Located at the centre of the old province of Bourbonnais, Allier, whose history is closely tied to that of the saga of the famous Bourbon dynasty, contains a significant built and cultural heritage, with castle forts, Romanesque churches, towns and museums all providing a reminder of its rich past. When it comes to nature, there's plenty to discover, and the area is ideal for outdoor activities: the Bourbonnais mountains for hiking, horse-riding and mountain biking; the Chouvigny Gorges for canoe-kayaking; the Riers Allier, Cher, Sioule and other waterways for a spot of fishing; the Tronçais Forest for a walk amid the ancient oaks and peaceful ponds... And to unwind after a day out visiting, there's nothing like a well-being session at the Thermal Baths in one of the three spa resorts in Allier!
At the heart of Auvergne, in the Massif Central, lies the magnificent Cantal, a favourite destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, paragliding or skiing! Between the majestic peaks of the Cantal Massif, located in the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park, the famous Truyère gorges dotted with lakes, and Margeride with its mysterious landscapes, nature is ever-present. Cantal also has a rich architectural, civil and religious heritage, with its many castles, churches and chapels, charming villages like Salers and Tournemire, listed among the most beautiful in France, and renowned towns like Aurillac, Murat and Saint-Flour. When it comes to gastronomy, the excellent AOP cheeses of Auvergne, the flavoursome meat from Salers, the traditional pounti and the delicious macarons from Massiac are a treat for food-lovers' taste buds!
A land of nature and hiking watered by the Loire and Allier rivers, the department of Haute-Loire is located in the heart of Auvergne, in the central-eastern part of the Massif Central. A lush, green destination shaped by volcanoes and rivers, Haute-Loire offers a huge range of outdoor activities through its Respirando quality label, such as hiking, mountain biking and horse-riding, whitewater pursuits, fishing, sailing, acrobatics courses in the forest and winter sports, all in magnificent, unspoilt landscapes that make it the ideal place to rest and recuperate.
It boasts a very rich architectural heritage, consisting of hilltop castles, Romanesque churches and picturesque villages, and numerous cultural activities take place there throughout the year.
Its local cuisine is another of its many attractions and will delight lovers of authentic gastronomy, exalted by its chefs and supported by local producers.
Consisting primarily of green countryside and home to two regional nature parks – the Auvergne Volcanic Regional Nature Park and the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park – the département of Puy-de-Dôme in the Massif Central mountain region of central France is the perfect destination for walking and outdoor activities. As well as its stunning unspoiled scenery, this département stands out for its wealth of châteaux and Romanesque churches, and towns and cities with a rich heritage, such as Clermont-Ferrand, Riom and Thiers. In addition to these myriad natural and architectural attractions, there are a number of spa and winter sports resorts where the emphasis is on well-being and fitness.