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Hiking while speaking French, at Roanne

In addition to learning the French language, our goal at school is to help you discover the French way of life and to immerse you in it. Visiting and discovering the countryside and villages of a region is a good way to put into practice what you have learned in class and to meet people.

Want to explore more of the region? Here are the must-see villages within a 30-minute drive of the school!

Ambierle : 17km from the Ecole des Trois Ponts, the village of Ambierle is famous for its Benedictine Abbey which dates from the Middle Ages. The Prioral church of Ambierle is worth a visit with its magnificent stained glass windows in perfect condition and its architecture from different periods.

The village of Ambierle, from the top of its 400m of altitude, is labeled “Villages Caractères en Loire” and is recognized for its vineyards and its Michelin starred restaurant : Le Prieuré. Many events are organized in the village, summer markets (July-August), a comic book festival (September) and also the Printemps du Vin (May) which brings together independent winegrowers from the Roannais.

For history buffs, the Alice Taverne museum offers a journey into the past and illustrates life in the countryside, the daily life of our ancestors.

Charlieu : 22km from the school, located in the Sornin valley, Charlieu is a city not to be missed! Its medieval center, its craftsmen’s stores and “Meilleur Ouvrier de France”, its andouille (typical food of Charlieu), its abbey and its half-timbered buildings make it a tourist attraction in the region.

The Abbey of Charlieu, which gave its name to the village and which was founded in 832, is famous for its architecture: its sculpted tympanums, its typical yellow stones, and its ruins which are vestiges of a past time.

In terms of culture, Charlieu has two museums in its center: the silk museum where you can admire perfectly preserved fabric looms and the hospital museum and its remarkable apothecary. Both are now housed in the former Hôtel Dieu of the city.

Saint-Jean Saint-Maurice : Labeled ” Village of character in Roannais “, Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice overhangs the Loire and offers remarkable viewpoints. The village, a major tourist site, has been inhabited since prehistoric times. At the bend of its streets, you can discover its sundial of the XVIth century, its oldest house with lily flower, its medieval physiognomy and its keep which dominates the Loire.

Several craftsmen are installed in the village and receive you in their workshop-boutique: potter, sculpture, weaving, painting, jewelry… La Cure, a center for arts and crafts nestled in the center of the village, serves as an information center and a store selling local products.

Villerest : Villerest, 10km from the school, is known in the Roannais region for its dam and its lake, very popular in the summer for those who are looking for a bit of coolness and are thirsty for swimming. It is also a medieval village with its town, its ramparts, its old half-timbered houses and its 13th century chapel classified as a historical monument. The Museum of Time and Fire presents the history of the production of fire but also various collections of objects and lighters and collections on the theme of clock-making.

In terms of activities, many hikes are possible around the village and the lake, not to mention all the aquatic activities in the summer (canoeing, fishing, pedal boats, swimming…).

Le Crozet: This medieval village was classified as a “Village de Caractère en Loire” and “Village du Verre” in 2011. You can admire houses from the XIIIth, XVth and XVIth centuries which testify of a rich past. A village that plunges its visitors into the past and offers a moment out of time. Indeed, the place has managed to preserve its soul and escape the tumult of modern life.

The museum of Arts and Popular Traditions, installed in a 16th century building, is the only house in the village open to the public.

Le Crozet is undoubtedly a small town that has a lot to offer to its visitors! Fortification, timber-framed house, vestiges and a 12 meters high dungeon which allows to observe the neighboring villages and the countryside of Roanne.

Saint-Haon-le-Châtel : Perched on a rocky outcrop, this village can be discovered like an open-air museum from which walkers can enjoy a view of the Madelaine mountains. Ramparts, towers, half-timbered houses, manor houses… So many buildings with different architectures that tell the story of the village.

At the bend in the streets, visitors can discover local craftsmen (jewelry, puppets, sculpture) and enjoy a café terrace with original decoration to rest.

The Rhône-Alpes region and the Roanne coast have a lot to offer you! Whether it is during your weekend, if you stay at least two weeks at the Ecole des Trois Ponts, or during the Wednesday excursions, don’t hesitate to go to one of these emblematic villages of the area. You won’t be disappointed!