La Montagne Bourbonnaise


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  1. Tourist information
  2. Restaurants
  3. Shops and other services close by
  4. Services at Domaine Laveneau
  5. Environment
  6. How to find us





In your chalet you’ll find books, guides and leaflets about all the things you can do in this region. Here’s our small selection of activities and things to see, just to help you get your bearings. 


  • Sport and leisure


The Auvergne is 'the green lung' of France and is situated about three hours from Paris and two hours from Lyon. 

La Montagne Bourbonnaise (or Les Monts de la Madeleine) is located in the north of the Auvergne and offers you quietness, space, and a beautiful, well preserved nature. Maybe you just feel like relaxing and enjoying a period without the stress from your daily life. Then this is the ideal place for you.

 But…you can also undertake lots of activities here. If you like sports there are many possibilities. Hiking (with 400 km of marked hiking paths at your disposal), mountain biking (112 km of marked trails) cycling, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, parapente, skiing, acro-branche, geocaching, fishing etc. Motor bikers will really enjoy it here: the beautiful mountain roads are, in general, well maintained.

 About 6 km’s from Domaine Laveneau you’ll find La Loge des Gardes, the only classified ski resort in the Allier, at an altitude of 1000m. This resort is also open in summer, offering a number of activities for young and old. 

 Near St. Clément (10 minutes) is a lake, where you can swim, rent a canoe, water bike or quad. On the banks of the lake is an 'extreme adventure forest’, where you can climb around the treetops or cross the lake hanging from a cable. 

 The Lac de Villerest (45 minutes) offers a beach and relaxation centre with all kinds of services: restaurants, bars, playground, trampolines, a notice centre, water bikes, a circuit for radio guided cars, mini-golf, beach volleybal, picknick tables and lots more. 

 In Ferrières sur Sichon (25 minutes) is a horse farm, with all kinds of activities for horse lovers. 

 And of course there are the many traditional village parties, festivals, and brocantes. 


  • Castles


The Auvergne boasts 50 castles you can visit. The three castles closest to our Domaine are:

The imposing Château de Montgilbert, dating from the XII century

The castle that resides over Lapalisse with it’s beautiful gardens

Busset Castle, also really worth a visit.


  • Villages and other places for sight seeing


First we advice you to explore the Mysteries of the Monts de la Madeleine. There are 22 of them, among which the Torturous Beeches, The cave of the Fairies, and the mysterious archeological finds of Glozel. You’ll find more information in your chalet.

 In our own village, La Chabanne, it is worthwhile to visit the church and admire the very special mural paintings. These paintings show moralistic and religious messages, both in text and images. Some sort of 'comic book' avant la lettre….

 In St. Clément (10 minutes) is a pilgrim site that attracts quite a few pilgrims: La Salette. There is a chapel and a number of statues of the Holy Virgin. The view is spectacular. 

In the same village you’ll find art expositions in the Centre d’Europe des Douze’. During the time when the European Union consisted of twelve members, St. Clément was the geological centre of Europe. Those times are over, of course…..

 Châtel Montagne (30 minutes) is an artists village and beautifully located. There are several expositions and galleries you can visit. The Roman Church is very beautiful. 

In this region there are several medieval villages, also boasting Renaissance architecture, like: St. Haon le Châtel, Ambierle, St. Jean St. Maurice sur Loire (with a beautiful view on the river Loire) and Le Crozet (very well restored). We also recommend vissiting the valey of the Sichon, with beautiful villages like Lavoine,Ferrières sur Sichon,and Aronnes. There's a lot more villages to see: you'll find the information in your chalet.


  • Cities


Vichy (45 minutes) is know all over the world for her mineral waters and thermal baths. She’s 'the queen of wells and the town of well being'. Les Célestins and the Centre Thermal des Dômes are among the most modern thermal centres in Europe. 

This city has a certain 'grandeur' , with her rich and varied architecture: the opera, the Napoleon III chalets, the St. Blaise church, the gallery of wells….they’re just a few examples. It’s also a very green city with 140 ha. of beautiful parks. On the banks of the river Allier is a recently renovated boulevard, where you’ll find beaches, restaurants, and a number of possibilities for leisure and sports. The horse track of Vichy is one of the largest and most important ones in the world. 

Get to know this city by taking the little train that will take you past the most important thing to see (it leaves opposite the Tourist Office) and then explore Vichy by foot. 

 Roanne (45 minutes) is located on the banks of the river Loire and makes a dynamic impression. After the closing down of most of it’s textile industry Roanne has known some difficult years, but the town seems to be recovering. The city centre is cosy, with a lot of terraces, shops, and a lot of people. The town museum is housed in a beautiful building dated from the end of the XVIII century and it has a nice collection of paintings as well as a huge archeological collection. From the castle of Roanne only the donjon is left, but it sits on a nice square with several Renaissance houses.

 Clermont Ferrand (90 minutes) is beautifully located on the slopes of the Puy de Dôme and is surrounded by (sleeping) volcanos. You can stroll through the narrow medieval streets, or along the grand boulevards dating from the XVII and XIX century. The cathedral Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption was build on a hilltop in the middle of town and is made of lava-stone. This city is a paradise for those who love to shop and there are musea, parks and a large number of fountains. 


  • Attraction parks


Vulcania is a theme park about volcanos. It is located in the Parc Naturel des Volcans d’Auvergne and the countryside is very impressive and definitely quite non-European. The attractions offered are both educational and spectacular. Dive into the heart of a volcano, experience an earthquake, travel in time and meet some dinosaurs: it can all be done in Vulcania. 

This park is about 2 1/2 hours from La Chabanne, but the journey there (via Clermont Ferrand or Vichy) is beautiful and the park is really worth it. 


Lepal (90 minutes) offers you a great number of attractions (like 'The descent of the Colorado', The enchanted forest', 'Le Twist'), a zoo and lots of theatrical and musical entertainment. 



Our selection:

L’Auberge des Campanules, La Chabanne (0470564396). A simple and traditional cuisine, cozy atmosphere. Entrée, main dish of the day, cheese or desert, and coffee for € 13,50 (wine included).

 Restaurant Chez La Louise, St. Clément (0470413953). Traditional cuisine, cozy atmosphere. Menu of the day: € 13,50.

Restaurant Le `Kimi, Laprugne (0470329223). Local restaurant with a fine cuisine and relaxed atmosphere. Menu’s vanaf €15.

 La Vieille Auberge, Le Mayet de Montagne (0470593401). Special interior, dating from the beginning of the last century. Good food, with Bourbonnese accents. Menu’s and à la carte. Very nice garden, where you can eat when the weather is ok. Menu: about € 35.

Restaurant De La Source, Lavoine (0470593749). Specialties from the Auvergne of a very high quality. Very copious too...  In the middle of the countryside near the Puy de Montoncel. Friendlsy service. Menu’s vanaf €22.

 Restaurant Galland, Lapalisse (0470990721). One of the better restaurants in this area (2 Toques in the Gault&Milau guide, 2 forks in the Michelin guide). Reposing, chique atmosphere, local products. Menu Plaisir: € 42

Restaurant La Rotonde: La Table de Marlènel (0470978542) looks like a flying saucer which landed on the Allier lake, in the centre of Vichy. Beautiful view. The food is great, modern,Prices between €32 and €69. Highly recommended. There's also a bistro where you can also eat well and it's cheaper.  

 Restaurant L’Assiette Roannaise, Saint Forgeux Lespinasse (0477656599). Modern interior, informal atmosphere, AC, absolutely great food. Nice terrace in the shade. Menu Découverte: € 42

Restaurant Les Troisgros, Ouce (0477716697). Boasting three Michelin stars, this is the most famous restaurant in the area. Menu du Saison: € 250. You have to book well in advance.

If the prices are a bit too much for you, you can also dine in Le Central, (0477677272), also owned by the Troisgros family. Hospitable, warm atmosphere, great cuisine. Menu du Marché: € 52


 Domaine Laveneau is at 2 km from the village of La Chabanne. 

 In the village you’ll find:


  • Auberge Les Campanules. Between 12.00 and 14.00h. Monique serves the 'menu du jour' for € 13,50 (entrée, main dish, cheese or desert, coffee; the wine is included). If you wish she’ll also make you take out food, but you have to order it one day in advance. Next to the restaurant Monique runs a small grocery store 'La Ch’tite Epicerie’ (open from 09h00 till 11h30 and from 14h30 till 19h00) with a choice of dry grocery products, different kinds of meat and cheeses, organic vegetables from La Chabanne and other local products. Monique also has a multiservice point (you can, for example, use the computer) and she sells cigarettes. On Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday you can buy bread here, but only when you order beforehand. On the premises you’ll find a small library with French, Dutch, and English books and a lot of tourist information about the Montagne Bourbonnaise. When the weather is good you can eat or drink something on her terrace and enjoy the beautiful view. The atmosphere is relaxed and Monique absolutely knows everything about this region. She speaks English. The Auberge is closed on Wednesday. Tel.: 0470564396.
  • Postoffice. The postoffice can be found in the village hall and is open in the morning, except for Monday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

St. Clément is a 10 minutes drive from La Chabanne. There’s a restaurant with terrace: Chez La Louise. 

 For more and different shops you’ll need to go to Le Mayet de Montagne (20 minutes). There are two supermarkets (Intermarché, Casino), two gas stations, a number of bakeries, a butcher/traiteur, a 'tabac', two pharmacies and several restaurants. 

There’s also a tourist office: Rue Roger Dégoulange, tel. 0470593840

Market on Monday morning.

Mass: every Sunday at 10.30 am. For all masses in the area, please visit 


In Renaison (25 minutes) you can also find a number of shops. The ride over there is very beautiful. Here you’ll find a Carrefour Market, open on Sunday morning.

 For the 'real'; shopping go to Vichy (45 minutes), Roanne (45 minutes) or Clermont Ferrand (90 minutes).

 Medical emergencies

The nearest GP’s are located in Mayet de Montagne (20 minutes) :

Dr. Mazières, Rue de Ferrières, 0470597078

Dr. Delchet / Dr. Kissel, 22 Avenue de la Libération, 0470597525

In case of an emergency you can always call 15 (medical emergencies) or 18 (fire brigade)

The nearest hospital with an emergency service is in Vichy (45 minutes). 




Our property Domaine Laveneau is about 1 ha. There are three chalets: Chalet Laveneau, Chalet Les Bruyères (both for rent) and, higher up the mountain Chalet Sauvage, where we live with our dog Louis. The rest of the property consists of several gardens and a bit of forest with walking trails. 

 When you wish you can rent towels from us for € 5 per person per stay.

You can make use of the the laundry machine and the laundry drier, but you can also give us your laundry and you’ll get ite back as soon as possible, washed and dried. This service is free. When the weather allows we dry your laundry outside to safe energy. If you insist on doing your laundry yourself, do ask us to explain how the machines work. For your chalet you can get a small drying rack for towels etc. You also have an iron and ironing board. 

 The manuals of all appliances can be found in your chalet, where possible also in English. If you have any questions on how to handle these appliances, please don’t hesitate to ask us.

 Next to the woodshed you’ll find three garbage containers, to be used for recyclable  waste. You can deposit your bottles, paper, carton and cans in these containers. If you have left over raw vegetables you can give them to us for composting. 

 The firewood for the wood stove in Chalet Les Bruyères is included in the rent. Each day we’ll bring you all the wood you need. You can also go and get it yourself from the wood shed. 

 Guests staying in Chalet Laveneau can ask us to bring them ice cubes. 

 A BBQ is at your disposal. We store the BBQ’s inside, so just ask us to bring you one if you want it. Please be extremely careful with the fire and the hot coals. A forest fire can be started easily, but is very hard to put out!

 Whenever there is something you find lacking, do not hesitate to tell us. In general we’re available from 8.00 am till 19.00 p.m for all your questions and/or remarks. After hours, we hope you’ll only contact us for emergencies. 

 Please note: tourist taxes are € 2,00 (Les Bruyeres) and €1,25 (Laveneau)  per person per night and are included in the rent. 



The chalets are connected to their own septic tanks. Please do not use any chloride, do not throw paper towels in the toilet and do try and use the ecological detergents provided. Left over cheese and yoghurt can be flushed through the toilet, since they’re good for the bacterial life in the tanks. 

 You are not allowed to pick flowers from our garden. We would also appreciate it if you would leave the mushrooms on our property alone. You can look for edible mushrooms in the forest. 

 Most people come here for some peace and quiet. We’re not asking you to tip toe around all day, but would appreciate it if you avoid making too much noise. After 10.00 pm music and television sounds should not be audible outside of your chalet.  

 For the sake of saving energy, please turn off lights, appliances and heaters if you don’t need them. Thanks in advance!


 Without a navigation system


From Paris, do take the tollway in the direction of Lyon (A6).

Take the exit for Bourges (A71)

Follow the A71 till the exit for Nevers (A77)

Then follow the signs for Moulins and then Lapalisse (N7).

In Lapalisse follow the signs for Le Mayet de Montagne (D7)

In Mayet de Montagne take the direction towards Laprugne (D7)

Just outside of Mayet de Montagne take a left to La Chabanne and La Loge des Gardes (D120)

After you’ve passed the village of St. Clément take a right towards La Chabanne (D177)

Drive straight through in La Chabanne, in the direction of La Loge des Gardes (D177)

After about 1 1/5 km’s you’ll see a small sign saying La Grande Serve (left) and a bit further Les Bruyères (right). Just drive on and stay on the D177.

We’re in the bend of the road, on your left. You’ll see a dark brown chalet with red shutters. 

Our driveway is right after you pass the chalet, on your left.


ATTENTION: Our driveway is pretty steep. Most cars need to drive up in first gear

The parking for Chalet Laveneau is on the right, the parking for Chalet Les Bruyères to the left.

You can also park your car along the road (D177). If we know your approximate arrival time, we’ll be there to guide you through this last part of your journey…


With a navigation system

 Latitude: 46,0209140850833

Longitude: 3,76981258392334

Set your system for La Chabanne, and then: Les Bruyères. When you’re almost there, your system will tell you to take a right, direction 'Les Bruyères'. Don’t do that, but continue straight on. We’re in the bend of the road, on your left (SEE THE MAP BELOW)

 Sometimes there are complications:

- Some systems will guide you to 'Domaine La Chabanne', about 30 minutes away from here. If you find you’re on the road towards Châtel Montagne you’re going the wrong way. Be sure to go to Le Mayet de Montagne and look for the signs for Laprugne and (later) La Chabanne. 

- Some systems will tell you to go straight through after you’ve passed the village of St. Clément. You should take a right, however, towards La Chabanne (D177). 

 On Google Maps or Waze just type La Chabanne and Domaine Laveneau and you'll be taken to us directly. On what3words: reloger, ligament, preposer .














The last part of the journey to Domaine Laveneau