Several kilometres from its source between Velay and Plaine du Forez, the Loire River has shaped stunning gorges that will leave you speechless. 4,000 hectares of rocky escarpments, sandy stretches, and steep forests offer unspoilt authenticity. With Natura 2000 status, this is a land with an abundance of flora and fauna, rich in its astonishing diversity. The view across this landscape, sculpted by the river is, quite simply, stunning! It can be fully taken in from the roof terrace of the Château d’Essalois, or from the top of the Donjon de Chambles.


The Château d’Essalois offers one of the most beautiful viewpoints over the gorges of the Loire. From the top of its keep, you will enjoy a stunning view over the Barrage de Grangent, where you can visit the electric factory. Downstream, a unique industrial site is waiting to be discovered. The Saint-Just glassworks has been perpetuating the art of glass blowing for almost two centuries, creating coloured glass plates.


The gorges of the Loire look completely different from the river. In a canoe with the Loire Forez leisure centre or on the deck of a cruise boat from the port of Saint-Victor, you can discover inaccessible places such as the hamlet of Camaldules or the island of Grangent.


There are many hiking routes on both banks of the river. If you set out on them, you’re assured of enjoying the landscape and viewpoints that define the gorges of the Loire.

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