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Le Lioran

Image: Lioran ski resort
France | Region: Massif Central

Le Lioran is a ski resort in the Massif Central located in the heart of the Cantal mountains, in the city of Laveissière. Its ski area, which evolves among forests and virgin peaks, is one of the best equipped in the Central Massif; in particular with the Plomb du Cantal gondola, emblematic of the resort.

Le Lioran ski resort features

 Located in the middle of a pine forest in the heart of the Cantal massif, the Lioran resort covers 150 hectares from 1160 to 1850 meters above sea level. Le Loiran is a perfect resort to visit with friends or family.

In an exceptional environment, you can enjoy skiing during the winter season; but also discover unspoilt nature, in the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Natural Park.

Thanks to its location on the Cantal volcano, the Lioran has a rich natural heritage. Altitude sectors (called summer pastures) run up to 1855 meters above sea level. From that altitude there are numerous peaks, including the Plomb du Cantal, Puy du Rocher, Bec de l’Aigle and Téton de Vénus; with a great variety of animal and plant species unique in the region. The typical characteristics of the area ease pastoral activity, earning the distinctive label ” Natura 2000” by the Cantal massif.

In the foothills of these mountains there is an immense coniferous forest, with a few beeches spreaded over the slopes. The resort spans over the communal forests of Lioran, Belles-Aigues and the Plomb du Cantal National Forest.

History of Le Lioran

The tourist potential of Le Lioran was quickly discovered and the first hotel (Hotel Daude) was built in 1896 followed by the luxurious Hotel des Touristes by the Compagnie d’Orléans 1899 (demolished in 2010). From the 19th century onwards, the Loire area saw its fame grow and bourgeois, intellectuals, poets, botanists and geologists began visiting it. This fame led, among other things, to the construction of the Notre-Dame de la Paix chapel in 1916 (nowadays in ruins).

During the 1906 winter, the small village witnessed the arrival of skiing. Even if history reveals that skiing in Auvergne was first introduced  in Besse, it is in Lioran where the activity really took off. The residents of Laveissière were the first to offer skis and monitors that indicated how to descend and use these devices correctly. The activity continues to develop with the creation of the Ski Club du Lioran in 1908. At this time several important competitions were organized in Le Lioran.

World War II temporarily stops the resort economical growing. During this period, the Lioran became a key point of resistance for the Battle of Lioran. In 1947, a first chair lift was created in Puy Massebœuf at the current location of the Massebœuf chair lift.

Layout of the slopes at the resort

Le Lioran is one of the largest tourist resorts in the Massif Central, with the largest number of trails (45 including 10 green, 15 blue, 15 red and 5 black). It has 19 lifts, including a gondola, 2 detachable chair lifts, 6 fixed chair lifts, 6 chair lifts, a Télébaby and 2 magic carpets; It is the largest area (150 hectares) of the Central Massif and also offers night skiing on 3 slopes and the snow park.

This family resort is aimed both to beginners (an area of two hectares with 2 magic carpets with a special forfait) as well as the most experienced (2 freeride areas in Font d’Alagnon and La Combe, a snow park with a telecord). In addition, it has a boardercross, a permanent slalom stadium and new trails for speed and snowkite. The resort has a huge network of artificial snow cannons, 240 cannons that cover the entire center of the resort and 30% of the ski area.

Cross-country skiing at Le Lioran

The nordic ski domain, north of the resort, includes a 3,5 kilometer classic and skating trail that runs from 1195 to 1300 meters; It is also accessible from Font d’Alagnon (commune of Laveissière). The access to this slope is free. The Nordic Prat-de-Bouc / Haute-Planèze area, south of Le Lioran, includes 70 km of classical and skating trails (12 tracks including 2 green, 5 blue, 3 red and 2 orange). They run from 1400 to 1670 meters and can be accessed from several points: Prat-de-Bouc (municipality of Albepierre-Bredons), Ché (municipality of Valuéjols) and La Planèze (municipality of Laveissenet).

The resort offers numerous activities: cross-country skiing, snowshoe routes, ice climbing, mountaineering, indoor skating rink, mushing, mats, walking routes, snowmobiles, quads, summer sledding, cinema, spa, biathlon, speed cycling, snowkite, ski joëring …

You can also visit the resort in summer

 Le Lioran resrot has the largest mountain biking area in the Massif Central. The Masseboeuf cable car and chairlift provide access to 16 mountain bike trails over 100 km (6 blue, 5 red and 5 black). In 2011, a Bike Park was built in Prairie des Sagnes and in 2012 the first pumptrack in France was built. Since 2019 the Rembebert chairlift is also open during summer.

For hiking, 640 km of marked and safe trails are offered throughout the massif. The Lioran is crossed by the Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle path, the GR 4 (connecting Royan with Grasse) and the GR 400 (Tour du Volcan du Cantal). The Plomb du Cantal gondola, the most popular tourist infrastructure in Auvergne, provides easy access to the highest point in the department. Also, the Rombière chairlift allows you to reach the top of the Puy Griou or Puy Mary.

For those who want to treat themselves or just hit the mountains for relax, the Kaïlan spa welcomes you with a heated pool (hydromassage jets, counter-current swimming, waterfall), sauna, hammam and treatments with essential oils.