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Ideas for short stops between Clermont-Ferrand and Caen....

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At the end of of holiday in France we have to drive from near Le Puy en Velay to Caen for the night ferry back to UK. As this is too far to do in a day we are having an overnight in Massay, a tiny village between Châteauroux and Vierzon, west of Bourges.

We've plenty of time so I am looking for ideas of small and interesting places along the way where we can have a break and stretch our legs. We want to avoid large towns so are looking for some of the 'most beautiful villages in France'. We want to wander round, enjoying the old houses, the church and also the château (assuming there is one). We're not bothered about going inside unless they are 'romantic ruins'.

We don't need suggestions for lunch as this is bread and a banana eaten somewhere that takes our fancy.

So... From Le Puy we are considering a first stop for Puy de Dôme. I'm then looking for a couple of of ideas for stops between Clermont-Ferrand and Massay.

The next morning we'll probably visit Chambord as we won't have had time to do this earlier in the trip. I'm then looking for 2-3 ideas for a short break between there and Caen before catching the 8pm(ish) ferry.

I’ve been looking at the maps and rather going into overload and not knowing where to begin.

Help, please!

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