Halles de Chatillon sur ChalaronneHalles De Chatillon Sur Chalaronne
©Halles moyennageuses à Chatillon|Sandrine Ferrier

What to do in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne ?

Ideas for outings in the Ain

Discover one of France’s most beautiful markets, meet craftsmen, visit historic monuments, solve riddles as a family… There’s plenty to do in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne!

10 ideas for outings

in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne

1. Go to the Marché de Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne

Classified as an “exceptional market” in the national heritage, it brings together some sixty producers from all over the region on more than 300 meters of stalls.

What day is the Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne market?

Châtillon’s traditional market takes place every Saturday morning under Les Halles. Throughout the year, producers come one after the other to offer cheese, poultry, game, Dombes fish, meat and charcuterie, as well as takeaways. An area is also reserved for live poultry. An exceptional setting and quality products that have earned it the title of 3rd “Plus Beau Marché de France” in 2021!

A Bio Market, organized by Lunab, saw the light of day in 2020. Every Wednesday morning, you can find around ten organic producers under the covered market!

Where to park at the Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne market?

To find space easily, you can park in the AquaDombes swimming pool parking lot. The free Marguerite shuttle also takes you to the market from Espace Bel-Air, with round trips every 15mn. If you arrive before 9 a.m. or after 11.30 a.m., you’re sure to find space in the Post Office or cemetery parking lots.

2. Stroll around the medieval town

What’s there to see in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne?

The medieval town of Châtillon is well worth a visit! Take a stroll through Châtillon, and you’ll discover a town full of character and history, with numerous listed buildings, flower-bedecked bridges and lounging parks.

Nicknamed the “Little Venice of the Dombes” because of the many flower-bedecked bridges spanning the Chalaronne, Châtillon is a treasure trove of heritage treasures! Take the opportunity to discover the 13th-century Gothic church of Saint-André, the 15th-century Halles, the Maison Saint-Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), a Maison des Illustres, the Porte de Villars, a vestige of the fortified walls, the old hospital, the remains of the feudal castle, the cobbled streets with their half-timbered houses…

The tourist map

3. Solve riddles as a family

Family puzzle game in Châtillon

“L’évasion de Physalis” is a puzzle game in the medieval town of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne. The story takes place in 1766. Young and old alike will have to help Physalis, a 16-year-old girl with a passion for botany, to escape from the city and set off on a trip around the world.

It’s a great way to discover Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne and its historic past, while having fun as a family.

To play, simply buy a game bag, on sale at the Châtillon Tourist Office for €10.

Discover the Physalis game

4. Visit the old hospital and apothecary of Châtillon

Discover the hospice of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, an old hospital operating as far back as the Middle Ages and home to a wealth of treasures.

Let Eolia guide you through these walls, as she introduces you to the 19th-century woodwork, the 1814 apothecary with its Meillonnas earthenware and “the Triptych of Lamentation” dating from 1527.

Also take the opportunity to discover the jardin des Simples, a garden of medicinal plants, accessible via the courtyard of the former hospital.

The old hospital and apothecary.

5. Take an 11.5 km hike in Châtillon


Roam the medieval town of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne and its surroundings with this 11.5 km hike.
Discover the medieval streets, the‘Ancien Château, the natural area of the Prés Gaudet, the Relevant valley and the Arboretum. Avis aux amateurs de belles pierres et de nature!

6. Picnic in Châtillon’s parks

Where can you picnic in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne?

Enjoy the freshness of the trees in the Parc du Clos Janin, with tables and benches all around.

Several tables also await you at l’Arboretum de Châtillon, an ideal place to stroll, relax and recharge your batteries. Located 2km from the center of Châtillon, the Arboretum is the former property of a passionate arboriculturist, Henri Navel, and has now been transformed into a 12-hectare site featuring 353 remarkable trees.
As you stroll through the park, you’ll be able to read the signs identifying the trees, some of which are very rare and even endangered.
To get to the Arboretum, all you have to do is follow the signs with a bee. There’s plenty of free parking right in front of the entrance.
The Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne Arboretum is open free of charge 24/7.

It’s also possible to stop for a picnic on the bencheson the edge of the Prés Gaudet pond or in le Jardin des Simples where you can enjoy the view over the ramparts of the ancient castle.

7. Enter a world in miniature

A sense of wonder for young and old

For enthusiasts or lovers of model trains, for young and old alike, travel to the heart of a magical world made up of real and imaginary landscapes and scenes of life, all in miniature.

The Alps, Lyon, Provence, trains of all kinds passing through the landscapes, with many nods to the world of cinema. Can you see them all?

Allow an hour’s visit to appreciate all the hidden details of this Model Train Museum, located 20 meters from Les Halles.

The Miniature Train Museum

8. Discover the arts and crafts

Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne was awarded the “Ville et Métiers d’Art” label in September 2004. Our beautiful medieval town boasts several artisans whose workshops are on site or nearby. As you stroll through the town, don’t hesitate to push open the door of Châtillon’s artisans d’art. Vitraillistes (MOF), relieur, artisan sellier harnacheur, tapissier décorateur, sculpteur céramiste, bijoutière-joaillière… A host of exciting encounters await you with these fascinating professions, which combine ancient techniques and modern creations.

These artisans are members of a craftsmen’s association called ARTIS. This association brings together the artisans of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne and organizes the Potters’ Market under the Halles every two years.

The ARTIS Collective

9. Attend a horse race

Bel-Air, l’hippodrome de Châtillon

From March to June, come and discover horse racing at the Bel-Air racecourse in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne.

Depending on the discipline (trotting, flat or jumping), the track is between 1000 and 1325m in circumference, and the grandstands can accommodate up to 5000 spectators!

Rare moments to be experienced with family and friends!

More info on horse racing at Châtillon

10. Swimming at AquaDombes

Where can you swim in Dombes?

Located near the center of Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, AQUADOMBES is an aquatic center with several indoor pools and an outdoor pool with fun equipment for the whole family. There’s also a wellness area, accessible only to those over 18, with sauna, hammam and balneotherapy trail.

More info on AquaDombes

Outside Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne, you can also visit NautiDombes in Villars-les-Dombes.

Can you swim in the Dombes ponds?

It’s not possible to swim in the Dombes ponds, which are mostly privately owned and home to many coypu, carriers of Leptospirosis, a bacterial disease dangerous to humans.

We recommend bathing in the Rivière d’Ain at Châtillon-la-Palud, Villette-sur-Ain, Priay or Chambod. Be careful, however, as swimming is not supervised.

More info on AquaDombes

Why come to Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne ?

A getaway 1 hour from Lyon
See an exceptional heritage
A wealth of memories to create

Other ideas for activitie ?

Contact us

Dombes Tourisme

Place du Champ de Foire 01400 Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne

Contact us by email

Contact the office:

04 74 55 02 27

More experiences