Bagnoles de l’Orne - France

Introduction

In the South East of Normandy, The Orne District is an area  with a great variety of landscapes dotted with forests, stud farms and fine castles. It is a paradise for outdoor pursuits such as horse riding, rambling, golf and fishing. The charm and traditions of the region are well preserved.

Bagnoles de l'Orne is the jewel of the Normandy Maine Regional Park, halfway between the Normandy landing beaches and the Loire Châteaux, Paris and Mont Saint Michel. Cradled in the heart of the forest of Andaine, this centre of legends welcomes you to discover its mysteries and its history.

The legend of Artur and the “Knights of the Round Table” was first written down at the court of Alienor of Aquitaine, at Domfront some 12 miles to the west of Bagnoles de l'Orne.  Since that time, Bagnoles de l'Orne has inspired writers to locate the tales of “Lancelot du Lac”, here. Follow in the footsteps of this noble Knight and discover new aspects of this great theme of western medieval literature. (There is a guided tour)

The Natural Park of Normandy Maine was formed in 1975, contributing to the preservation of the flora and fauna, and the ecosystem of the forest. There are also 250 km of marked paths and tracks, for walking or mountain bike riding, winding their way through the forest of Andaine, where you may sight some red deers.

On a site chosen for its calm natural environment, with a hot spring renowned for its healing properties, a Résidence du Lac and a Casino for dancing, set in a park surrounding a lake, this was the birth of the modern tourism and the spa town. The creation of Spa Towns has seen Bagnoles de l'Orne develop along lines particular to a spa town. This has allowed the town to keep its rare and authentic architectural heritage,in a miraculously unspoined site.  Theuse of local materials by the town's architects - granite and sandstone, slate from north Mayenne, tiles from Calvados and wood for balconie - all lend a particular style and charm to the "Quartier Belle Epoque".

At the turn of the 21st century, Bagnoles de l’Orne is the ideal town to spend your holidays in one of the 38 hotels or in the pleasant campsite. A wide range of activities is offered: Casino, equestrian centres, golf course, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pool, County Fire Brigade Museum… To entertain you, you will enjoy the Danse Festival in June, the Street Theatre Festival all the summer, the marvellous Fireworks in July & August, Horses Races and many others events.

Come to try the SPA Centre, hire a bike to visit the green countryside and the flowered town. The best way to discover the town is to be in a horse drawn carriage.

At least, land of history, legends, culture and sport, Bagnoles de l'Orne is also a place for gourmets. First start by a Pommeau then take time to taste the local specialities such as Tripe on skewers from la Ferté Macé, black pudding, or Andouille from Vire, continue with a piece of Camembert or Pont l’Evêque cheeses. Do not forget to taste the loaclcider during your meal and after a few glasses of Calvados with some famous macaroons from Lenoir’s Pastry.

In the autumn, with the first fall of leaves, pick mushrooms in the forest of Andaine: Bolets, Cèpes de Bordeaux and Angels Trumpets. Restaurant Chefs in the resort will willingly demonstrate their “savoir-faire” in showing you how to prepare and cook your gatherings. And if you want to learn to cook take some  Traditional Foie Gras Making cookery courses.

Water sources

Today the acidic aquamarine waters of the “Grand Source” are sought after for the treatment of rheumatism, osteo-arthritis, circulatory and vein problems and gynaecology. Aside from the medicinal qualities of the water, its constancy and quality are the key to the success of the spa. 

 

 

Facts and figures

 

  1. Arrival (2009) -  1 million
  2. Tourist attendance (2009) - 15,000 at the tourist office
  3. Medium stay length (2009)  2/3 days and 21 day cures
  4. Brief report on the tourist flow in the last five years - constant level
  5. Other forms of complementary tourism - spa fitness
  6. Arrivals and attendances of spa tourists - 10,000
  7. Accomodation capacity (number of hotels, total number of beds and hotel calssification (stars)

  15 hotels with 600 rooms from 1* to 4*

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