Friday, October 30, 2009

Tour du France The Green Way in Limoges, Gueret and More

I am listing here the details on some of the tips I gave on New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth segment about traveling green along one of the Tour de France legs running right through the center of France from Limoges (in the Limousin region) to Issoudun (in the Centre region).

If you are looking for health food stores you will find a few in the cities of Limoges, Gueret and Chateauroux. The following list offers a selection of stores. Most of these close in the afternoons so if you are buying lunch it is safest to arrive before noon.
La Vie Claire, 9 rue Lansecot, 87000 Limoges; Tel: 05 55 307 671
Planete Nature, 15 rue Hoche, 87000 Limoges, Tel: 05 55 796 997 (off Place Marceau)
Rayons Verts, 11 rue Clouet, Limoges, Tel: 05 55 439 583
La Vie Claire, 4 rue de l’Eglise, 23000 Gueret, Tel: 05 55 528 547
Castel Bio, 15 rue Joseph Bellier, Chateauroux, Tel: 02 54 089 144
Espace Bio, Centre Commercial St Jacques, 36000 Chateauroux

Look for markets in Issoudun, Bourges, Gueret and other towns. In Gueret market days are Thursday and Saturday mornings.

You can lay your head down at the following green lodging possibilities.

Holiday Tipis in France has six tipis powered by solar electricity. Open from May 1st to August 31st, they serve local foods for breakfast included in the tipi charge, and optional dinners three evenings a week. Stays range from three to seven days and prices run from 170 to 350 euros per tipi depending upon length of stay. Located about fifteen minutes from Gueret. Holiday Tipis in France, 7 Folbeix, Ladapeyre, Creuse, France 23270; Tel: 05 55 809 026; Email:; Web site:

3 Place de Sarbres is a vegetarian bed & breakfast in a renovated 18th century house in the town of Felletin about an hour and forty-five minutes east of Limoges and one hour south of Le Creuse, considered the French Lake District. The apartment price ranges from 189-252 euros per week. Bed and Breakfast rooms are 50 euros a night and the vegetarian meals are extra. In Felletin the water comes from the mountains so it is like bottled water from the tap, and there is a micro brewery in the town. 3 Place de Sarbres, Felletin; Tel: 05 55 665 229; Email:; Web site:

Northeast of Gueret you will find Le Petit Pauliat, a rural gite rented by the week from Saturday to Saturday in a beautiful rural setting. Three kilometers from the town of Gueret is Le Labyrinthe Géant – a treat for labyrinthe enthusiasts. Le Petit Pauliat, 4 Pauliat, 03380 Treignat; Tel: 04 70 070 885; Email:; Web site:

There are numerous choices for excursions in the area. Listed here are a few recommendations.
Two hours west of Chateauroux you will find the stunning forty-five acre organic vineyard of M Louzeau Chateau de la Bonneliere just south of Saint-Lazare and Chinon.

A little farther – two hours and forty minutes from Chateauroux- or only one and a half hours from Tours is a beautiful fifty acre biodynamic vineyard, Chateau Tour Grise in Le Puy Notre Dame a town surrounded by almost 4000 acres of vineyards. Le Pinsonniere is a neighboring bed & breakfast in a renovated 17th century farmhouse serving local and organic foods.

For thermal baths you can go to Evaux-Les-Bains, a small spa and thermal bath town east of Gueret. More information is at the town web site:; and at the Web site for the baths:

Walking and biking routes include one of the Routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain (Route of St James), which runs through the region of Limousin, starting in Vezelay and heading south of Bourges towards Limoges and St Leonard De Noblat. Grand Randonee (GR) long distance walking routes in the area include the  GR 3 - see the Randonee Website and click on 18, 36, or 37 on the map for more information.

There is a Regional Natural Park in Brenne just west of Chateauroux between Limoges and Bourges.
Ninety kilometers south of Limoges the town of Brive-la-Gaillarde is home to a famous market where you can find local specialties including walnuts, mushrooms, truffles, apples and violet mustard. The market is held on Place du 14 Juillet and Place de Lattre de Tassigny on Tuesday and Saturday mornings from 8am to 12:30pm.

The Limousin region was home to a strong contingent of the French Resistance including the Maquis guerilla resistance fighters who worked to combat the Nazi controlled government in Vichy. In Brive-la-Gaillard you can find the Musée de la Resistance et de la Deportation Edmund Michelet (The Resistance & Deportation Museum), with memorabilia, artifacts and photographs from World War II and the French Resistance. Musée de la Resistance et de la Deportation Edmund Michelet (The Resistance & Deportation Museum), rue Champanatier, 19100 Brive la Gaillard; Tel: 05 55 740 608. Open every day except Sunday and holidays from 10am to 12pm/2pm to 6pm with free entrance.

Happy touring!

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