The Auvergne

Domaine de la Madeleine is situated in the ‘Bocage Bourbonnais’ , an area in the north-west of the department ‘Allier’, region ‘Auvergne’, in the middle of France. In the bocage landscape of Bourbon de meadows are separated by hedges of trees and shrubs, the bocages.

Swimming lake

The swimming lake of Vieure, with a small beach, sunbathing area and a restaurant is a 10-minutes’ drive away. Also in the ‘Forêt de Troncais’ you find two nice swimming lakes.

Spa resort in Bourbon l’Archambault

Bourbon l’Archambault is 5 km from our Domaine and is the cradle of the Bourbon dynasty. It is also a famous spa resort with thermal baths. These were built in the 17th century by the Duke of Orleans, a brother of Louis XIII.

 

Cycling & walking

The rolling Bocage Bourbonnais is ideal for quiet cycling and walking holidays. In Bourbon l’Archambault (5 minute-drive by car) you find a bike hire facility. They also hire e-bikes.

Horse riding in Ygrande

Ygrande has a Country Pony Range where you can enjoy riding in the wild.

Rope courses & waterfun

At a one hour drive from Ygrande you can find the Lake of Sidiailles with opportunities for canoeing, pedal boats and swimming. There are also several rope courses, even over and through the water, fun for young and old.

Amusement park le Pal

Le Pal, a nice amusement park in the Allier, is situated east of Moulins. It is a spacious and beautiful park, a combination of Zoo and rides. They also give shows with among others seals and parrots. There are several rides like a wild water rapids and a roller coaster.

Europe’s largest oak forest

At a 30-minutes’ drive from La Madeleine lies a 10,000 acres oak forest, Europe’s largest, called Forêt de Troncais. Well maintained paths lead you to the tree trunks which are more than 300 years old with beautiful names like ‘La Sentinelle’ and ‘Le Chêne Carré’. These trees are quite large and can have a circumference of more than 6 metres. Apart from wild boars and deer there are also many red deer in this forest. You can also find two nice swimming lakes.

Castles

Our region is famous for its royal past. From the 12th till the 14th century many castles were built here, updated and rebuilt. Only when the Renaissance starts these castles are devoted to pleasure and beauty. The buildings were redecorated in order to improve the daily comfort of their inhabitants. This happened at first in the vicinity of Moulins and the Bourbon family played a leading role in this.

The district with the largest castle density in France is Agonges, a 10-minutes’ drive from La Madeleine. Agonges has no less than thirteen castles. An example where the old fortification building is well maintained and which is later redecorated to the standards of the Renaissance is Château Ainay-le-Vieil, at a 30-minutes’ drive from La Madeleine. Ainay has been in possession of the current inhabitants’ family since 1467 and they have opened the castle and gardens to the public.

Bourbon l’Archambault

At a 5-minutes’ distance from Domaine de la Madeleine is Bourbon l’Archambault. It is a medieval town with an old fortress which can be visited daily in the high season. There are also various small shops and restaurants. There is an open-air pool and sports centre as well.

Brocante

In the near vicinity are many brocantes and flea markets throughout the season. We can provide further information about where and when these markets are held.

Towns to visit

The towns Moulin and Montlucon are at about a 20 to 40-minutes’ drive from La Madeleine and have a beautiful old town centre with shops, restaurants and terraces. You can also visit Vichy or Clermont Ferrand. These large cities are at a one hour drive from Ygrande.