift or one of the 7 drag lifts you can go up the mountain Pierre-sur-Haute (1640 m) with your long slats at Chalmazel. You get to a ski area with 16 ski slopes with a total length of 12 kilometers and a snow park. The winter season runs from December to the beginning of March. Ideal for families or friends, enjoy the fresh air and come skiing, sledging, snowshoeing or snowscoot. For children there is a ski school and disabled people can ski in a zitski.


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Surroundings: always different, always beautiful

If you drive south at Paray-le-Monial / Mâcon, you will see the landscape change. The air is more blue, the temperature is higher, the light is brighter. The fog and the gray, slate roofs you will leave behind and you will see houses passing by with soft, warm colors. So you feel the transition from north to south, not only from Burgundy, but from all over France. Pastures with white charolais cows bordered by green hedges, swaying maize fields, vivid vineyards and mysterious woods alternate. Traditional farms, friendly villages, sturdy Romanesque churches, meandings of the Loire and straight lines of the Canal de Roanne: they are all scattered like a patchwork over this rolling area.