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A holiday home in a former volcanic area, waking up with a view of the green hills and close to home? That's possible when you choose a holiday home in the Auvergne! An area in the middle of France with a beautiful hilly landscape. The Auvergne consists of the four departments of Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Puy-de-Dôme. Although Auvergne is a large region, only 2.5% of the total French population lives there. This means that there is enough space to let nature do its own thing and that doesn't have to be said twice!
The Auvergne region has a very unique and green landscape with many natural meandering rivers and streams. The river L'Allier flows through Auvergne and eventually ends up in the Dutch Meuse. A holiday home in Auvergne has as a bonus that it is located on the Massif Central. This is an old volcanic area and the volcanoes are still visible. The volcanoes are no longer active. Because there are still many remains from this historical period, it is a very special place to visit.
For whom is a holiday in Auvergne suitable?
A holiday home in the Auvergne is a suitable choice for both winter sports enthusiasts and active holidaymakers: in winter you can ski on almost all the mountains and in summer the mountain bikers and hikers have the area for themselves. There are also electric bikes for rent, so you and your family can enjoy all the beauty that Auvergne has to offer. Auvergne is therefore a suitable place to go on holiday with your children.
Are you more someone who loves to enjoy nature and also old villages, castles or other historic sites to visit, then a nature house in Auvergne is also something for you. A few kilometres from your nature house in Auvergne you will find beautiful old villages and towns. This is because the Auvergne was an important and rich city in the Middle Ages. At that time, many large castles and cathedrals were built that are still visible today. Many say that the churches in Auvergne are the most beautiful in all of France. This is due to the combination of the special architectural style and the beautiful natural location.
What are the characteristics of the four departments?
Each of the departments of the Auvergne has its own special characteristics. If you like wild nature and unique birds, then Allier is the best choice for you. This department has over 250 different bird species that you can see and hear when you are enjoying a glass of wine in the garden of your holiday home in Allier. Allier has a rich history of dukes and nobles. So it is not surprising that Allier consists of more than 500 castles! The most beautiful places to visit are Sioule and the castle of La Palice. The Sioule is a meandering river through the green landscape and is suitable for hiking and fishing. The castle of La Palice is a castle from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. This castle is characterized by its large size. Since 1430 the same family inhabits this castle.
Are you more of the artisanal French cheeses and do you not find it a punishment to walk or cycle through the quiet nature, then Cantal is the best choice for you. Cantal is best described as a large natural park. Beautiful locations for walking in this area are Mandailles-Saint-Julien and Le Claux. Mandailles-Saint-Julien is a municipality with many mountains, waterfalls and volcanoes. Wherever you are in this municipality you will be amazed by the beautiful nature so close to home. Le Claux is also a municipality in Cantal and is especially suitable for the active holidaymaker and for families with children. There are many activities in this municipality, such as paragliding, skiing and hiking. From one of the mountains that this municipality counts, you can safely paraglide.
If you would like to meet the inhabitants of France, visit the magical medieval villages and if you also want to stay on an important pilgrimage route, then the historic department of Haute-Loire is an excellent choice for you. In the city of Le-Puy-en-Velay you will find beautiful cathedrals and monasteries. It is also a sacred city and an important hub for pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela. Haute-Loire can be described as a piece of Middle Ages in French nature. A beautiful medieval cathedral is Le Puy Catedral. This is a Romanesque cathedral with beautiful frescoes in it. In Haute-Loire there are plenty of castles and fortresses to visit in order to get to know the interesting history of this department.
If you find it more interesting to have a closer look at a piece of geological history, then Puy-de-Dôme is the right place for you. Puy-de-Dôme is a paradise for hikers, cyclists and others who want to enjoy the landscape. Wherever your holiday home in Auvergne is located, you'll always see the tops of the former volcanoes. Special hiking trails have been created, so that these mountains can also be climbed by holidaymakers with children, and you'll enjoy the view every step of the way. The most beautiful places to visit in this department are Clermont-Ferrand and Mont-Dore. Clermont-Ferrand is the capital of this department and has many old buildings and monuments. There is also a market where you can taste the specialties of the region, but of course the market is also a pleasant place to walk through. Mont-Dore is a municipality in Puy-de-Dôme and consists largely of old volcanoes and mountains. In the summer you can make a bike ride on the trails and in the winter this area is transformed into a ski slope. Mont-Dore is popular because of its natural hot springs. In the winter you can certainly stay here if you are not a fan of the cold.