Gîte de l'Etang Jaune - 4 Epis - Gîte de Charme

The town of La Machine

Coal was open-mined in the very early middle age in La Machine. then with a push from Colbert, a Industry Minister under Louis XIV, underground mining started. It was the only coal mine in Nivernais. The name of La Machine comes from a horse powered machine imported from Belgium in the XVIIIe century used to lift men, horses, and materials from the pits. The coal was mainly used by the iron industry which has been developed in the Nivernais since Roman time. Mining stopped in 1974 after several centuries of operation.

What to do : visit the Mine Museum in La Machine, and other museums around (no need to speak french)
What to see: Musée de la Mine, Etang Grenetier nearby (swimming watch in July and August)
Distance: walking distance in La Machine
Additional Infos: click here to access the website of Musées de Bourgogne (Museums from Burgundy)


The Forest

With 2.5 acres of forest per inhabitant, the Nivernais is very green place where you breath fresh air and where there has always been a respect for environment. This area is the first producer of oakwood of France and is also the first supplier of oak planks for wine kegs. Used in early times for heating and for the iron industry, the forest is a huge area for endless leisure ativities, on the condition that you respect its fragile environnement.

What to do : trekking, bicycling, horse riding
Where: in La Machine in the forest next door, on the circuit from La Machine to La Copine and Decize for horse riding, or the trekking along the canal
Additional Infos: click here to access the website of Nievre Tourisme. To organize group trekking, there are several clubs, Club de Cyclos Decizois ( regularly organize bicycle circuits.


The Nivernais canal, the Loire and its own canal

Built from 1784 to 1843 to transport wood to Paris, the Nivernais canal crosses the country for 122 km from Decize to Clamecy in a marvelous environment. With 110 locks, 3 long tunnels, several canal bridges, aqueducs and culverts, the canal is opened to navigation from april to october. The green surroundings give to the canal a romantic and mysterious touch which makes that it is one of the most beautiful canal of Europe.
The canal is particularly recommended for quiet journeys along its banks (bicycle, trek) or for boat trips. To rent a house boat check the complete list with La Maison du Bazois (03 86 84 05 66) or check on the webste of Nievre Tourism.

What to do : river trips , Bicycling along the banks, stade nautique of Decize (sun and bath, kayaking, boating)
What to see : flowered locks, birds
Distance: Decize (7 km)
Additional infos : click here to access the website of Nievre Tourisme


The River Loire

At less than 6 km is the Loire valley. The Loire is the longest river of France. Used for many centuries for transportation, the Loire meanders through lovely scenery. Along the Loire is a canal of 200 km built in the first part of the XIXe century,from Digoin in the south to Briare in the north. It is mainly used by tourist houseboats.

What to do : river trips , trekking or bicycling along the banks, stade nautique of Decize (sun and bath, kayaking, boating), visit the canals by boat, Trekking from Le Port des bois to Decize
What to see : birds, wild animals
Distance: Decize (7 km), Le Port-des-Bois (20km)
Additional infos : click here to access the website of Nievre Tourisme


Built on the side of the Loire on a rocky hill, Nevers has a wonderful history. She is an art town, with plenty of Museums. Nevers is well known for its blue colored artistic earthenware either from traditional or modern inspiration.

What to do : visit of Nevers, jazz festival (November)
What to see : Saint-Cyr cathedral, Sainte Juliette, the Palace of the Dukes of Nevers, the blue colored ancient earthenware workshop of Nevers
How far : Nevers (30 km)
Additional infos: click here to access the website of Nièvre Tourisme and click here to access the web site of the Nevers cultural center (Maison de la culture)


Castles, Parks and gardens

There are numerous noble houses and properties in the Nievre countryside where you would be able to guess how was the life in the past centuries. Either public or private, these buildings are the wittnesses of past life in the center of France. Their architecture is typically from Burgundy. Most of them have garden "a la Francaise" and parks.

What to do : visit castles, gardens and parks
What to see : chateau de Prye (hotel), Chateau le Bailly
Distance: in a circle of 20-30 km
Additional Infos: click here to access the website of Nievre Tourisme


F1 circuit- Magny Cours

Magny-Cours is the location of car race track where the French Grand Prix of Formula 1 was previously run. It is near the town of Magny-Cours, 10 km south of Nevers and 20 km from the Gite location. Numerous events are held weekly. You can also take racing lessons. It is also the location of a 18-hole golf course.

What to see: car races practically every weekend, Bol d'or (motorbike) in September-October
Distance: Magny cours (20km)
Additional Info: click here to access the website of Magny Cours F1

Wine and Food

What to do: gourmet tour of the area: wine, Charolais meat and crotin de Chavignol, le Petit Nivernais cheeses
What to visit
: vineyard of Pouilly, Sancerre, Coteaux du Giennois, Beaune, Montrachet, Volnay, etc and their numerous cellars
Distance: 40 to 90 km for the Loire side, 1 hour car drive for Beaune
Additional Information: click here to access the website Nièvre Tourisme