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Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule / Vichy Via Allier

34,22 Km
2 h 16 min
I begin / Family
Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule
Vichy
Enjoy the gentle atmosphere along this Via Allier stage, taking cyclists across flood plains and forests. The way leads to Billy, its impressive medieval fort rising above an historic village designated a Petite Cité de Caractère. A lovely greenway then guides you alongside the Allier River to Vichy. Listed as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to historic thermal spa resorts, Vichy and its springs, enjoyed by visitors for centuries, encourage cyclists to rest and to explore the place. In the heart of town, feast your eyes on Art Deco and extravagant façades, plus further buildings reflecting architectural styles from around the globe. A short relaxation session at one of the spas is a tempting option before getting back on your bike. The more sporty might make the most of the water sports available on Allier Lake here. Or simply enjoy a stroll around Vichy’s fine public gardens.

Elevation of the stage

128 m 143 m

Waytypes of the stage

By road: 18,13 km Cycle path: 16,10 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 34,22 km

The Via Allier cycle route from St-Pourçain-sur-Sioule to Vichy

From Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule, riders should follow the cycling signs for Vichy, allowing them to make use of a footbridge recently built over the Sioule River. At the roundabout at the level of the RD46 route, you need to take the small Route de Briailles towards Paray-sous-Briailles. Crossing the cereal plains of the Allier Valley, continue on towards Marcenat via the RD142 road, turning in the direction of Billy. Having crossed the Allier River and admired Billy’s medieval fort, you ride beside the Allier to reach Vichy and the south of the county of Allier via a section of greenway covering 27km.

Don't miss

  • Billy : built in the 12th century, Billy’s fort is the archetypal château built around a bailey. This is also one of the most iconic buildings of the wider Bourbonnais area. The guards’ walkway offers panoramic views over the Allier Valley and the hills that surround the medieval village.
  • Vichy : the Auvergne Region’s flagship thermal spa resort! With its extravagant architecture, prestigious Art Nouveau opera house and its Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Asie, Vichy has become recognized as regional capital of well-being and fitness treatments. It has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status, cited among Europe’s major historic thermal spa resorts. Modern Vichy can be appreciated around the Lac d’Allier. Given the paths along its banks, the landscaped parks beside it, the waterside restaurants known as guinguettes, the beach and the many water sports, this quarter has something of the feel of the French Riviera… but well inland! Vichy also has an observatory for watching migrating fish, from where you can sometimes spot a salmon heading upstream from the Atlantic Ocean! 

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