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Besse

  • Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise is witness to a rich architectural and historic past: with narrow cobbled streets, stalls, grand dwelling places from the XIIth and XVIth centuries, a belfry listed as a historic monument... Linked to French history and the royal family (Marguerite de Valois, the French queen known as Reine Margot, has left her mark here), this historical town remained one of the fiefs of the Médicis for a long time.

  • Lake Pavin

    Lake Pavin
  • At 7,000 years old, this is the most recent crater lake in metropolitan France.
    It evokes our curiosity nestled amongst the trees, as it is an almost perfect circle (800m in diameter) and the deepest in Auvergne (100m: explaining the dark waters in the middle that are at the origin of countless legends). The clear turquoise waters at the edges are astonishingly similar to the sea. Arctic charr fishing in boats, bathing is prohibited.
    Walk round the lake (1 hr): leave from the restaurant car park, follow the yellow signs

  • Vaucoux waterfall

  • 5km from Besse in the direction of Compains, stop off on the left and continue on foot (follow the signs to the 'cascade': 30 min return journey)

  • Visit available in English

  • Museum of ski. Interesting collection of wooden skis collected from all over Europe, posters, photos.

  • Historical centre

    Historical centre
  • Houses in grey lava dating from several centuries ago, paved pedestrian streets lined with stalls, a belfry, flowered fountains, small squares with colourful terraces, Sainte Marie des Remparts manor, the house said to be Reine Margot's, Saint-André church: a Roman style church in volcanic rock and constructed at the end of the XIIth century, it is dark with narrow aisles. Superbly sculpted capitals decorated with leaves or depicting scenes.

  • Chilozas waterfall

    Chilozas waterfall
  • Chilozas waterfall or the 'Marmites des Géants' (Giant's Saucepans): take the Clermont-Ferrand road up to the car park to the right of the waste collection site (walk of 1 hr return trip: follow the yellow signs)

  • To discover

  • Pottery crafts, educational farm, honey house, Boinchoux farm (farm from the beginning of the XIXth century)

  • Activities and leisure

  • Horseback riding
    Climbing
    Multimedia library (documents in English), cybercafé

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