Departments: Charente, Charente-Maritime, Corrèze, Creuse, Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Deux-Sèvres, Vienne, Haute-Vienne.

Population: 5.9 million

Prefecture: Bordeaux

Surface area: 2 011 km2

Specialities: Bordeaux wines, Cognac, Armagnac, Espelette chilli pepper, Périgord walnuts, Marmande tomatoes, oysters from the Arcachon basin, Salers meat, Aquitaine cows, Bayonne ham, Pauillac lamb, Bordeaux canelés. Goose, duck, pommes sarladaises, poulet basquaise, garbure, lamprey. Black truffle.

Sports clubs: Girondins de Bordeaux (football), Stade montois, Union sportive dacquoise, Aviron bayonnais, Union Bordeaux Bègles Atlantique, Stade rochelais, CA Brive Corrèze Limousin, Section paloise, Biarritz olympique, SU Agen (rugby union), Elan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, CSP Limoges (basketball).

Competitions: Tour de France, surfing at Lacanau (Lacanau Pro) and Biarritz. Tour du Limousin.  

Festivals: Bayonne festival, Dax festival, Madeleine festival in Mont-de-Marsan, Francofolies festival in La Rochelle, Angoulême comic book festival, Brive book fair, Nuits de nacre in Tulle, Grand Pavois in La Rochelle, Garorock in Marmande, Cognac crime film festival.

Economy: Bordeaux wines, Cognac and Armagnac, aerospace industry, biotechnologies, chemicals, scientific research. Image and digital sector. Agri-food industry. Port of Bordeaux. Tourism. Universities.

Sights: Bordeaux, Saint-Émilion, La Rochelle, Biarritz, Bassin d'Arcachon, Dune of Le Pilat, Lascaux caves, Futuroscope Poitiers, Lacanau beaches, Biarritz, Biscarosse, Hourtin, Carcans, Soulac-sur-Mer, mouth of the Gironde, Bordeaux vineyards, Dordogne châteaux, Château de Pau, Pyrenees, Ile d'Oléron, Ile de Ré.  

Websites and social networks:


Population: 113,106

Prefecture: Guéret.

Sub-prefecture: Aubusson.

Surface area: 5,565km2

Specialities: Creusois cake (madewith hazelnuts), Creusois fondu (a cheese-based dish), Limousin apples, Limousin beef.

Sports clubs: Entente sportive Guérétoise (football), Rugby Club Guérétois Creuse, Creuse oxygène (cycling), Cercle cycliste Mainsat-Evaux.

Competitions: Trail du Loup Blanc, Mornay Festival, Dun-le-Palestel cycling criteriuml, 10 hours of Vassivière (paddle).

Culture: International Tapestry City (Aubusson), Guéret museum (undergoing renovation), Scénovision, Bridiers fresco, Musique à la Source festival.

Tourist attractions: Lake Vassivière. International Tapestry City at Aubusson, Château de Jouillat, Château de Boussac, Château de Crozant, Gargilesse, Evau-les-Bains (spa), Giant Labyrinth at Guéret.

Economy: agriculture (livestock), forestry, crafts (Aubusson tapestry). Green tourism.

Websites and social networks:,

Creuse has a lot to offer: artistic sites steeped in history, villages with character, gardens, châteaux, etc. The thousand-faceted nature of Creuse means you are sure to be blown away by remarkable sites like Étang des Landes, a national nature reserve, Pierres Jaumâtres, an unusual natural site with a pile of some forty granite boulders. Whether on the water's edge or in its valleys and forests, Creuse is a remarkable setting for nature sports, starting with cycling in all its forms (Tour de la Creuse, mountain bike Grande Traversée, Espace Gravel FFC, etc.), but also on foot along signposted trails. The rivers and lakes, particularly Lake Vassivière, are ideal for water sports.   A wealth of culture   The International Tapestry City in Aubusson is one of the jewels in the crown of the department. Here you can discover a whole section of the history of this ancestral art form, as well as numerous links with contemporary art, including works on the creations of Tolkien and the imagination of Miyazaki. In the north-west, visitors can explore the Valley of the Painters, which inspired great Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet.

Km 7


Born in the commune in 1925, Bernard Chevallier, nicknamed Cheval, spent his entire rugby career with AS Montferrand: he won 26 caps for the French national team as lock and won the Five Nations Tournament twice (1954 and 1955). The church of Saint-Laurent was listed as a Historical Monument in 1935 and features paintings by Italian Baroque master Giovanni Domenico Lombardi.  

Château de Châteaubodeau

Construction: 15th century.

Style: medieval.

History: the southernmost property of the Châteaubodeau family, originally from the Bourbonnais region. In 1991, the château and its grounds were used for the filming of Alain Corneau's Tous les matins du monde (All the Mornings of the World). Belgian opera singer José van Dam was a long-time resident of the château, which was owned by his wife. He organised classical music events there.

Characteristics: the buildings are generally well preserved and the surrounding wall is still standing. Characteristic masonry features include the machicolations and marlstones on the drawbridge. Inside the main building are vast rooms and a large wooden fireplace, carved around 1650.

Km 11.7


Auzances was one of the five castellanies of the barony of Combrailles, whose capital was Chambon-sur-Voueize. During the Hundred Years' War, the medieval stronghold was taken by the English in 1357. The castle was demolished in 1830. The remains of a Gallo-Roman villa, listed as a historical monument in 1991, can be found in the commune. Jean Taillandier, goalkeeper for the French national football team in 1960, was born in Auzances.


Population: 662,285

Prefecture: Clermont-Ferrand

Sub-prefectures: Ambert, Issoire, Riom, Thiers

Surface area: 7,970 km2

Specialities: cheeses (Bleu d'Auvergne, Fourme d'Ambert, Saint-Nectaire, etc.), Billom garlic, AOP Auvergne wines (Chanturgue, Chateaugay, Boudes, Corent, Madargue), honey, etc.

Sports clubs: ASM Clermont Auvergne (rugby), Clermont Foot 63 (L2), JA VCM Basket (Pro B).

Competitions: Andros Trophy (car racing), Mondial des Volcans (petanque), Cross  of Volvic, "Les Copains Cyfac" gran fondo, French Disabled Sports Championships (table tennis), Pole Vault All Star meeting, French Championships and National Challenge (BMX), Mont-Dore hill-climb (car racing), etc.

Festivals: international short film festival in Clermont-Ferrand, Europavox, Jazz en tête, Jazz aux sources in Châtel-Guyon, International World Dance and Music Festival in Issoire, Coutellia in Thiers.

Tourist sites: Puy de Dôme Grand Site, panoramic train, puy de Sancy, Vulcania, Lemptégy, l'Aventure Michelin, Gergovie battle archaeological museum, ASM Experience, Ceramic Museum Lezoux, Cutlery Museum in Thiers and Richard de Bas Museum in Ambert, La Toinette Museum in Murat-le-Quaire, Murol Castle, spa towns (Royat, Le Mont-Dore, La Bourboule, Chateauneuf-les-Bains, Chatel-Guyon)...

Economy: tyres (Michelin), agri-food (Limagrain, mineral water), metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, aeronautics, spa treatments, tourism.

Websites and social networks

Km 28.2


Montel de Gelat was the centre of an important seigneury. In 1224 it belonged to William, Count of Clermont. The Ventadours, the Auberts (one of whom was Pope Innocent VI), the Daillons and then the Roquelaures followed in their footsteps.  In 1738, the castle passed to Charles Louis of Lorraine through his marriage to Elisabeth de Roquelaure. The seigniorial castle still exists but has been extensively altered. In the 16th century, Renaissance windows were added to a tower.  

Church of Saint-Mamert

Construction: 14th and 15th centuries.

Style: Gothic.

History and characteristics: according to tradition, the church was built by Guillaume Aubert, Lord of Montel-de-Gélat, at the request of his brother, Pope Innocent VI, who died in 1362. The building comprises a nave with no side aisles, which is rare in Auvergne, a three-sided choir and two 15th-century side chapels forming a false transept. The most remarkable feature is the main doorway, which features a series of arcatures set on columns with capitals composed of heads and alternating floral motifs. The bell tower was added in the modern era.

Listed as: historical monument since 1982.

Km 50.2


Standing on its basalt hillock at an altitude of 830 m, Herment is the first volcanic foothill in the west of the Puy-de-Dôme department. The backdrop is the Monts Dore, the Monts Limousin and the Plomb du Cantal. From the Promenade des Murs, a protected site that encircles the town on the site of the old ramparts, you can enjoy an exceptional view over five departments. Fortified in 1140 by Count Robert III of Auvergne, Herment is a small medieval town built around its 12th-century collegiate church. A number of monuments and buildings of note can also be seen.  

Collegiate church of Notre-Dame d'Herment

Construction: 12th and 13th centuries.

Style: Romanesque and Gothic. 

History and characteristics: built between 1145 and the early 13th century by the cathedral chapter of Clermont on land donated by Robert III, Count of Auvergne, the collegiate church, with its Romanesque-Gothic transition, is unique in Auvergne. The master builder's inspiration reflects influences from the Limousin Romanesque period. The collegiate church is the third largest Romanesque building in the Puy-de-Dôme department. It contains several items that are listed as historical monuments, including a bas-relief, the Virgin of Pity, a baptismal font and paintings on the west door.

Listed as: historic monument since 1862.

Km 64.6


In July 1944, following an attack on a German convoy by the Resistance, 23 hostages, including the mayor of Bourg-Lastic, were executed on the spot by the Germans. Six other Resistance fighters were shot a month later, including Georges Monéger, leader of the Secret Army of Corrèze and a companion of the Liberation. In 1962, Bourg-Lastic housed more than 4,000 harkis (Algerians who fought for France) in a transit camp set up in the commune.

Km 72.3

MESSEIX (POP: 1,020)

Saint-Pierre church (13th century) has been listed as a Historic Monument since 1916 in particular for its Gothic portal. The town was famous for its coal mine, now disused and converted into a museum. Another museum reconstructs a school from the early 20th century. 

Minerail Museum

Opening: 1990.

History: the coal mined in the coalfield is anthracite from the Massif Central coalfield. Mining began on a small-scale in the 18th century to supply the local stoking industry. Mining became industrial in the 19th century and the Messeix concession changed owners several times. The Saint-Louis shaft was sunk to a depth of 740 metres between 1923 and 1928. In 1946, the company was nationalised as part of Houillères du Bassin d'Auvergne, a division of Charbonnages de France. The mines closed in 1988. The Minérail association was set up in January 1990 to preserve the site of the Saint-Louis shaft and turn it into a museum.

Characteristics: several models are housed in the hot chamber and other pit buildings. The headframe and mining machine buildings house tools and machinery. A tourist mining train runs around the pithead.

Km 89.6


Lake Bort-les-Orgues

Lake Bort-les-Orgues is a 10.72km2 man-made lake in France, created by the Bort-les-Orgues dam on the upper reaches of the Dordogne between 1942 and 1952. It marks the entrance of the river into its gorges. The 21km-long lake is shared between the departments of Corrèze (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), Cantal and Puy-de-Dôme (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes). It is the third-largest dammed lake in the Massif Central, and the thirteenth-largest artificial lake in France.


Population: 144,379

Prefecture: Aurillac              

Sub-prefectures: St Flour, Mauriac

Surface area: 5,726 km²

Specialities: 5 PDO cheeses (Cantal, Salers, Saint-Nectaire, Bleu d'Auvergne, Fourme d'Ambert), charcuterie (sausage, pâté, fritons, local ham....), truffade (made with potatoes and Tome du Cantal), pounti (a sweet and savoury flan with prunes), bourriols (pancakes), Cornet de Murat, Tarte à la Tome (desserts), Gentiane Couderc, Avèze, Salers, Le Birlou, Le Tonton (aperitif and liqueur), Croquants de Salers and de Trizac.

Sports clubs: Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne (rugby, Pro D2), Football Club Aurillac-Arpajon (women's Ligue 2, men's CFA 2), Saint-Flour Handball (N1).

Competitions: Ultra Trail of Puy Mary-Aurillac, La Pastourelle (hiking, mountain biking, running), Marcolès International Cycling Criterium, l'Etape Sanfloraine (gran fondo) and L'Antonin Magne (gran fondo).

Heritage: Puy Mary, villages of Salers and Tournemire, St-Flour, 8 "small cities of character", Garabit Viaduct built by Gustave Eiffel, Chaudes-Aigues and the Par spring with water at 82°, Le Lioran ski resort, Châteaux of Val and Anjony, Lake Saint-Etienne Cantalès.

Festivals: International Street Theatre Festival in Aurillac, High Lands Festival (St Flour), Hibernarock, Madcow festival, Boogie-Woogie festival in La Roquebrou (7-11 August 2024), Chestnut Fair in Mourjou (October), Fête de l'Estive in Allanche (25 May), Les Européennes du Gout in Aurillac (5-6 July).

Economy: agriculture, 4-season tourism, spa tourism, agri-food industry, crafts, manufacture of furniture, plastic packaging, pharmaceutical products and umbrellas. Production and distribution of industrial and medical gases.

Websites / FB / www.cantal-destination.comwww.lelioran.comwww.puymary.frhttp://www.caleden.com /     

Cantal is a land of many facets. Around its volcanic mountain range, the great glacial valleys create a varied landscape of high plateaux and breath-taking gorges. A land of terroir par excellence, it has managed to preserve its know-how over the years, particularly in cheese production: it is the leading French department in terms of the number of PDO cheeses. Cantal cheese, for example, is produced today as it was in the 18th century. As for meats and cured meats, they receive the utmost attention from rearing through to processing and sale. Here, time is given and respected so that quality can delight the most discerning taste buds with the many specialities on offer from the small bistro to the gourmet restaurant. Last but not least, Cantal is not just a region full of memories, it's also full of riches to discover and unusual places to visit (the Garabit Viaduct, châteaux, typical villages and old buildings with their robust architecture). It also has a rich cultural heritage, including the Aurillac Street Theatre Festival, which has gained international renown.

Km 102.9

LANOBRE (POP: 1,370)

Lanobre is home to the northern part of the Bort-les-Orgues dam and the end of the lake created by the reservoir. The picturesque Château de Val stands proudly above the lake.  

Château du Val

Construction: 14th and 15th centuries.

Style: medieval. 

History: Guillaume IV d'Estaing, chamberlain to King Charles VII and governor of Rouergue, bought Val and had the present château built. The d'Estaing family lived there until the 16th century. A number of families then occupied the castle, including the d'Arcy family. In 1946, the property was expropriated for the construction of the Bort-les-Orgues dam. The d'Arcy family took the château's furnishings with them. In the end, the château was not sunk, but it was looted by burglars in 1949. In 1953, EDF sold it to the town of Bort-les-Orgues for a symbolic franc. Today, it is a tourist attraction that can be visited.

Characteristics: Val castle was built on the foundations of a 13th-century castle. It consists of a tall rectangular main building closely flanked by six corner turrets crowned with machicolations and topped with a pepper pot roof. The corner tower of the outbuildings, added in the 15th and 17th centuries, is a vestige of the 13th-century enclosure.

Special features: every summer, an exhibition of contemporary paintings is held here. It is customary for the artist to sketch the site of the château. A vast collection has been built up (Bernard Buffet, Franz Priking, Jean Commère, Eugène Baboulène, Frédéric Menguy, Gabriel Dauchot). The château has been used on several occasions for film shoots, including André Hunebelle's Le Capitan in 1960, starring Jean Marais and Bourvil.

Listed as a historical monument since 1946.

Km 108.6


A small, industrious town, Bort built its prosperity on leather, then textiles, before being hit like others by deindustrialisation. The dam installed on the Dordogne and the resulting reservoir have encouraged the development of tourism, which has yet to be fully exploited. The local rugby union club, AS Bortoise, played at the highest level of national rugby in the 1950s and was even the club of one of the legendary props of the French national team, Amédée Domenech, who made his debut here while working on the dam under construction. Bort owes its suffix to the "orgues" (organs) that tower above the town and owe their shape to cooled volcanic flows. A 19th-century wheat market (listed building) and a Tannery Museum bear witness to the town's active past. Famous names born in Bort include actor Pierre Tornade (1930-2012) and footballer Daniel Dutuel, who played for Auxerre, Marseille, Bordeaux and then Celta Vigo. In 2023, the town hosted a stage of the Tour du Limousin, won by Romain Grégoire.

Km 117.4

YDES (POP: 1,620)

At the heart of a coalfield, Ydes is renowned for its rich industrial history of coal mining. Coal has been mined here since the Middle Ages, and industrial production took place between 1842 and 1959, providing a major boost to the local economy. The Lapeyre group still has a historic production site here. This industrial past can still be seen in the working-class town of Fanostre.  

Church of Saint-Georges

Construction: 12th century.

Style: Auvergne Romanesque.

History: initially a Templar commandery, the church passed to the Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem in 1313.

Characteristics: the deep portal appears to be modelled on that of Saint-Pierre de Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne abbey. It is unusual in that it features two rarely linked scenes on the north and south walls. On the north wall, a scene from the New Testament: the Annunciation depicting the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. On the south wall, a scene from the Old Testament: Habakkuk, carried by an angel, brings food to Daniel in the lion's den. The signs of the zodiac have been carved on the archivolt of the porch. The portal can be dated to the end of the 12th century.

Listed as: historical monument since 1962.

Km 138


One of the first strongholds of the powerful de Noailles family, who owned the Château de Chambres, whose main building, flanked by three towers, has been preserved and altered at various times. The 12th-century chapel has been converted into a school hall.

Km 144.8


Château de la Trémolière

Construction: 15th century.

History: it was the seat of a seigneury belonging to the Montclar family. The castle comprises a rectangular, three-storey main building, flanked by a round staircase tower dated 1685. The door to the stair tower can be dated to the late 16th century.

Characteristics: on display on both floors are the so-called "Anglards de Salers" tapestries, ten 16th-century Aubusson verdures discovered by the parish priest and restored in 1923. These exceptional tapestries feature an abundance of animals, as naive as they are picturesque. Woven for a wedding in 1586, they depict a fantastic bestiary of domestic and exotic animals, both real and imaginary, in an exuberant tangle of phantasmagorical greenery. Echoing the extravagance and luxuriance of nature present in the greenery is the Verger de Déduit, a contemporary garden inspired by the Middle Ages, located on the outskirts of the château and designated a remarkable garden.

Listed as: historical monument since 1981.  

Château de Longevergne

Construction: 15th century.

History: the first written mention of the name Longevergne dates back to 1228. For several centuries, this castle was an annex of the Commandery of Ydes, which belonged to the Order of St John of Jerusalem. It was completely restored in 1905: a tower was rebuilt and the main building raised. It has retained its décor with wallpaper and wood panelling, typical of the late 19th century. The descendants of a nephew of Abbot Lavergne still live in the château today.

Characteristics: the château consists of a main building with two machicolated corner towers and a polygonal staircase tower in the centre. In 1905, reconstruction and embellishment work by architect Bobin restored the exterior and added neo-Gothic and neo-Renaissance-style fireplaces to the interior.

Listed as: historical monument since 2002.

Km 147


Moussages was the birthplace of Émile Besson, a member of the French Resistance and a leading sportswriter for L'Humanité, who covered 35 Tours de France between 1953 and 1987. His brother Henri was also a talented photographer who assiduously followed the Grande Boucle.   

8 km away:  

Château d'Auzers

Built in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

Characteristics: Château d'Auzers is typical of medieval architecture, with its imposing round towers, watchtowers, machicolations and sentry walk. Inhabited by the same family since the 15th century, this superb building is open to the public from Easter to All Saints' Day. Visitors can admire the Regency wood panelling and furniture in the first-floor lounges, the vaulted dining room with its monumental fireplace and Auvergne furniture, and the oratory dedicated to Santiago de Compostela, decorated with remarkable 16th-century polychrome murals. A flower-filled park and a beautiful view of the Cantal mountains round off the visit.

Listed as: historical monument since 1983.

Km 153.7


A picturesque village with some very old houses and a 12th-century church that has been modified many times. Close to the church is Château de la Borie (15th century).  

Château de la Borie

Construction: 15th and 17th centuries.

History and characteristics: small manor house with a rectangular main building flanked by a round tower and a square tower in the centre of the north and south facades. Old bays framed by mouldings are still visible. The château's decor is an interesting example of 17th-century Cantal interior design. The flats are decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the Gospel and the lives of the saints, as well as carved wood panelling. The large room on the ground floor has a French ceiling with a painted decoration of flowers and foliage decorating the beams and joists.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1986.

Km 180


The highest road pass in the Massif Central has featured eleven times on the Tour de France route. The greatest climbers (Federico Bahamontes, Lucien Van Impe, Richard Virenque) have led the way at the summit. During the last visit of the Tour, in 2020, it was Colombian Dani Martinez who crossed the pass in first place.

Km 196.4

 COL DE PERTUS (1,309 M)

It was first climbed by the Tour de France in 2011, with Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland in the lead. It was climbed a second time in 2016, when it was rated as a 2nd category climb, and Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet was the first to tackle it before going on to win at Le Lioran.


Évaux-les-Bains ist der einzige Kurort in der üppigen Landschaft des Limousin und ein Refugium für alle, die Entspannung suchen und sich verjüngen möchten. Die seit der Römerzeit bekannten Thermalquellen der Stadt laden dazu ein, in ihr wohltuendes Wasser einzutauchen, und bieten heute hochmoderne Einrichtungen auf dem neuesten Stand der Technik. Évaux-les-Bains ist kein einfaches Reiseziel, sondern eine Wellness-Oase.

Schlendern Sie durch die Parks und Gärten der Stadt, in der jede Ecke von den Heilkräften der Natur zeugt, und lassen Sie sich dabei vom historischen Zauber der Stadt gefangen nehmen. Zu den Sehenswürdigkeiten gehört das von Gustave Eiffel entworfene Tardes-Viadukt. Verschiedene kulturelle Aktivitäten und Unterhaltungsangebote runden das Erlebnis ab.

Geschichte, Schönheit und Entspannung – ein Besuch in Évaux-les-Bains ist Balsam für Körper und Seele.

Le Lioran

Le Lioran liegt mitten im Regionalen Naturpark der Vulkane der Auvergne und ist ein Bergparadies im Zentralmassiv, das Wintersportler wie Sommerurlauber gleichermaßen begeistert. Bei einem Besuch werden Sie den Charme des Gebirgsort entdecken, der mit seinen saftigen Wiesen und unberührten Hängen eine atemberaubende Kulisse für Outdoor-Aktivitäten bietet.

Im Winter verwandelt sich Le Lioran in ein Schneeparadies. Als größtes Skigebiet der Region lässt Le Lioran bei Ski- und Snowboardfans keine Wünsche offen. In gemütlichen Chalets und Après-Ski-Bistros kann man sich nach einem Tag auf der Piste aufwärmen und entspannen.

Wenn der Schnee geht und der Sommer kommt, verwandelt sich Le Lioran in ein Eldorado für Wanderer und Naturliebhaber. Genießen Sie den Panoramablick vom nahegelegenen Gipfel des Plomb du Cantal oder entdecken Sie auf den Wanderwegen der Auvergne auf Schritt und Tritt ihre vielfältige Flora und Fauna.

Le Lioran ist ein Reiseziel, das den Reiz der Berge mit der Ruhe des französischen Landlebens verbindet, wo Sie ganzjährig den Zauber des Zentralmassivs erleben können.

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