Aigurande viewed from the sky (Picture: Espace Diffusion)
First time stage. 1.950 inhabitants (Indre).
The name Aigurande comes from the Gaul Â« Equoranda Â»,meaning Â« border Â». Indeed, Aigurande lies between the departments of Indre and Creuse, between Berry and Marche. With a population of 1,715, Aigurande is part of the Marche Berrichonne metropolitan area and the La ChÃ¢tre en Berry region. All the basic shops and facilities can be found in the town, as well as many associations which play an active role in daily life. Farming and self-employed craftsmen make up the economic fabric. Nestled between the Creuse Valley and the Black Valley, a region dear to novelist George Sand, Aigurande is very much a place of water. The Bouzanne river rises here, the Vauvre meanders through the town and many wells can be seen in squares or at the back of courtyards. Proud of its gastronomy, Aigurande is reputed for its delicious crayfish to which a festival is devoted in August.
â€¢ Conseil gÃ©nÃ©ral de lâ€™Indre
â€¢ ComitÃ© dÃ©partemental du Tourisme du Cher et de lâ€™Indre
Sancy range and Pavin lake (Picture: O.T. Sancy)
Twice a stage town.
First hosted a stage in 1978; winner: Paul Wellens.
Most recently in 1996; winner: Rolf Sorensen.
Puy-de-DÃ´me ski resort.
1.850 inhabitants (Besse-and-Saint-Anastaise).
Super-Besse is a winter ski resort situated in the Sancy range, between 1,350 and 1,850 meters. It boasts 45 km of ski slopes (linked up to the 43 km of Mont-Dore resort), 240 snow blowers and a cross-country skiing domain. Located at the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes regional park, it also offers a wealth of summertime activities: sailing, windsurfing, swimming in Hermines lake, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking. The final of the Andros Trophy, a car racing competition on ice, is held here every winter. The Estive Festival, marking the migration of Salers cattle to their summer pastures, draws some 10,000 visitors. The medieval and Renaissance town of Besse and Saint-Anastaise, situated 7 km away, recalls a rich historical heritage. Its cobbled streets provide a welcoming and festive atmosphere the year around. The skiing museum has a collection of wooden tips from all over Europe.