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The Auvergne is home to more than 100 spring and mineral waters. The volcanic past of the region provides an exceptional environment for filtering and mineralising water. Take the time to sample them all during your holidays in France!
Volvic is certainly the most well-known of Auvergne’s mineral waters. The still water is born in the Chaine des Puys volcanic mountain range in the town of Volvic, 20 minutes north of Clermont-Ferrand. Rainwater takes 5 years to filter through 100m of volcanic rock to reach the source and is only exposed to the air when it is bottled. Visit the factory and information centre to find out more.
Also born in the volcanoes of Auvergne is Rozana, a naturally sparkling water rich in magnesium that emerges from its source at 30°C north of Riom in the town of Rouzat. Legend has it that the source was discovered by the Romans after defeating the Gauls.
The rare and renowned Châteldon mineral water is available exclusively in restaurants and fine grocery stores and pairs perfectly with haute cuisine. First mentioned in the 5th century and a favorite of Louis XIV, the naturally sparkling water is known for its fine bubbles and takes its name from a medieval town in the Livradois-Forez area. The filtering process takes place at a constant 6°C and leaves the water enriched with calcium and magnesium. Only 300,000 liters are produced each year, preserving its exclusive status. While the factory is not open for visits, the centre of Châteldon, between Vichy and Thiers, is perfect for an afternoon stroll and a starting point for hikes to discover the area.
The waters of Vichy are famous, and have made the city a world-class spa destination. Nine different spring and mineral waters are used in spa treatments in the different facilities of the town. The Hall of Sources in the town centre offers five of these waters, consumed by spa-goers with a prescription. One of these waters, Vichy Célestins, is bottled and is also available to the public both in the Hall and at its source near the Allier River. While this mineral water is naturally sparkling at the source, carbon dioxide is added to the bottling process for more profound bubbles!
Just south of Vichy, along the Allier, is Saint-Yorre, yet another Auvergne town that shares its name with a mineral water. Rich in minerals, this naturally sparking water has a strong, unique taste. The water travels through the heart of Auvergne before emerging near the town in the Limagne Plain.
Other examples include the sparkling waters of Saint-Marguerite, Châteauneuf, Saint-Diéry, Saint-Géron, and Arvie, or the still waters of Mont-Dore and Laqueuille.