This region of France, is not widely known and yet it is within easy reach of the airports at Limoges or Poitiers. High speed train service from Paris takes just two hours to reach Argenton sur Creuse and the toll free A20 motorway helps make driving from the ferry ports, relatively stress free.
Perfect for rest and relaxation the unhurried way of life is one of the greatest charms of l’Indre and Limousin, a deeply rural area, unashamedly rustic, the gentle countryside glistens with water in the rivers and lakes, a popular centre for water sports enthusiasts and an angler’s paradise. Walkers and nature lovers will relish the trails that cut through the fields and forests where wildlife abounds and the ‘Rat Race’ seems very far away.
“….let the Berry intoxicate your wild heart with it’s unspoilt natural beauty. In the succession of woodlands, plains, hills and lakes, there’s space for everyone to take things at their own pace …..”
Chateaux, museums and historical sites are everywhere, we have selected a few that we think are well worth visiting, the rest you must discover for yourselves but you will have to return time and again if you would like to see all that L’ Indre and Limousin have to offer.
A small selection of sights and places of interest within our area.
Argenton Sur Creuse
A charming medieval town on the River Creuse with a variety of shops, hotels and restaurants. Argenton sur Creuse has a fascinating history and a delightful atmosphere. Picturesque alleyways and ancient houses hanging precipitously over the winding river make this town a popular subject for artists and photographers.
Le Musée de la Chemiserie -The Shirt Museum in the center (unique in Europe) houses collections of shirts, lingerie, suits, accessories and the machines that made them from the XVll to the present day.
Musée d’Argentomagus at Saint-Marcel, Argenton
The Gallo-Roman city of Argentomagus is one of the most important archeological sites in France. You are invited to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and walk through real prehistoric and Gallo-Roman habitats. For more information follow the French language link
The Brenne Regional Natural Park
A paradise for rare species of plants and animals. Set against a backdrop of diversified landscapes on the River Creuse. In the north, ponds, prairies, moors and woods provide a unique landscape extending over a large 15 km by 30 km plain: this is the Brenne of the lakes. Undulating woodlands covered with copses, forests and small fields all bordered by sunken paths, occupy the south and west. The Creuse and the Anglin have sculpted valleys bordered here and there by sheer cliffs. The lakes are not natural, but they have created an exceptionally interesting and complementary natural environment that hosts an abundance of plant and animal life.
Eguzon and Lac Chambon
Visit the Creuse Valley Museum at Eguzon, here you can learn more about the past crafts of the valley, the construction of Eguzon dam and the surrounding countryside.
At Lac Chambon the beaches have safe bathing and water sports, plenty of space to fish and sunbathe, play areas for younger children even crazy golf. Cafés, beachside bars and excellent restaurants cater for all tastes.
A ferryboat sails at regular intervals from the jetty on the beach at Fougères to the main beach at Chambon, where every conceivable water sport is available there is a sailing club and a water ski school, water toboggans and pedalos for the less ambitious! A good family day out that everyone can enjoy.
The land of George Sand
Rural groves, romantic, rural, where George Sand lived and received her illustrious guests and whose peaceful countryside served as the backdrop for her novels. Don’t forget to visit the writer’s house in Nohant. And Scénovision by the filmmaker Jacques Tati, author of the film “Jour de fête” in Sainte – Sévère.
Maison de George Sand et
parc Centre des Monuments Nationaux
2, Place Sainte-Anne 36400 NOHANT-VIC
Tél. : 02 54 48 22 64
Maison de Jour de Fête
Place du marché
Tél : 02 54 30 21 78
About 20km north-west of Limoges (at ~80km from La Villonnière) stands the remains of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane, a grim reminder of the reality of war for this village has been left exactly as the marauding SS soldiers left it on the 10th June 1944 when they slaughtered the entire population of 642 men, women and children, supposedly in reprisal for resistance activities. One of the many poignant relics, the rusting hulk of a 1940 Peugeot, abandoned by the doctor as he was dragged off and shot along with all the other men of the village. The women and children were killed in the church.
Hundreds of painters frequented the valley of the Creuse, especially Gargilesse, Crozant and Fresselines, this pictorial movement became known as the “Ecole de Crozant”.
A delightful artist’s village where beauty, simplicity and authenticity blend together. In 1883 the poet and musician Maurice Rollinat took refuge in Fresselines, bringing with him his friends; musicians, writers, painters. for example Claude MONET who, in 1889, painted 23 scenes of the settings of the two Creuse rivers because the confluence they form is a “magical” site which has always attracted and charmed visitors and walkers.
Another charming artists village where many famous French painters have visited or lived. This little enclave was also home to the writer Georges Sand. A magnificent chateau a beautiful 12th century church the venue for concerts and the Harp Festivals. Ask at the tourist office and they will show you into the magnificent vaulted crypt. Pavement cafes, hotels and restaurants and during the season the artists welcome visitors into their homes to watch them at work. http://www.gargilesse.fr/indexuk.php
Saint-Benoît du Sault
Included in 1988 among the one hundred “Most Beautiful Villages of France” (like Gargilesse) this small medieval town was founded in the Xth Century, developed around a Benedictine priory. Leave your car in the car park a go on foot into the old town or you will miss a store of treasures.
Beneath the town of La Souterraine lies a network of ‘secret tunnels’. It is these hidden passage ways that gave the town it’s name, La Souterraine means ‘ under the ground’. Above ground the town has many beautiful and historical buildings. Wander through the medieval gateway, the Porte St Jean, make sure you don’t miss the incredible Trompe-l’oeil.
Saint-Etienne Cathedral and its botanical gardens. Saint-Martial Bridge the oldest Roman bridge in Limoges. The covered market for fresh seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables and bakery. The National Porcelain Museum, housing the largest public collection of porcelain in Limoges, and The Enamel Museum are both reminders of how the arts of fire have existed here for over 1,000 years.