Villages and cities
Some examples of things you may come across
In the surrounding area are a number of towns and villages that are well worth visiting.
Lyon is located at the confluence of the Rhône and Saone rivers and has almost half a million inhabitants and offers everything you would expect from a big city. It has many attractions; a large shopping centre, many restaurants and terraces. Various festivities of which the "Fête des Lumières" probably is one of the best known, the whole centre is bathed in special light effects and bustling with activity. The rivers divide the city into an upper and lower section. From the upper part there are beautiful views, over the Rhône with its many impressive bridges, and the rest of the city. Surprisingly, in Lyon also a lot of beautiful modern architecture can be seen. Strolling along the Quai Fulchiron and the Quai Romain Rolland, at night, is a feast.
"The old Lyon", the medieval and Renaissance district is very characteristic and pleasant. It is best to visit the old town during the day time. Especially on Sundays, then there is a market and all the bookstalls along the quays are open. The large murals in Lyon are particularly worthwhile. There are more than a 150 and they often give a surprising and deceptively real impression. The oldest part of the city is full of beautifully restored historical buildings, including the cathedral of St-Jean, on which work continued for three centuries (12th - 15th century), the church of St Paul from the same period, a school for choristers (Manécanterie, partially from the 12th century). The city has many museums; the best known is the Musée des Beaux-Arts, which is housed in a 17th-century Benedictine monastery. Amongst others, you can see Egyptian, Greek and Roman art and paintings from the 15th to 20th century.
Vichy, originally known for its thermal springs, now well known for its "beauty" products is a town which also has pretty much to offer for the modern visitor. The shopping centre is not very big but cosy and exudes a somewhat southern French atmosphere with its marble side walks, terraces and beautiful old facades. Along the Allier river there are a number of beautiful parks and attractive facilities; including a swimming paradise, a wild water course, a golf course, a hippodrome, and a racecourse. The theatre, casino, and roofed promenade along the park and the old baths give a special atmosphere reminiscent of the "Belle Epoque", the age it all originated from.
Pretty little villages to visit and to sit down on a terrace are:
- Le Crozet Le Crozet with its medieval watchtower.
- Montaigu le Blin with several château's
- Charroux Charroux with its clock museum.
- Semur-en-Brionnais with its ancient abbey. Location wise good to combine with a visit to Charlieu.
- Chatel Montagne with its 11th-century Romanesque church. There are also a number of artists who exhibit.
- Apremont-Sur-Allier Apremont-sur-Allier further away (at Nevers Allier) but very beautiful.
On Sundays there are often Brocantes and Vide-Greniers in the area where you can buy all kinds of typical French things for a measly sum. The site Brocabrac gives an overview of all markets in the area.