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If Salers is listed as one of the "Plus beaux villages de France " (France's finest villages) then it’s certainly for a good reason. The village has successfully preserved its heritage and authenticity from the Renaissance through to the present day. Those who appreciate art, taste and a pure natural environment should head here to discover the rich local know-how the area has to offer.
Situated in the Cantal area at an altitude of 1,000 metres (3,280 feet), at the foot of the mountains and domed volcanoes in a pleasant natural environment, Salers is today a well-known name, highly appreciated for its friendly atmosphere and sense of hospitality.
As you travel through this natural heritage area you will appreciate it from the moment you arrive. This is first and foremost a site with a flavour all its own, including its specialities, its plant varieties and its animals. We are delighted that you are taking the time to discover the area’s ancient buildings such as the Maison du Baillage or the Maison de la Ronade, to admire the facades of the houses of Flogeac, Bargues or Bertrandy and the private residences or inns, all built from volcanic stone and topped with flagstone roofs. Here, peaceful walks interspersed with enjoyable breaks in tea shops, restaurants, cafés philos, and art galleries are a way of life.
After your walk, why not sample the delicious carrés de Salers, (delicate, locally-produced shortbread biscuits)?
In 1852, Salers also lent its name to the "Salers cattle breed" derived through the crossbreeding of a selection of the finest animals thanks to the skill and know-how of the "cattle improver", the agronomist Ernest Tyssandier d’Escous (including the elimination of bone anomalies, the creation of a net weight/gross weight, and encouraging breeders to constantly improve thanks to the launch of an annual Salers Breed competition). This is the famous "red cattle" variety and is even referred to as such as far away as Australia thanks to the quality of its meat and milk.
Each year, in springtime, the herds head up to the high summer pastures to graze, taking full advantage of the clear air, the green grass and pure water which together ensure the excellent quality of the milk used to give the outstanding local cheeses their distinctive flavour.
We can also thank the agronomist Ernest Tyssandier d’Escous for Salers cheese, an authentic local product.
Come along and admire these 45 kg (99 lb) fourmes cheeses with dry rind. The Salers is only produced when the cattle are turned out to pasture. In keeping with tradition, production may only take place on the farm, at high altitudes, twice a day after milking.
The maturing process lasts for between three months and one year.
All around Salers, the area’s natural heritage provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a lungful of fresh air during hikes, mountain bike tours or fishing trips along the region’s numerous wild rivers.
Lovers of art and culture have not been forgotten either, and should head for Mauriac, where they can enjoy all the sights and attractions of this capital of the Haut-Cantal area.