Le Roannais, a haven in the heart of nature one hour from Lyon

An hour’s drive from Lyon, Roannais in the Loire offers many activities for young and old in the untouched heart of nature.

Did you know it’s possible to go hot air ballooning in Roannais? Kayaking? golf? In the lovely town of Rouen as in the surrounding Loire countryside, there is no shortage of activities! Head to the mountainous region of Roannais, just an hour from Lyon by car or train, for an emotionally rich holiday on land, in the water or in the air.


Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire © Luc Olivier

Let’s stay on solid ground to begin with. Roannais is the perfect destination for nature lovers who will be seduced by its gentle hills, huts, vineyards and lush forests in which the Loire River peacefully undulates.

Vast landscapes to discover on foot, with hikes of varying difficulty to suit all walkers.

For experienced hikers, there are two main routes to take over several days. The famous road to Santiago de Compostela has four stages in Roannais, from Cergne to Pommiers-en-Forez, that is, 90 kilometers. There is also Via Sancti Martini which crosses Europe from west to east, crossing the territory for about fifty kilometers in the beautiful Montes de la Madeleine massif.

Since this year, you can also explore the Roannais aboard the Swincar electric all-terrain vehicle.

All hiking trails are at www.roannais-tourisme.com. E. Spiderando. More information at www.espiderando.fr and 07 64 39 97 60 for hiking.


La Veloire. © Guillaume Masseron / Roannais Tourism

The Véloire, the green, that runs along the canal is ideal for cycling.

From the port of Roanne and its beautiful sandals, you can go to the picturesque village of Charlieu, about twenty kilometers away. The Benedictine Abbey is worth a stop, as is the golden stone monastery of the nearby Cordilleras Abbey.

The dense forests of Bois-Noirs, a hundred kilometers southwest of Rouen, will delight mountain bikers with 1,520 kilometers of roads marked by the French Cycling Federation.

All routes on www.boisnoirs.fr.


The golf club at Domaine de Champlong © Guillaume Masseron / Roannais Tourism

The Roannais also gives pride of place to golf. A ten-minute drive from Roanne, you can experience swinging at the gorgeous Domaine de Champlong and 70 hectares of nature, while admiring views of the foothills of the Massif Central and the Beaujolais.

Tranquil Lake Villerest, 3 kilometers away, is well worth the detour to take advantage of the water activities or just to stroll along the enchanting water’s edge at sunset.

More information at www.domaine-de-champlong.com


In Roannais, the Loire is an integral part of the landscape. The best way to discover this river is still on a canoe or kayak, for a day or a few hours.

Departing from Briennon, Cordelle or Villerest, along the water will reveal a wild and preserved nature. If you like the experience, you can even try kayaking, which is very popular in the Roanne area, at the Loire Naval Base in Cordel.

More information at www.roannais-tourisme.com and www.baseavironloire.com.

© Guillaume Masseron / Roannais Tourism

not finished ! After activities on land and on water, let’s move on to the air. Roanne Airport invites you to discover this beautiful area from above: ULM, paramotor, gyrocopter, glider, parachute …

Hot air balloon rides are also possible, especially during Montgolfiades en Côte Roannaise which will be held June 18 and 19 in Saint-André-d’Apchon, twenty minutes west of Roanne.

More information at www.aeroportderoanne.fr


Saint-Haon-le-Châtel © Clovis Huet / Roannais Tourism

For those who would have a hard time choosing between all these activities, Roannais created turnkey stays on the theme of nature and luxury.

• Weekend golf at Domaine de Champlong
Domaine de Champlong with its 70 hectares of nature is the perfect place for a stay that combines gastronomy, golf and luxury.
2 nights in a 4 star castle with breakfasts, gourmet dinners and eco-friendly fee. For non-golfers, get two-hour access to the Paradise of Well-Being Sensory Awakening Space. From 280 euros per person.

• Weekend mountain biking in Bois-Noirs
Stay in the heart of Monts de la Madeleine and enjoy mountain biking in France’s largest VTT-FFC region.
Two nights with breakfast and dinner and one day electric mountain bike rental. From 195 euros per person.

• A full nature weekend at Roannais
Do you feel the need to take a break? Come charge your batteries in Roannais with this 100% natural weekend getaway.
One night in a bed and breakfast cocoon or cottage, with breakfast and dinner. Revitalization at an additional cost: nature walks, heat therapy, bathing in the forest … from 125 euros per person.

Information and reservations on 03 77 44 96


to do
• Montgolfiades in Cote-Ronies. June 18 and 19 in Saint-André-d’Achon. More information on 06 71 04 25 69.

• Bois-Noirs Oxygen! 20 riding a mountain bike. June 26 from the ski resort of Chalmazel. More information at www.boisnoirs.fr.
• Rouen Beach. In July and August in Rouen, on the banks of the Loire.
• Frieze Festival. From 8 to 17 July. Programming and booking at www.festivalduforez.com.
• A gourmet picnic in Cote-Runies. July 9 and 10 in Le Crozet. Reservations at www.roannais-tourisme.com.
• Summer classes at Château de la Roche. From mid-July to mid-August in the Château de la Roche, in Saint-Priest-la-Roche.
• Madeleine Mountains Festival. From July 16 to August 14. Programming and booking at www.montsdelamadeleine.com.
• Glass Biennial. 27 and 28 August in Le Crozet. More information on 04 77 63 00 87.

or sleep?
• bewitching – 42155 Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire – 06 60 57 22 31

• Ecoche . records – 85, impasse des Rondins, 42670 Écoche – 04 77 63 49 18
• chimbolinose – Le Bourg, 42430 Champagne – 04 77 65 07 91

Where do you eat?
• 9-18
– 100, chemin de la Chapelle, 42300 Villerest – 04 77 69 69 69

• The St. Louis – 5 bis, Greennet Street, 42190 Charliot – 04 77 60 10 18
• happy people – 15 rue du Tacot, 42370 Renaison – 09 88 01 95 64


Leave a Comment