Pays de l'Arbresle
Pays de L’Arbresle is located some twenty kilometres north-west of Lyon, at the confluence of the Monts du Lyonnais and the Beaujolais Pierres Dorées area. This rural and agricultural land is ideal for taking an invigorating and enjoyable break all year round.
In spring and summer, you can admire the cherry blossoms from the hilltops, and enjoy a spot of family fruit-picking. In autumn and winter, you can stroll through the forests admiring the changing colours of the leaves, and visit the farms and villages in the Pierres Dorées area. All year round, in their homes, their favourite laneways, farms or wine cellars, you can meet passionate men and women who will be delighted to share their know-how and love of the area with you.
Pays de l’Arbresle, Sainte-Marie de La Tourette convent, Courzieu Park, Reverdy Farm, the imposing Glay quarries, the Musée de la Mine and many other essential sites will give you a warm welcome!
9.30 am: Leave Lyon
Arrive in L'Arbresle at 10 am and park your car in Place Sapéon. Cross the threshold of the Discovery Site (Espace Découverte) of the Pays de L’Arbresle Tourist Office. In each room on the three floors of this characteristic house, a scenic display invites you to explore the landscapes, products and know-how of a territory that extends from the Beaujolais region to the Monts-du-Lyonnais. Here exhibitions are hosted all year round, and on the third floor, the canuts workshop museum depicts the history and techniques of the region's famous silk weaving industry On the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, enthusiastic former canuts (silkworkers) carry out demonstrations for the benefit of visitors. Don't miss them! This shared experience is a great opportunity, and sure to delight young and old alike!
Before lunch, stroll through the streets of the old district of L'Arbresle. The curious among you can learn all about its history thanks to the leaflet and explanatory plaques. There's also a “fun walk” factsheet for kids. This way, everyone gets to visit the village and have fun at the same time!
At lunchtime, you can choose from a wide range of restaurants serving traditional cuisine, such as Le Capucin and Les Gourmands Disent, situated along the pedestrian street. And if you're just feeling peckish, you can enjoy a panini or burger prepared as you wait at the cheese shop. Fancy a picnic? Hop back into your car and stop at the bakery in Saint-Germain-Nuelles and savour your sandwich on the esplanade at the foot of the Glay quarries, with its magnificent view over the Monts du Beaujolais, the Monts de Tarare, Azergues Valley and the villages in the Beaujolais Pierres Dorées region. An experience not to be missed!
The Glay quarries were exploited for 500 years, from the 15th century up until 1947. They are now freely accessible, to the greatest pleasure of visitors! At the foot of the spectacular wall of stone, you'll recognise the lovely golden colour of the limestone used to build farms, castles, churches, washhouses and low walls throughout the region. Several plaques are available which explain the geology, mining techniques and work of the stonemasons, as well as the flora and fauna to be found in this fragile natural area. A great place for kids to let off steam and run about.
In the afternoon, for those who fancy going for a walk with the family, you have a choice of two walks to choose from: departing from Nuelles or Saint-Germain (both of which now form the single entity of Saint-Germain-Nuelles). For both walks (3 km - 2 hours for the one departing from Nuelles, and 7.5 km – 3 ½ hours for the one departing from Saint-Germain) you will discover the answers to mystery questions thought up for you by the association of local hikers. And there's also a 6.4 km (2½ hour) walk that links the two villages! Leaflets can be downloaded from the Tourist Office website.
6 pm: Back to Lyon
Take the RN7 towards Lyon-Roanne
For more information: Arbresle Tourisme
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