Moulins / Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule Via Allier

44,06 Km
2 h 56 min
I cycle often

44,06 km cycling route from Moulins to Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule

After enjoying a last look at Moulins with its bell-towers rising above the river, get back in the saddle to carry on along the Via Allier. The cycle route allows you to get up close to the Réserve Naturelle Nationale du Val d’Allier, protecting a little Eden of 1,450 hectares of truly unspoilt lands. After a small climb shaded by the oaks of Moladier Forest, you ride through further typical bocage bourbonnais. Then the first vines of the Saint-Pourçain wine-making area appear, giving a new aspect to your cycling trip. The winemakers of Saint-Pourçain will be delighted to offer you tastings of wines once served to French kings.

Elevation of the stage

393 m 418 m

Waytypes of the stage

By road: 44,06 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 44,06 km

The Via Allier route from Moulins to St-Pourçain-sur-Sioule

In Moulins, from the west bank of the Allier, cyclists can enjoy a fine view of the historic city opposite before heading south, cycling towards Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, taking care along the RD2009 road before branching right towards Bressolles. A fine climb takes cyclists across Moladier Forest. Continuing towards Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, you next ride through an area of hedge-divided fields. Arriving at Besson, a fairly steep climb greets you before you pass in front of the Château de Fourchaud to spot the first vines of the Saint-Pourçain wine area. After Bresnay, the way is easier, riding along the RD34 road. Cyclists then turn left onto a narrower road, but keep to the right at the next fork to climb through a forest and reach vineyards before crossing the RD2009 via a boviduc (cattle passageway). The landscapes gradually change as you cycle towards Contigny via the RD232 road. After a brief stretch on the RD532 road, the route takes you on a pretty steep climb through vines before you ride into the centre of Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule.

Don't miss

  • Moulins : a well-deserved Ville d’Art et d’Histoire, given its great history as capital of the Bourbon dukes, Moulins boasts an extremely attractive and varied heritage. There’s something to appeal to many tastes: the CNCS, for theatre buffs; the Mal Coiffée, the core of the former château of the Bourbon dukes, for history enthusiasts; the Pavillon Anne-de-Beaujeu, one of the earliest Renaissance buildings in France; the Maison Mantin, a 19th-century timepiece; the Musée de l’Illustration Jeunesse, on children’s illustrations; and the exquisite Gothic Maître de Moulins triptych in the splendid cathedral… not forgetting the video-mappings that bring added life, come nightfall, to five façades around town, both in winter and in summer. 
  • Réserve Naturelle du Val d'Allier : lthis nature reserve allows you a glimpse of an unspoilt ecosystem, a veritable paradise for birds. Over 260 species have been observed on the Reserve, including 100 species that nest here, among them stone curlew, terns, white storks and black kites… There are also 45 species of mammals here, notably iconic beavers and otters. In Moulins, the Espace Nature du Val d’Allier presents the river’s flora and fauna and also puts on guided walks with specialist LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux) guides in the Reserve. 
  • Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule et son vignoble : across 650 hectares classed as suitable for producing AOC (appellation d’origine contrôlée) wine, 19 independent winemakers and the Cave de l’Union des Vignerons produce Saint-Pourçain whites, rosés and reds using one sole grape variety, tressallier. To learn more about the history of the area’s vineyards, head either to the Cave Coopérative or to the Musée de la Vigne in Saint-Pourçain.

Railway stations

Stations located on the other bank of the Allier: Line TER Moulins <> Vichy

  • Moulins sur Allier
  • Bessay-sur-Allier
  • Varennes-sur-Allier

Link routes and alternatives to this stage

This stage includes 2 liaisons (purple on the map)
Liaison 1
GPX track
Liaison 2
GPX track

Accommodation on the stage

Travellers’ reviews

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