Hiking & Walking Holidays

Hiking in France is different - so vive La Difference! French hikers tend to be chatty and sociable. They will be intrigued by your presence and delighted that you have chosen to go hiking in France

If you meet up with french hikers at lunch time, don't be surprised or take offense, if they take a little nap after they've eaten. And don't feel obliged to hang around and wait for them to wake up. The chances are they'll catch you up later.

Walking in France is a safe pursuit, trail dangers are few and far between and you have more chance of being struck by lightening than being mugged.

You will also be pleased that, however isolated in your trail, the chances of meeting a dangerous wild animal are remote indeed.Poisonous snakes ( adders & vipers) are very rare and mostly associated with water courses

Your only encounter to be wary of is a wild boar as their numbers are rising considerably, the local farmers and hunting groups try and keep this under control. As they are generally noisy creatures, their rummaging and snorting will alert you of their presence. If you keep to the main trails you should be fine.

We hope that you enjoy and find the hiking trails available in the gite information book helpful.

Canal de Berry

In the eighteenth century, the town of Montluçon was a centre of industry, producing coal, iron, pit props, barrels and wine.

The difficulty was to get these things to market, so it was decided to build to a lateral canal beside the Cher river, joining the area to the Loire at Tours, with another branch going to the lateral canal of the Loire near Nevers.

Work began in 1810 and the canal was opened in stages from 1831. Because of the relative scarcity of water in this part of France, it was made narrower than usual, which turned out to be a mistake, as it prevented other canal boats from using it, and led to its early decline and final closure  in 1955.

Since then some sections have been blocked off, others drained, and it is no longer navigable, although there is now a society dedicated to reopening  parts of it to pleasure boats.

Our three walks on the Canal de Berry

Walk 1: Sancoins to St-Amand-Montrond

Walk 2: Montluçon to St-Amand-Montrond

Walk 3: Mehun-sur-Yèvre to Saint-Aignan

Walking around the Lake of Sidiailles

Dist. flat:13.0Km Estimated Time :03:27 Hrs

Walk around the lake of Sidialles near Culan, Cher

Superb walk can be done all in one day or broken into two sections (recommended). It is recommended that you take a walkers-stick. This is not a walk recommended for those who are unsteady on their feet, however it is not rated too difficult for the average walker. Follow this photo journey to see what it's like.

There is, rather conveniently, a café at each halfway points (open depending on the season). So, what we did was meet in the car-park at Sidialles, jump into one car (leaving the other behind) and park up at the other.

Walk One: The West side (this is hillier than walk two, but much prettier (especially when the heathers are out June to August). You walk with the lake on your left hand side for the entire walk.


START: Park up at the café car-park near the Barrage. Cross the foot-bridge (and if the café is open have a quick refreshment!).

At the end of the footbridge, turn left. You will, for the entire walk be following the orange markers like the one below - they are painted on the trees regularly. If you come to a fork in the path - look for the marker = .


You can see the path in this picture. The first part of the walk takes you up a steep path which levels out and then undulates through the woodland. Every now and then you get to glimpse a part of the reservoir.


After a while the woodland thins out to reveal some superb views of the lake and rock heather-covered headlands.

This part of the walk is quite easy and very rewarding.



There are plenty of places to take a breather and take photos. This is why I recommend taking 2 days to do the walk! For artists, this area is a wonderful places to sketch.


It just keeps getting better. The walk so far (after the first hill-climb) has been quite easy. There is another short hill climb around here and then it drops down to water level to go under the bridge.

You go under the bridge (you DO NOT CROSS THE ROAD).

Then you go through some more lovely woodland which then opens out onto the water-meadows. Rather conveniently the nice people of Sidialles have laid a wooden path, so it doesn't get too mucky under-foot!


And then under the bridge again! (This time on the other side).

Follow the path, which then comes out on the minor-road that leads to the café and beach and then veer off left (look for the marker) and continue to follow the path until you reach the café from below - where the pedaloes and kayaks are.

Go up the steps towards the café and carpark - and hopefully you will see the car you left behind!!!


WALK TWO: The other half

Start off in the same way, take two cars and drop one off at the Sidialles Beach Café carpark. Then drive up to the Barrage Café carpark. This time, DO NOT CROSS THE BRIDGE (unless of course the café is open and you want a quick coffee!) This time you walk up the path from the carpark, towards the barrage and walk with the lake on your right hand side for the entire walk.

Circuits de Boussac

10 signed circuits around the countryside of Boussac - 10 to 40 km
Suitable for walking, bike trekking...





Walking around Bétête: There are 3 circuits in the area- 7.5km-8km -11km-maps are available

Walking around Clugnat: There are 2 circuits in the area of 7 or 12.5 km


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