We have explored a lot of walks in recent years. We can show you the most beautiful ones with instructions and photo’s. There are shorter walks (green and blue) and longer walks (red and black). There is a challenge for everybody. Many of the walks start and finish in the same village. There is also a long walk, that follows the valley of the Sioule. Each day you can do a different part of the walk, to get a good idea of the magnificent Sioule region. You will go through several villages beside the river, and the walk goes through the Collette Forrest. We can help you to plan the best route. You can use our maps and we will explain the best way to go. Idea: We can prepare for you a delicious picnic lunch in a cool-bag. If you are going to take the long walk, we will bring you to the departure point and we will come to pick you up at the end of the day.
Train ride in the Val de Sioule
The Val de Sioule tourist office offers a hiking product combining train and hiking: the hiking train. A simple, practical and original concept. At the exit, just take the train at one of the stations on the Lapeyrouse / Gannat line and the return is on foot! The routes are about 11 km for an average of 3 hours. So many discoveries on these paths which cross the south of the Val de Sioule: the picturesque valleys of Louroux-de-Bouble and Coustansouze, the forest of Colettes, the plain of Bellenavois and the plateau of Naves, the gorges of Rouzat and the perched village from Bègues, Gannat and the plain of Limagne. Proud of the local heritage, which dominate the rivers of the region, 5 grandiose viaducts will be exposed: the Belon and the Bouble by the engineer Moreaux (pioneer of metal viaducts in France), the Perrière, with its elegant curve, all in masonry and the two Eiffel viaducts (Rouzat and Neuvial) in the Sioule gorges.
If you like biking, bring your bike or your e-bike to do one of the beautiful bike rides in the region on small quite lanes. There are also pleasant bike rides elsewhere in the Allier and the Puy-de-Dôme. You can recharge your battery, so that you can leave each morning with a full battery. We are always ready to advise you choosing your route. If you want, we rent (electric) bicycles at "un vélo à la campagne". For more information and rates check the website: www.unveloalacampagne.fr. Tip: they also offer cycling routes in combination with a train ride over the beautiful viaducts in the region.
We are in an area of valleys and forest, of fields and little villages. It is sparsely populated, so that there are a lot of quiet lanes, suitable for bikes. For the sports cyclist, there are different routes starting at 2 kilometers with different levels of difficulty.
10 km away, in Ebreuil, and 25 km, in Pont de Menta, you can rent a canoe. They will take you up the river Sioule for an unforgettable canoeing trip. You can choose how long a trip you want to do. The Sioule is a magnificent river, its banks are wild and untouched. Between the rocks and the trees, there are tiny sandy beaches where you can stop for a picnic or a swim. The canoe rental provides a large waterproof barrel, so that you can keep your own things dry. In the summer months, the river is suitable for beginners too. If you choose the long route, there will be enough time to swim, do a little sunbathing or stop for lunch at one of the little restaurants along the river Sioule.
15 minutes by car from Maison Balady, there is a wonderful climbing forest Parc Accro Sioule de la Bosse. There are several circuits in the heart of the Colettes Forest. And you can choose a circuit according the level of difficulty. There is even one for young children.
Skiing and mountain walking,
An hour and half by car, there are two good ski stations, Mont Dore and Super Besse. The two skiing zones overlap and are linked by ski lifts. In total there are 42 km of pistes. In the summer it is very pleasant to walk in the mountains, some of the ski lifts continue to work so you can reach the higher walks. These paths are part of a national park and are well worth a visit.
Fun activities for the family
La Pal, attractie- en dierenpark
In a big 50 ha park, Le Pal offers 27 extraordinary attractions (the Twist, train ride to the Land of the Aztecs, the sun disk, Cinema Dynamic 3D, Rafting, the Canadian river, Bateau pirate, Alligator Bay...) and 700 animals of the five continents, animal shows and educational presentations.
The volcanoes in the Auvergne are a natural treasure that is unique in Europe. They are visible as far as the eye can see. Thanks to the solidified lava, a breathtaking, unspoiled nature image has developed over the centuries. Three well-known volcanoes are the Puy de Dôme, the Chaîne des Puys and the Plomb du Cantal. To learn more about volcanoes, visit Vulcania, a theme park 20 minutes' drive from Clermont-Ferrand. Vulcania is a playful 'scientific' tinted study of volcanic activity in the Auvergne and in the world. The Chaîne des Puys (the chain of Puys) stretches for more than 35 kilometers in a ribbon of 80 dome mountains and craters and is located in the heart of the Parc Naturel Regional des Volcans d'Auvergne. These round volcanoes are a great environment for hiking. Lovers of fauna and flora will be amazed at the sight of the rare and wild plants and animal species.
Puy de Dôme
The Puy de Dôme is no less than 1465 meters high. Sports enthusiasts can walk to the top. Since 2012, the summit of the Puy de Dôme can also be reached in summer and winter with the "Panoramique des Dômes" cogwheel boom. Once at the top you have a spectacular view of the entire area. It is even possible to see Mont Blanc and the (dormant) volcanoes of Auvergne in the distance at a glance.
in the Massif du Sancy looms up in a relief with pointed peaks and valleys of waterfalls and rivers through streams that flow into the numerous lakes. The natural lakes created in the craters are a geographic feature worth visiting. The GR30 starts from Massif du Sancy (GR stands for Grande Randonnée), this is the walk along the lakes of the Auvergne. This route is 189 km long and passes 15 crater lakes. Over the centuries, villages and later ski resorts have developed on the slopes or at the foot of the volcanoes. For swimming enthusiasts, it is wonderful in one of the volcano lakes. The crater lake Gour de Tazenat is a 45-minute drive from Maison Balady. The lake has a diameter of 700 m and a depth of about 66 m. Clear water is home to a variety of aquatic fauna. A path in the undergrowth makes it easy for everyone to walk around it.