Brassac-les-Mines / Brioude Via Allier
Canals & intimate rivers
1 h 19 min
I cycle often
The Via Allier cycle route continues through former coal-mining lands, leading you into the département, or French county, of Haute-Loire, which you enter at Sainte-Florine. The trail crosses the Limagne Brivadoise plain and guides you along the foot of the Livradois Range. Always in sight of the Allier River, moving in wide meanders through a patchwork of agricultural fields, the perched villages dotted along this stage are packed with history. Auzon, Azérat and Lamothe, in particular, have medieval treasures, chapels, Romanesque murals, priories and historic fortifications to reveal to those bold enough to make detours to them. The town of Brioude and its Basilica Saint-Julien, the largest Romanesque church in the Auvergne, also open their doors to you.
Elevation of the stage
38 m 70 m
Waytypes of the stage
By road: 19,91 km
Surface of the stage
Lisse: 19,91 km
The Via Allier route from Brissac-les-Mines to Brioude
Leave Brassac-les-Mines and Sainte-Florine riding beside the railway track. At the roundabout, follow the direction of Auzon and cross the Allier River to reach the other bank and the D16 road. The cycle route continues beside the river along the D16 up to Brioude. Take care along here, even if the road is wide. Also be careful crossing the bridges over the Allier, near Vézezoux, where the track is single file, and at Lamothe, preceded by a roundabout. Arriving at Brioude, make sure to follow the cycling signage to avoid having to cross the major RN 102 road, instead taking the bridge over it.
- Sainte-Florine : the church with its altarpiece and 18th-century statue of St James; the 15th-century square tower with its mural paintings.
- Auzon : a medieval village awarded the status of a Petite Cité de Caractère. The 12th-century collegiate church is home to a Romanesque sculpture of Christ and of mural paintings from 14th to 16th centuries. Château (private); old covered market; gateway and ramparts to see too.
- Azérat : a priory and church dating back to the 12th century and containing mural paintings.
- Lamothe : a fortified medieval village. Château (private). As to Cougeac, it was a once-thriving mariners’ centre on the Allier River. The Pré-Caillé Meander is a listed Espace Naturel Sensible, or protected natural area.
- Brioude : an historic town awarded accreditation as a Ville et Métiers d'art and a member of the association Les Plus Beaux Détours de France. Note the 11th- to 13th-century Basilica of Saint-Julien, the largest Romanesque church in Auvergne. In the historic centre, observe centuries-old timberframe houses, fine individual homes and canons’ houses. The Doyenné is now a contemporary and modern art centre. Other places to visit include: the Maison du Saumon et de la Rivière (on salmon and river traditions); the Hôtel de la Dentelle (on lace-making traditions); and the Maison de Mandrin (an historic house featuring exhibitions).
Brissac-les-Mines : Line TER Clermont-Ferrand <> Le-Puy-en-Velay