Nantua is a fantastic combination of history, gastronomy and the great outdoors! Life in this big, peaceful town is centred around the surrounding mountains and the lake it was built alongside. In the town centre, the religious sites take centre stage and there are countless restaurants where you can come and taste the local specialities: 'quenelles' dumplings with Nantua sauce, served with a glass of Cerdon. This is most definitely a destination where the people know how to live well!

©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Tour des fècles de Nantua ©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Le Lac de Nantua depuis La Cluse et le belvédère de la Colonne - Flore Giraud ©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Nicolas GASCARD / Montagnes du Jura
Lac de Nantua Nicolas GASCARD / Montagnes du Jura
Aurélien Billois - BFC Tourisme
Nantua vue de la falaise

Nantua vue de la falaise

Aurélien Billois - BFC Tourisme
Berengere Morel - Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Sortie en catamaran sur le lac de nantua Berengere Morel - Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Tourisme Haut-Bugey©2014 Marc Chatelain
Abbatiale Saint-Michel de Nantua Tourisme Haut-Bugey©2014 Marc Chatelain
A stroll through the town

A town with so much to offer

Nantua has some pretty impressive surroundings. There are some spectacular walks to do around the staggering limestone cliffs of the highlands. In the centre, there is a legendary glacial lake, and a historic town centre with so much to see in terms of history, culture and gastonomy. 

Come and wander around this little town in the French department of Ain or follow the marked trails to explore the area. To make sure you don't miss anything important, go on a guided tour or follow the Circuit Découverte du Patrimoine (heritage sightseeing trail). Not-to-be-missed:

- The abbey-church of Saint-Michel, which houses a superb painting by Eugène Delacroix
- The Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation, showcasing the lives and battles undertaken by the men and women of Ain
- La Pierre neighbourhood and the medieval houses
- The Source de la Doye, right in the town centre
- The Tour de la Lâte, the last remaining section of the town's fortifications

Visit the Musée de la Résistance et de la Déportation
A closer look at

The abbey-church of Saint-Michel

Nantua's abbey-church of Saint-Michel, known as 'Cluny's older sister and daughter', is the biggest Romanesque monument in the department of Ain and it is thanks to this monument that Nantua is so well-known.

This superb abbey-church is made up of a church, a cloister and outbuildings, forming a religious architectural compound that is characteristic of the Cluniac abbeys.

According to legend, Saint Amand passed through the region and became captivated by Nantua and the surrounding area. He wanted to commit himself to a life of solitude and this place seemed to be the ideal location to build a monastery.

The magnificent sculpted marble angels in the Romanesque and Gothic-style choir are also worth a visit, but above-all, we recommend coming to admire the two treasures inside this monument:

- a one-of-a-kind painting by Eugène Delacroix (the world-renowned painting 'Liberty Leading the People')

- a classified organ with outstanding sound.

Find out more about the abbey-church
Ain Tourisme
Gastronomy

'Quenelles' dumplings with Nantua sauce

This recipe may feature in the top 10 of Lyon's regional specialities, but it was actually on the shores of Nantua Lake that it was first created.

Of course, the locals borrowed the recipe for the famous 'quenelle' dumplings of Lyon, from their neighbour. But they then added their own special, local touch, they used pike and European crayfish as their waters were brimming with these delicacies at the time.

Every year in autumn, Nantua pays tribute to this local speciality at the Fête de la Quenelle. 

Watersports

The magical Nantua Lake

The history of Nantua is largely intertwined with water.

Are you more of a water person?

The central point and the very nerve centre of the town is Nantua Lake, and there is a wide range of activities available here, so you'll always feel like you're on holiday: swimming in the turquoise-blue water, canoeing, fishing, sailing, paddleboarding and so much more.

Surrounded by staggering limestone rocks, and with waters of multiple shades, this unspoilt, classified site is always a hit with those looking to admire the superb natural environment.

... or a hiking person?

If you are more interested in hiking than splashing around in the water, you'll have some great views of the lake, Nantua and La Cluse from the Tour des Fècles up around the plateau overlooking the lake. This 9-km loop trail is recommended for those who are exploring the area for the first time because in just one glance, you'll see a big part of the entire Haut-Bugey, and if you're really lucky, you might even see some chamois.

All you have to do is start the climb up to the top!

Find out more about the lake and the activities in the area

To see and do in the surrounding area

Let's go to Cerdon!

Cerdon is a winegrowing village surrounded by steep hillsides, and is a bubbly, intimate place, just like its wines.

We recommend going for a stroll around the quiet, winding streets, where you will run into plenty of surprises, including a collection of fountains, little bridges, winegrower's houses, architectural curiosities from the Middle Ages, a church, former copper-smelting plant, and so much more.

Up in the heights of the village, the Tour de Carmier and its saint seem to watch over and protect the village.

A little further away, come to the entrance of the Grottes du Cerdon along a footpath through the undergrowth. You'll then be walking underground for about an hour, following an ancient river up to where it emerges in the middle of a cliff. From here you can admire a panoramic view of the vineyard!

The activities at the Grottes du Cerdon

Nicolas GASCARD / BFC Tourisme
Cheers!

The Bugey-Cerdon vineyard

When we hear the name Cerdon, we automatically think of the sparkling rosé bearing the same name. Bugey-Cerdon is a one-of-a-kind wine with the finest bubbles and froth and it is produced in the Bugey region in ten towns around Cerdon, in the French department of Ain. This sparkling wine has a low alcohol content and is made according to traditional methods, with no added sugar or yeast.

Come and meet the local winegrowers who are always delighted to open the doors to their wine-tasting cellars to curious visitors looking to find out more and taste the production!

Unveil the secrets of Cerdon

Ideas for sporty holidays around Nantua

Exploring the most beautiful villages of the Jura Mountains!

En résumé
A propos
Tour des fècles de Nantua ©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Le Lac de Nantua depuis La Cluse et le belvédère de la Colonne - Flore Giraud ©Agence Argo-Jérôme Pruniaux-Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Lac de Nantua Nicolas GASCARD / Montagnes du Jura
Nantua vue de la falaise

Nantua vue de la falaise

Aurélien Billois - BFC Tourisme
Sortie en catamaran sur le lac de nantua Berengere Morel - Haut-Bugey Tourisme
Abbatiale Saint-Michel de Nantua Tourisme Haut-Bugey©2014 Marc Chatelain