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AuvergneLarge1 www.AuvergneHolidayCottage.com - Visitor Information - Drives

It is well worth leaving the main roads to explore.
Here are some starters:


· The road from Condat to Murat (D16, D3, etc.) runs up the valley of the River Santoire through marvellous scenery (see, Fortuniés church, Museums, Murat - not to be confused with Murol, to the North). The roadside wild flowers are well worth stopping for too.

· The Gorge de la Rhue is particularly striking between Condat and Champs-sur-Tarrantaine, with miles of forests, torrents, a remarkable beech tree, dams, occasional glimpses of great pipes carrying water to hydroelectric stations and the Gorge itself.

· Climb up from Condat to Montboudif, birthplace of President Pompidou, past Crégut, follow the shore of Lake Lastouilles, then on through the unusual countryside around Marchal (where there is a suitable café for lunch). If your brakes work, drop down by the ever narrower lanes into Embort in the Rhue valley.

· A day out we often inflict on friends is Apchon castle, Cheylade church, picnic at table by waterfall, then up to the Col de Serre through the mountains and home via Dienne.

· Another full day out is Besse/Issoire/Le Puy en Velay, then back through high, remote country. Miles and miles of stunning daffodils in May.

· A long, spectacular day out is St Flour/Alleuze/Chaudes Aigues/Truyère gorges.

· Take the road to Allanche. Stop at the D21 intersection and see the Cascade de Veyrines. Go through Allanche, follow the D9, go left before La Gazelle towards Le Jolan. Go right on the track to Notre Dame de Valentine. Plenty of picnic places here. The chapel is not amazing in itself but perched on a bluff above the Santoire valley, the views are worth the effort.

Near the road:
Waterfalls: just north of Egliseneuve (2); Saillant which freezes spectacularly in winter; south of Cheylade with grassy area + picnic table; several others are listed in the “Sites et Patrimoine” leaflet. Find the picnic table by a brook off the lane from Jassy to La Fumadoune (near La Godivelle) or sit atop the Site du Fraisse (5 kms west of the Château de Val) - both accessible by car.


Winter driving
Except for the Col Croix St Robert (Besse to Le Mont Dore road, closed December to April) and the Pas de Peyrol (Puy Mary, closed November to May), roads are kept clear of snow with impressive efficiency. A snowplough is based at the farm next door. After an overnight fall, a smaller snowplough clears this lane at 5.15 am, early enough for the school bus or a day's skiing.

In heavy snow, special tyres or chains are compulsory between Besse and Egliseneuve, common sense and large flashing signs tell you when.

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