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You'll find the very best of Mother Nature in the Livradois-Forez regional park, as well as a rich variety of industrial skills, a precious local heritage which has been carefully adapted and passed down from generation to generation, always with that same warmth and innovation.
The rolling hills and mountains of the Livradois-Forez are also perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, or even winter sports. An impressive area with an unspoiled natural setting and one well worth a visit.
Situated two hours from Lyon, not far from the towns of Vichy, Clermont-Ferrand and Le Puy-en-Velay, and comprised of 180 districts in the départements (counties) of the Puy-de-Dôme and the Haute-Loire, Livradois-Forez is one of France's largest regional nature parks. It covers more than 320,000 hectares (790,737 acres) and has 110,000 inhabitants.
The beauty of the Livradois-Forez landscape and the richness of its fauna and flora have been shaped by the area’s high altitudes, numerous waterways and varied terrain. Discover the area on foot, by bike, on horseback, or on snowshoes!
Another way to see the landscapes of the Livradois-Forez is on the Agrivap Tourist Train. From Courpière to Ambert and on to La Chaise-Dieu, take a ride along the Dore River for views of the Livradois et Forez Mountains.
Take a journey along the "Route des Métiers" (Auvergne Trades Trail) and discover the local artisans keeping alive the traditions of the area. Devoted to knife making from the 14th century onwards, the Thiers area has emerged as the country's cutlery capital and produces 70% of the knives manufactured in France.
Near Ambert the Moulin Richard-de-Bas mill has been making paper since the 15th century with the seaons: hand-made white paper in the winter, and paper dotted with fresh flowers in the summer.
In addition to crafts, the area is also home to unique local products. In Ambert and the surrounding area, stop in to a farm to taste Fourme d'Ambert, one of the five AOP cheeses of Auvergne. Find out more at the Maison de la Fourme d'Ambert.
Billom, in the heart of the area known as the Tuscany of Auvergne, is known for its pink garlic, honored the second week of August each summer. And further north, the town of Chateldon is home to a prestigious sparkling water of the same name.