The Pêt d'Âne offers a magnificent view of the largest bend in the Loire river. The Monts du Lyonnais and the plain of Forez are also visible. A 3 km walking circuit offers the possibility of discovering the wood of Cierve. A fitted car park, educational panels on flora and fauna and an orientation table are available at the starting point. The site is a very nice spot for a picnic.

Le Pêt d'Âne
Donkey Pêt © Guillaume Masseron / RT

Before settling down in the vast reservoir of the Villerest dam, the Loire river hollowed out one of the largest meanders in its course at the level of the town of Vézelin-sur-Loire, formerly Dancé. The Pêt d'Âne site allows you to take in the entire meander with your eyes.

One of the must-see places in Roanne to visit alone, with family or friends! Moreover, the visit can continue with a walk in the woods of Cierve.

A spectacular panorama!


The origin of the name Pêt d'Âne : initially, it is the name of a thistle growing in the region "the donkey's step" which the equine loves. It was a rather arid ground favorable to the development of this thistle and taking into account the configuration of the abrupt landscape coming from the Loire a small joker said that the equines freed themselves on their arrival on the site.

Le Pêt d'Âne en famille
Donkey Pêt © Roannais Tourisme

Cordelle nautical base

The bird's-eye view allows you to discover the water sports located in Cordelle, just below the Mars campsite. Another campsite is on the other side, the Arpheuilles campsite. Moreover, boat fishermen are numerous as well as sailing and rowing enthusiasts. The base benefits from a natural setting, classified Natura 2000. Activities are accessible to all audiences: young and old, amateurs and athletes. The nautical base hosts the headquarters of the Loire Departmental Rowing Committee. A competition pool extends to the Pont de Presle in Bully and can accommodate high level competitions.

La CoPLe and community of communes of Vals and Isable are owners of this nautical base.

Le Pêt d'Âne à Vézelin-sur-Loire
Donkey Pêt in Vézelin-sur-Loire © Clo & Clem / RT

The story of Donkey Pêt

This natural site gives a bird's eye view of one of the greatest meanders of the Loire, which can be seen on all the maps of the Loire river between Forez and Roannais.

The plot on which this picnic area is located was acquired from a private individual by the Syndicat des Communes Riveraines de la Retenue du Barrage de Villerest in the 1980s.

Since this acquisition, visitors have come regularly to relax, stroll in the woods to the Loire, play boules, take a digestive break after a good meal in the restaurant… to extend the day.


In the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, in the Loire department, the Pêt d'Âne site is accessible by the departmental road 8 near Roanne then take the direction of Dancé via the D112. This site is located downstream from the village of Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire and upstream from the famous Château de la Roche


Pêt d'ane website
Le Pêt d'ane
42260 Vezelin-sur-Loire

+04 77 63 40 81 XNUMX

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L'avis de Marion

Marion's opinion

The gorges of the Loire are used to offering us a magnificent spectacle. One of the greatest meanders of the Loire, the Pêt d'Âne, is no exception. A place that soothes and relaxes me. Immersion in the wood of Cierve is relaxing, I appreciate the shaded space on this sunny Sunday. I take the time to do the 3 km loop, with little difference in altitude but with a steep climb at the finish (or at the start). I opt for the soft mode, on foot. This path is also passable by mountain bike. Along the way, I spot a raptor and a yellow bellied toad. Without counting all the kinds of varieties of flowers which make the happiness of my little niece.

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