The Limousin is abundant with places of interest, sight-seeing attractions and sporting activities dotted around the whole region but here’s a brief insight to the top five most popular among the guests of Grandmont Gites.
1) A beach-in-reach
Approximately 15 minutes drive away and situated about 25 kilometres to the north of Limoges, the Lake of Saint-Pardoux is one of the most visited destinations in the Haute-Vienne department of Limousin.
The lake is substantial in size, with a surface area covering more than 300 hectares (750 acres), and offers a wide range of facilities and activities to summer visitors.
There’s a good choice of outdoor activities, from quiet walks around the edges of the lake to boating on the water, and from beaches around the edges of the lake to acrobatic tree adventure parks (accrobranche in French).
Among the most popular with families are the various activities on the beaches, while active teenagers will enjoy absailing across the waters of the lake.
2) An educational insight to Nazi atrocities
On 10 June 1944 the inhabitants of the Limousin market town of Oradour sur Glane were massacred by a troop of about 200 Waffen SS. Men were separated from women and children and simultaneously executed in various places near the town. Women and children were locked in the church and massacred using gas, grenades and other explosives before being machine-gunned.
The church was set on fire, the village pillaged and reduced to ruins within a couple of hours. Preserved in this state, this site has born witness, since the liberation, to Nazi atrocities and the necessity of remembering to pay homage to the 642 victims of this abject crime.
3) Limoges… Paris without the crowds
Limoges is the capital of the Limousin and a wonderful city to explore on foot. If you love Cathedrals, museums cafes, bars and restaurants, porcelain factories, festivals, outdoor markets, musical concerts and clothes shopping then Limoges has it all – just as you’d expect from a major city. In the link you’ll find an overview on several key attractions to see during your stay but expect to spread it over a few days!
4) A majestic tour of fish and turtles
The Aquarium du Limousin was originally an underground water reservoir belonging to the town of Limoges built in 1881 to avoid cholera epidemics. After a particularly harsh winter in 1956, freezing the drainage system, it fell into disrepair until the late 80′s, when the local Aquarium Club moved in and with help from the local community, the aquarium opened to visitors on 6th June 1993.
The aquarium is open 7 days a week from 10:30 until 6:00pm and hosts a range of daily activities including watching as the fish feed, hearing valuable information about the inhabitants from a marine biologists and taking a behind the scenes tour.
The Limousin Aquarium has more than 160 000 litres of water, containing 2500 fish and turtles. The circuit will take you through cold freshwater to tropical seawater and the tropical freshwaters of Asia, Africa and America.
5) A fun day out for the whole family
Parc Zoo du Reynou is a 300 hectare safari park in the grounds of the magnificent estate of the Chateau du Reynou. Animals are grouped by geographical origin, so you can see an African plain, with zebra and giraffe, an Asian area with yaks and snow leopard and many others!
Animals are geographically spread across African, Asiatic, American and Australian plains plus a mini-farm. There are plenty of oppurtunities to feed the animals as well as a petting farm great for kids.
Park Reynou has over 600 animals with 130 species and is set in magnificent gardens organised around a castle. The park is situated only 20 minutes away by car.