It is truly so Charming Village I found in Dombes and near Lyon. Which one? Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne
Do you have a free day or half a day? Are you fed up with a busy life, loads of people, crowds, and traffic? Do you need a bit of peace, silence and calming landscapes….Why not taking a car and going out of the city!? I will tell you that around Lyon there are a lot of little towns, villages, so charming and quiet and hidden. I haven’t visited like 80% of them but I have seen few and written about Oingt, Perouge, Annecy, Cremieu, Le Puy en Velay just to name a few. I have written about 20 places to visit around Lyon and yet I have discovered a new place, little & flowery town called Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne, department Dombes. It is located in l’Ain, between Dombes and Bresse close to Monts du Beaujolais and Mâcon. Have you heard about it? Well, to be honest, it’s very small (it has only 5 133 habitants and covers 1798 hectares). There is not much to do but taking your life slowly and appreciating the little things this village is a good place to go. And now I will tell you how you can enjoy it the best?
Have yourself a lunch in a small and charming restaurant or have yourself a picnic lunch. I am sure you will find a nice spot for it in the town.
Have a walk around and admire little streets which are so pretty
Visit ruins of the old castle which was built by the lords of Chatillon around the year 1000…interesting and a good spot
Visit Musee du Train Miniature if this is your thing
If you come on Sunday you are lucky to visit the food market in the Old Halles
Be enchanted by the flowery bridges
Decide on visiting another place on the way up or/and back. I went to Ars-sur-Formans and I was recommended the following: Trevoux, Valeins, Le Plantay, so I am going back one day! I would love to go to Bourg-en-Bresse…for at the chickens and 😉 Macon as it’s nearby…What do you think? Is it worth to go out of Lyon? Have you been to any of those places? Maybe you have been to any other charming French village? Which French little village you can recommend?
Explore the Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne Arboretum which is an 8-hectare site dedicated to nature. Take a walk and discover remarkable nature, in particular, the remarkable trees. The arboretum has 242 different tree species listed by the National Forestry Office. I didn’t do it as I didn’t take the proper shoes 😉 but I would if I could
Use the opportunity to spot the Quercus rysophylla, an oak of Mexican origin with persisting leaves, or admire other rare trees, difficult to see elsewhere and some of which are today
Discover importance of insects, bees and other small birds, and even owls thanks to Arboretum
Don’t miss the gate of The Saint-André church and La Porte de Villars as they have both been registered as historical monuments.
Visit Apothecary: a former Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne hospital dating from 1814, now transformed into a cultural center. Open to the public since the last war, the apothecary displays a rare collection of 120 earthenware pots from Meillonnas.
If you have time and energy, check out the other main points of Chatillon-sur-Chalaronne like: Hôtel de Ville, House of St. Vincent de Paul, Maison de Monsieur Beynier; Timber-framed houses; Barrit Street, the view of the roof of the Saint-André church.
So as you can see even if this is a little village & very calm, there can be pretty a lot to do if you are creative and determined enough to explore the beauty of France. Do you like discovering France and it’s gems? What have you seen & visited recently? Can you recommend? Thanks!