Location and route
Château de Bussolles is located in the French department Allier (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region) at approx. 6 km from Lapalisse and 25 km from Vichy (approx. 45 minutes). The airport of Clermont-Ferrand is located at approx. 1.5 hours from the castle, Lyon airport (Saint-Exupéry) around 2 hours and Geneva airport lies about 3 hours away from the castle. You can drive to the Mediterranean Sea in around 4 hours and Paris is around 350 km to the north.
The main entrance to Château de Bussolles
The main entrance to Château de Bussolles
Route via Paris
If you are coming from (the direction of) Paris, choose (south of Paris) the A6 motorway (Autoroute du Soleil) in the direction of Auxerre. After Nemours this highway splits, you choose the A77 (direction Nevers). This is a wonderfully quiet highway. After Nevers, the A4 motorway becomes a national road: the N7 that you continue to follow (direction Moulins). After Moulins you follow the direction of Vichy, you are still driving on the N7. After a while you will arrive at Lapalisse, our ‘shopping’ town. At the large roundabout at the outskirts of Lapalisse you drive towards (the centre of) Lapalisse. This road descends to the town and ahead of you, you will see the majestic castle of Lapalisse in the distance (note: this is not Château de Bussolles!). At the junction at the bottom of this castle, take left, the D990A towards Bert and Barrais-Bussolles. This road winds through the town, stay on it for a little less than a mile (after about 300 m. DO NOT take the road to the left at the Barrais-Bussolles sign (D124)). On the other hand, take the next road on the left at the second sign Barrais-Bussolles (road without number, after about 50 m. you will also see a little sign that reads ‘Grattebine’). Follow this road for about 2.7 km (you will see a green waste container and the sign ‘Les Têches’, keep to the right there) up to the green fences of the castle and a large stone with the text ‘Château de Bussolles’ (see photos above). Drive up this driveway to the castle.
If you are coming from (the direction of) Luxembourg, follow the signs for Metz, Nancy, Dijon to Chalon-sur-Saône (A31). Near Chalon-sur-Saône, take exit 26 (‘Chalon Sud’) towards Montceau-les-Mines (N80 or E607). At the large roundabout near Montchanin you follow the direction of Montceau-les-Mines, this is the N70 or E607; after some time this will become the N79. At a certain moment you pass the beautiful city of Paray-le-Monial, and after just a few kilometers, you take exit 24 towards Lapalisse (this is the D994). You stay on this road and drive through the nice village of Le Donjon while staying on the D994 towards Lapalisse. If you leave Le Donjon, and after approximately 9 km. you will see a small name sign with Barrais-B. (Barrais-Bussolles) and Bert; take this exit (to the right) and drive for approximately 1 km. through the meadows until you reach a fork. Here you turn right towards the village of Barrais-Bussolles. Arriving in that village, at the main junction in the center (!), where you see a monument. Turn left here towards Château de Bussolles (there is a sign with the name of our castle). Follow this road for 4 km. until you arrive at a junction with a farm and the Bussolles chapel on your right. Drive straight on and after about 700 m you will see the entrance to Château de Bussolles on your left (see photos above). Drive up this driveway to the castle.
Route from Lyon
From the Lyon airport (Saint-Exupéry), the fastest route to the castle runs via the north side of Lyon, avoiding the hustle and bustle of the city and its ring road (périphérique). When leaving the airport, choose the direction of Lyon-Nord. You then follow the D517E. At the first roundabout, turn right (1st exit, ‘Toutes Directions’). At the next roundabout you go straight ahead (2nd exit, direction Lyon). After a few hundred meters on this D332 you will arrive at two roundabouts. Choose the direction of Geneva (A432) and keep the direction of Geneva and Lyon (A432) at the second roundabout. Follow the A432 highway for a while in the direction of Bourg-en-Bresse until the signs indicate Paris; you then follow Paris (and drive north). The A432 becomes the A46, direction Paris. After a few kilometers you follow the A466 in the direction of, among others, Roanne. Soon this highway turns onto the A6 (direction Lyon, so you drive south again) and from there you continue to follow the signs Roanne. You will arrive on the A89 (direction Roanne and Clermont-Ferrand). After approx. 60 km. take exit 33 for Roanne; the highway becomes the N82. You keep driving towards Roanne, the N82 becomes N7. You continue to follow this road, in Roanne you follow the signs for Lapalisse. This N7 changes here and there from a two-lane road to a four-lane road and after some time you choose exit 57, direction Lapalisse. At the first roundabout you drive straight on, the 2nd exit (direction Le Donjon). You follow this D990 and after 2 km you take the exit to the left (there is no sign, but to the right is the direction of Droiturier). After another kilometer, this road joins the D990A to Lapalisse; turn left towards Lapalisse. After approx. 1 km. turn sharp right into a small (paved) road, direction Moulin de Bussolles. Keep following this paved road (at a certain point you will drive between the three gîtes of Moulin de Bussolles) and after the next hill you will see the castle on your left. Continue for a few hundred meters and turn left through the gates of the estate.
Route from Clermont-Ferrand
If you are coming from (the airport of) Clermont-Ferrand, choose the A89 to the north (direction Riom). This highway becomes the A71 at a certain point and you then choose the A719 in the direction of Vichy (headed east). When you arrive at Vichy (actually at Super Bellerive-sur-Allier, west of Vichy), take the D6 towards Lapalisse. The D6 becomes the D67 and then the D907 and you continue to follow Lapalisse. After about half an hour you will arrive at the large roundabout at the outskirts of Lapalisse. Here you choose the direction of (the center of Lapalisse). This road descends to the town and before you see the majestic castle of Lapalisse in the distance (note: this is not Château de Bussolles!). At the junction at the bottom of the castle, choose the turn to the left, the D990A towards Bert and Barrais-Bussolles. This road winds through the town, follow it for a little less than a mile (after about 300 m. DO NOT take the road to the left at the Barrais-Bussolles sign (D124)). On the other hand, take the next road on the left at the second sign Barrais-Bussolles (road without number, after about 50 m. You will also see a sign with the name ‘Grattebine’). Follow this road for about 2.7 km (you will see a green waste container and the sign ‘Les Têches’, then keep to the right) up to the green fences of the castle and a large stone with the text ‘Château de Bussolles’ (see photos up here). Drive up this driveway to the castle.
You can find the castle in Google Maps etc. under ‘Château de Bussolles’.