Dompierre-sur Besbre (Loire)

Dompierre is a gateway to manifold discoveries, all little more than a stone’s throw from the Loire. The banks are dotted with chateaux, abbeys and medieval villages. The magnificent Canal bridge of Digoin, where the Lateral Canal crosses the Loire takes you to the Canal du Centre, built in the 18th century to link Roanne to Chalonsur-Saône.

Digoin and Paray-le-Monial with a magnificent basilica, exemplary for Cluniac architecture, are worth a visit. This place of pilgrimage is also an important milestone on the Way of St. James, (the Road to Santiago de Compostela). The Canal de Roanne à Digoin leads to Roanne,a synonymous with gastronomy all over France, but famous for pottery and ceramic too. This passage leads through splendid areas near the Loire.

You will then come upon the Brionnais region, whose landscape is characterised by numerous Romanic churches. In Iguerande, Anzy-le-Duc, Marcigny or in the Abbey of Charlieu you can find remarkable architecture and sculptures. In the quality small-scale oil mill of Iguerande nut, hazelnut and sunflower oil are produced and delivered to the finest restaurants in France. In Decize, the lateral Canal meets the Loire, and river swimming is a treat. Salmon and shad swim up here from the distant sea to spawn. Take the Southern part of the Canal du Nivernais and cruise through ravishing countryside to the secret heart of the Morvan, or visit Nevers, steeped in history. Crossing high above the Allier river on the canal bridge of the Guétin, you will enjoy a magnificent panorama across many famous vineyards to lovely villages such as Sancerre and St-Satur.