The Auvergne region
The Auvergne is divided into 4 departments (counties): l'Allier, le Cantal, la Haute-Loire et le Puy-de-Dôme. discover each of them... !
With its five mountain ranges, the Auvergne, a region located in the heart of France, offers a permanent invitation to enjoy fun out in the snow. Its three listed resorts - Le Lioran, Le Mont-Dore and Super-Besse - and the presence of numerous Nordic ski areas allow for all kinds of winter fun. Whether as a family or among friends, have fun and relax in the Auvergne's highlands, on slopes which are neither too large or too small, from where you can admire the well-preserved natural setting.
The spirit of the Auvergne can also be experienced in its towns and cities. From Montluçon to Saint-Flour, not forgetting Clermont-Ferrand and Le Puy-en-Velay, the Auvergne's towns offer visitors an extremely diverse range of heritage sites and a distinctive character to be discovered. Blending in harmoniously with their natural surroundings, the towns throughout the Auvergne are ideal for urban tourism. Five towns in the Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand, Montluçon, Moulins, Le Puy-en-Velay and Riom - have been awarded the Villes d’Art et d’Histoire label (Towns of Art and History). The many festivals organised as part of this lively and open cultural scene clearly highlight the Auvergne’s renewed dynamism and vitality. The famous spa town of Vichy is a must-see destination in Auvergne. With a rich history, unique architecture, wellness spas, and of course shopping, Vichy is a great getaway destination.
With 9 Auvergne villages officially listed as “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (France's finest villages) we invite you to visit these picturesque sites and appreciate their distinctive identity at first hand. Each of them has its own unique charm, attractive heritage and rich history. They are often also home to numerous artists and craftsmen who continue the region's tradition of craftsmanship and art. Auvergne villages remain are some of the best persevered in France, in architecture, art and culture should take you back in to historic France.
Regional nature parks
Nature has certainly been generous in the Auvergne, in the form of two outstanding regional nature parks. Two marvellous havens of peace and freedom including rare animal species and a range of flora which is as dense and varied as it is abundant. More than just wild and unspoiled areas, the regional nature parks in the Auvergne provides valuable natural refuges, ideal for green tourism and sustainable tourism activities.
The Auvergne volcanoes regional park
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park is Europe's largest regional park and also one of the oldest, it was established in 1977. A huge park comprised of outstanding landscapes, fauna and flora, the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park (Parc naturel régional des Volcans d’Auvergne) also owes its distinctive identity to a rural society which has successfully preserved its ancestral know-how and culture, fully aware of the richness and fragility of its environment.
The volcanoes of Auvergne are a unique landscape in France. The most recent eruption of these young volcanoes was only around 8,000 years ago. The most famous are the puy Mary in the Cantal and the puy de Dôme, the highest of more than 80 volcanoes waiting to be discovered in the Chaîne des Puys mountain range, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Livradois-Forez regional park
You'll find the very best of Mother Nature in the Auvergne regional park, Livradois-Forez. The park is perfect for outdoor activities. As well as a rich variety of industrial characteristics, it contains a precious local heritage which has been carefully adapted and passed down from generation to generation with the same warmth and innovation. This is an impressive area with an unspoiled natural setting and one well worth a visit.
For further information on the region, you can visit the website; http://en.auvergne.travel/home-108-2.html and http://www.auvergne-tourisme.info/accueil-1-1.html