Between the Massif du Sancy and the Cézallier region, the small village of Compains stands on the ancient lava of Puy de Montcineyre at an elevation of 1,099 metres.
Compains are vast lands with basaltic plateaus scattered with lakes, peat bogs and pastures. Landscapes are wonderful and peaceful, a real paradise for hiking lovers.
From May to October, it is the summer pasture; you will meet a lot of cows in flowered meadows: breeds such as Abondance, Aubrac and Salers.
Compains is an agricultural land very active in cattle breeding. The whole of the municipality is in a protected zone where the Saint Nectaire cheese is king.
For nature lovers and fans of the great outdoors, this hike around Compains in the Cézallier is truly a feast for the senses.
The blue waters of Montcineyre lake and the green forests and pastures that surround it are a magnificent sight.
Listen to the birds singing around Bordes lake. Dotted with small islands forming a beautiful peat bog, this lake is of such outstanding natural wealth that it is protected by the French department of Puy-de-Dôme as a Sensitive Natural Area. Hunting and fishing are prohibited here in the interests of the roundleaf sundew, the Siberian ligularia, the dragonflies and the many migratory birds that stop here, such as the common snipe or the lapwing.
Did you know...?
The cool, damp climate of the Cézallier region and the terrain shaped by volcanic activity and glacial erosion have led to the formation of multiple peatland areas. Here you’ll find information on how a peat bog works.
The hiking trails around Compains are also an opportunity to learn about small built heritage.
Saint-Georges Church, listed as Historical Monument, it has a roman nave with two spans and a gothic heart with one span. Built again in 1822, the bell tower has an arrow covered with sweet chestnut shingles, common in this mountain area.
La chapelle Saint-Gorgon, a small chapel built in 1843, facing Montcineyre Lake.
Have you noticed those stone buildings with slate or flagstone roofs scattered across the summer pastures? These are mountain cabins known as “burons”. They were occupied by farmers from May to October when they turned fresh milk into cheese.
The town owns a wonderful heritage with amazing landscapes: a feudal clod and Brion’s hamlet. The fair camp of Brion gathers multiple old houses and welcomes several animal fairs since the 17th century.
Today, fairs are a bit less important but sharing a glass or a meal inside these typical old houses are a real pleasure.
Fairs were from the beginning of May until the end of October, the most frequented is during August 22nd
Brion is a stage on the itinerant circuit Le Tour des Vaches Rouges, a magnificent itinerary on the high plateaus of Cézallier.