The department of the Allier is situated some 300 kilometres south of Paris, in the heart of France. Forests, rivers, charming scenery and interesting cities make this department worth visiting. The department is named after the river that runs through the landscape. Although the Allier is less well known among tourists, it is in both summer and winter really worth to spend your vacation there. In summer, you have a wide choice of outdoor activities, water recreation and attraction parks. Do enjoy a walk through the hilly Bocage Bourbonnais. In winter you can enjoy a ski holiday to La Loge des Gardes. This area has five runs and four lifts, in a pleasant forest setting. The larger ski areas lie elsewhere in the Auvergne, like the slopes around the Puy de Sansy: Super Besse, Le Lioran and Mont-Dore.
Your cosy and spacious rental home is the ideal base to visit Moulins. This beautiful old town lies on the river Allier, thus ensuring its importance in history. Here you can visit a 45 meter high tower, once the main tower of the Palace of the Dukes of Bourbon. Also the Notre Dame Cathedral is worth a visit. This church is a French national monument and has a “treasure room” with works by the “Masters of Moulin”. East of Moulins is the charming and beautiful park Le Pal. This is a combination of a zoo and amusement park with several animal shows including seals and parrots.
A visit to the cities of Montluçon and Vichy are a must if you are on holiday in the Allier department. The art city of Montluçon still has many memories of the past and if you include the Chateau (Castle) de la Louvière, theremarkable house of des 12 Apôtres (Twelve Apostles) and the Church of Saint-Pierre (St. Peter). For lovers of wellness and spas, Vichy is the right place to be. This attractive and cosmopolitan city is known for its spring water and thermal baths and has developed into one of the most famous spa resort in France. The Parc des Sources in the heart of this spa town was built by Napoleon. Of course it is possible to taste some spring water.
The gorge of the river Sioule offers a beautiful panoramic view at Chouvigny. It is definitely special when you drive along the river, go canoeing or swimming in this river. Forêt de Tronçais is a well-known tourist place and has a vast and beautiful oak forest. This place is famous for its giant oaks, some of them over 300 years old, with enormous green foliage. In former times these woods were used for the making of French cognac barrels. Nowadays, France cognac is still being ripped in barrels made of Tronçais oak wood. The forest has a lot to offer and exist mostly of lakes, fields and scattered throughout the area you will find some beaches, this results into a variety of water sports.