Located on the outskirts of Saint-Étienne and Le Puy-en-Velay, on the border between the departments of Loire and Haute-Loire, the territory of the Loire Gorges will cast a spell on you with its peaceful woodland scenery, remarkable fauna and flora, rocky spurs and beautiful Lake Grangent, as well as its medieval castles and typical villages.
All these attractions are a joy for architectural heritage enthusiasts and lovers of nature with a capital N! So put on your hiking boots and set off to discover the wonders of the nature reserve. Roam the interpretation trail starting from the Gournier cross to Monistrol-sur-Loire, a magnificent 3.5-kilometre itinerary dotted with information signs to help you appreciate the gorges' wild beauty. Savour the panoramic views from the promontory of Rochebaron Castle or the remains of Arlempdes' medieval castle. Make the most of your visit to Lake Grangent by taking a boat trip or enjoying activities such as sailing, canoeing, fishing and water skiing.
Are you more of a culture vulture? Head to Chamalières-sur-Loire in the Loire Gorges to see its Romanesque priory church, or to Lavoûte-Polignac Castle for its large collection of artworks and paintings. You can also discover the medieval fortress of Essalois, which affords a superb view of Grangent Island and its 12th-century castle.
In the medieval village of Chambles, a picturesque fortified settlement on a granite promontory, you can admire remarkable views of the Loire Gorges. There are also some lovely views from the charming hilltop village of Saint-Victor-sur-Loire, overlooking the gorges. Its water sports centre is a treat for fans of athletic outdoor activities!