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Besse et Saint Anastaise - a mediaeval village in the mountains

The village of Besse et St Anastaise is found in the outstandingly beautiful mountainous Puy de Dôme area of the Massif Central. Besse is mediaeval and peaceful, yet within six kilometres of the excellent ski resort of Super Besse, making it an ideal location for skiers who wish to avoid the often over priced resorts of the Alps.

Pretty and peaceful

Besse et St Anastaise is a very pretty village, full of mediaeval charm. Wander the quaint, winding streets, sit for a while in the ancient squares with their sparkling fountains, drink in the clear mountain air and enjoy the charming atmosphere of this very genuine little mountain town. There is a traditional street market held every Monday, and this is an event that any Francophile should not miss, with colourful stalls, great local produce and a host of bric a brac that you will probably find you simply have to buy!

Shopping and dining

Just because you are in the mountains and the village has a tranquil, rural feel, it doesn't mean that you have to give up all the pleasures and comforts of life. Besse et St Anastaise has a lovely collection of shops, and also some excellent restaurants where you can enjoy the specialities of this unique region.

Other things to do in Besse et Saint Anastaise

If you have shopped 'til you have dropped, and eaten your fill, there are still things to see and do in the town before you head for the ski resort. Besse has a castle, mediaeval and renaissance churches and various museums to visit, as well as the deepest volcanic lake in France!

Skiing and other sports

One great advantage that Besse et St Anastaise has is that it is just some six kilometres away from the excellent ski resort of Super Besse. Winter sports are very popular here, and because the region is not as well known to skiers as the Alps or even the Pyrénées, you may find that skiing is less hassle than usual, with shorter queues for the lifts, less people in the resort cafés and hire shops, and a whole new ski area to discover. Of course, if skiing isn't the be all and end all of your life, you can find good hiking, mountain biking and pony trekking in the area too, so all members of the family should be happily occupied.

How to get there

Unfortunately, the airport of Clermont Ferrand doesn't offer direct flights to the UK, so you will have to fly into Lyon, St Etienne or Limoges unless you want to take more than one flight to get to your destination. Lyon is served by Air France, British Airways, easyJet and bmi; St Etienne by Ryanair; and Limoges by Ryanair and flybe. The new airport soon to open at Brive la Gaillarde maybe another useful option, or there is of course Paris, a little further away but it has the advantage of having easy links to services which will get you to Clermont Ferrand. If travelling by road you will find Besse et St Anastaise from the A89 or A75, and if travelling by train, the TGV stops at Clermont Ferrand.

Property prices and availability in and around Besse et Saint Anastaise

It really is still possible to grab yourself a bargain ski property in this lesser known part of France, so if the budget is a little tight, forget the Alps and head for Besse et St Anastaise.

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Besse et Saint Anastaise AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Besse et Saint Anastaise?

Besse et Saint Anastaise is located in the very heart of France, on the Massif Central. It lies in the south-west of the Puy de Dôme department.

Besse et Saint Anastaise Property Map


Auvergne Guide

Auvergne Property Map


Puy-de-Dôme Guide

  Puy-de-Dôme Map

Population: 1,672

Access: By air: Fly to Lyon, St Etienne or Limoges. By rail: The TGV stops at Clermont Ferrand making the train another option. By road: The nearest major roads are the A89 and A75.

Economy: Besse et Saint Anastaise is close to the ski resorts of the Massif Central, so tourism is a major factor in the economy.

Interesting fact: The Super Besse ski resort is just six kilometres from the village.

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