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"AN UNKNOWN GEM"
This is how Lonely Planet describes Auvergne, which comes in at number 6 in the famous tourist guide's list of must-see regions, which includes Transylvania in Romania, Waiheke Island in New Zealand and the vineyards of Frioul in Italy. France's only region to feature in this "Best Of 2016" listing, it was chosen by a panel of experts using various criteria: "Current events, recent tourist initiatives and protected settings".
THE PROMISE OF A WONDERFUL JOURNEY
"L’ Auvergne is an unknown gem. Though its glacier valleys and volcanic peaks rival the landscapes of Iceland, this region of central France is still relatively unknown. But more and more French people, tired of packed beaches, are now seeking refuge in this protected region, and Auvergne is reinventing itself so as better to welcome them (with outdoor activities, large-scale art projects etc.), all without losing any of its rural appeal.
So some of the loveliest natural locations in Auvergne are forming the backdrop for contemporary design as part of the Horizons, Arts nature en Sancy event, featuring ethereal sculptures arranged around the trees, giant water lilies and luminous wolves introducing a dialogue between art and nature. The arrival of new art enthusiast travellers has also led people who live here to rediscover and celebrate their heritage, which is excellent news for the region's Romanesque treasures and mediaeval artefacts".
The guide also provides information about all of Auvergne's highlights, whilst reminding us that "The winds of change are blowing in central France".