France, Creuse (23), village de le Nouaille, le domaine de Banizette Colombier
ESY-025883737 - © - IvonneWierink
ESY-029823675 - © - gozzoli
4 days in the rejuvenating land of Limousin
With an area of 1,800km2, the Millevaches plateau is the must-see destination for nature lovers. Forests, lakes, lagoons, peatlands, cover its natural park which is full of rare and exciting ecosystems. Your stay will take you through three départements and cross many villages typical of these ancestral limousin lands. Contemplative or sporty, walker or rower, you can enjoy your stay at your own pace in total harmony with this resourceful environment.
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Bright and early, and with your best walking shoes on, begin with a visit of old Meymac, a typical corrézien city with its houses of granite and slate. Leave the town for the country with a hike through the 8,000 year old La Tourbière (peatlands) of Longeyroux. Its purity is matched only by the ancestral waters of the Oussines lagoon situated further north. At the heart of these ecological treasures, explore the fascinating Gallo-Roman remains of Cars. Finish with the Audouze plateau and a guided tour of the St-Setiers arboretum.
Amidst the summits stands the village of St-Quentin-la-Chabanne whose 13th century church and crypt merit a detour before you head to the Domaine de Banizette. A museum of rural life that has been skilfully staged in its outbuildings. Stop to relax at the Roman bridge of Sénoueix, then at Gentioux-Pigerolles to view its sculpted creations, the church and the monument aux morts, one of the rare monuments of its kind to express a pacifist aim. Finally, discover the vast lake of Vassivière, its island and the Art Centre it accommodates.
Picnic in your backpack, spend the day enjoying numerous activities around Lake Vassivière, which offers no less than 250km of hiking in its surroundings. Mini trains, mountain biking, walking, canoeing and water taxis, choose your tailor-made way to explore the lake and its island. Take advantage of amenities such as floating pontoons and boardwalk footbridges for different viewpoints. The lighthouse of the International Centre of Art and Landscape as well as the Sculpture Park also offer unmissable points of view.
Swap the lake for the lagoon bordering the charming city of Peyrat-le-Château, whose banks at the foot of the dungeon offer the opportunity for alternative walks. In addition to the Resistance Museum, Maison des Moulins is ideal for a family visit. Next take the time to stroll through the ancient town of Eymoutiers, with a rich medieval past as evidenced by the stained glass windows of its collegiate church. Art is also on display at Espace Paul Rebeyrolle, dedicated to a son of the region. En route to Meymac, you can delay your return by stopping in Tarnac for its church and its fountain…
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