We all love this moment! When you load up the car boot ready to work on your tan and you put everything carefully in your beach bag: a towel, suncream, a swimsuit. You turn on the ignition and you're off to the beaches of Velay.

Swimming in Velay

Velay is located near the sources of the untamed River Loire and the River Allier, making it a unique playground for whitewater sports. The beaches on the banks of the Allier and the Loire are ideal spots to spend the afternoon. Plenty of sand for sunbathing, picnic tables and rocks for a dive! In Monistrol-d’Allier, Vivier beach is an ideal, refreshing refuge. It is formed around a natural pool in the River Allier. This is a great place for a relaxing break just a step or two below the GR65 trail.

River Allier in Arlempdes

Swimming in Arlempdes

Golden sand, with a beach surrounded by greenery in a beautiful volcanic and granite setting: no doubt about it, you are in Prades. The beach is encircled by the River Allier, and the nearby hills are popular spots for swimming, canoeing and rafting.

River Arzon

Lavoûte-Polignac castle

How about a swim in a volcano? We have everything you need… Lake Bouchet, between the River Loire and the Allier, is a popular bathing spot and is lifeguarded in summer! It is a volcanic crater filled with water and where people come to soak up the freshness on warm summer days.

Practical information:

There are lifeguards on hand in summer at our beaches.

And what about the River Loire? I hear you say! The Loire is the longest river in France and has plenty of great places for a whitewater swim. From Lavoûte-sur-Loire, via Saint-Vincent and all the way to Chamalières-sur-Loire, the untamed, meandering River Loire has a whole host of walks and landscapes for visitors to relax and enjoy on the waterside.

Vivier beach is a refreshing refuge

Charlie, 42

“It’s an unusual experience to swim in such a wonderful river with a beach laid out beside it! The water temperature takes you by surprise a bit, but it’s a great spot to cool down and relax with your family.”

Juliette, 8

“I played in the sand with Louis, he’s my little brother. I prefer to come here, the sea stings your eyes!”

Raymond, 62

“I come to Lake Bouchet every summer because it’s a truly sublime setting. It’s almost as if I was a tourist, I am so amazed each time. I live in Cayres, so I don’t have far to come, but the landscape, the lake, everything is beautiful.”