Most beautiful cities in Auvergne
Traveling in Puy de Dome you shouldn’t miss Ambert. This town would surprise you in many ways. A strange southern gothic church and its Renaissance style bell tower, a circular town hall, a museum dedicated to the cheeses bearing the town name and one of the best kept megalithic structures in Auvergne are part of what this town has to offer.
Main town of the Cantal county, Aurillac combines the charm of a small city in the countryside with a modern culture without denying nor its heritage neither its pre-mountain character. Delight your senses will local food, have a rest in the countryside, enjoy the richness of its cultural places and its international street theatre festival taking place in August.
This charming southern city expanded around the largest roman church of Auvergne, St Julien's Basilica, and is now a thriving city with a unique quality of life, a focus on protected wild life and many activities centered on nature and water which take place along the Allier River. You can also visit the lace exhibition as it is the regional tradition that you will also encounter in Le Puy-en-Velay.
A few hours from Paris, the central location of Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne is one of its major assets. The natural environment around the town is exceptional, around are the volcanoes of the Auvergne and Livradois Forez region and the beauty spots of the Puy de Dôme (highest volcano), Gergovie (former Gaulcapital) and Vulcania theme park. Clermont-Ferrand is also famous for its very special black stone architecture in the old city center which is best embodied by Notre-Dame du Port basilica.
Eat of the Allier county you will find the historic town of Montlucon built around the Ducs de Bourbon’s castle along the medieval town. There you will find numerous churches and gardens that keep its so special identity to this city.
Between the Loire Valley and Burgundy, only, the neighbourhood of Moulins is ideal for a relaxing holiday or weekend where you can enjoy cultural sightseeing and walks in the fresh air. Discover the rich architectural heritage of the cradle of the Bourbon dynasty walking in the city to wander back through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance but also heading to the chateaux and villages nearby.
South-East of the Massif Central mountains discover Le Puy en Velay with its unique location. The town has remained kept away from most of time damages including many wars and offers a unique blend of tradition, countryside, strong religious heritage and modernity. Don’t miss the Notre-Dame Cathedral dating from the 5th century was one of France's most important places of pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary in the 11th to 16th centuries and was listed as part of the world's heritage by UNESCO.
In the heart of Auvergne Riom provides a rich cultural heritage with Roman churches, middle Ages castles and old houses with wooden facades surrounded by a variety of landscapes including the Regional Park.
This medieval city was once the capital of Haute-Auvergne and offers a lovely street maze worth losing yourself in and where you will discover gothic churches, Saint-Pierre cathedraland many other monuments. Close by the city you could also have a look at the Viaduc de Garabit built by Gustave Eiffel.
Famous spa town, Vichy has a rich blend of architecture and parks showing how it has been well-known and appreciated for ages. With its opera and museums, Vichy is not only benefiting to your body but also to your brain in a unique location, caught between the Bourbonnaise moutain, Livradois-Forez regional park and Auvergne’s volcanoes regional park.