Straddling the departments of Rhône and Loire, the Pilat Regional Nature Park covers around 72,000 hectares. An immense expanse with varied landscapes alternating between fir and beech forests, pastures, hillsides covered with vines, orchards... This preserved territory is home to many animals and plants.
Yet the Pilat Regional Nature Park also has a rich built heritage that you can discover from one village to another. At its churches, castles, traditional dwellings, factories and mills, you can delve into the past and culture of the local area. There are a number of unmissable villages like this in Loire. They include Sainte-Croix-en-Jarez, a village with the particularity of occupying the buildings of a former charterhouse; Rochetaillée, dominated by its feudal castle; Pélussin, with its old covered market, washhouses and castle; and Malleval, perched on a rocky spur overlooking the Épervier and Batalon Gorges.
Nature-lovers and athletes will enjoy the various footpaths, mountain bike trails and bridle paths. Head to the Crêt de la Perdrix mountain, the highest point in the Pilat massif at an altitude of 1,431 metres, or the Crêt de l'Oeillon, which offers a superb view of the Rhône Valley and the Alps! Around the Couzon dam, you can enjoy a lovely hike amid lush green scenery. Thrill-seekers will want to head for the White Water Centre (Espace Eaux Vives) at Saint-Pierre-de-Bœuf in Pilat Rhodanien, where they can have fun kayaking, rafting and white water swimming!
Food-lovers have not been forgotten in the Pilat Regional Nature Park. Wine and goat's cheese are two specialities that will tantalise your taste buds after a nice walk. And for an amazing historical experience, head for the archaeological site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal, where you can discover one of the richest cities in Roman Gaul!