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Listed as a "Pays d’Art et d’Histoire" (Region of Art and History), the Issoire area is located in the south of the Puy-de-Dôme, in both the Auvergne Volcanoes and Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Parks. Traversed by the Allier River, with plains, gorges and mountains, the Issoire area offers an impressive variety of sites and activities.
Issoire, a not-to-be-missed stop during your holiday
Located just off the A75 motorway, Issoire is most well-known for its Romanesque abbey church, Saint-Autremoine. The painted interior and unique capitals have been beautifully restored. Climb to the top of the clock tower for a view of the town and the Place de la République, where the market is held each Saturday morning.
Brimming with cultural heritage
In the Issoire area, there are three villages listed among the "Most Beautiful Villages in France". Saint-Floret, Montpeyroux and Usson.
Also discover the winemaking village of Boudes, and hike through the Vallée des Saints, a "mini-Colorado" with unique red soil.
The castles of the Issoire area are also impressive, including the Chateau de Hauterive, with its remarkable gardens, the Chateau de Parentignat, Auvergne's "little Versailles", and Chateau de Villeneuve-Lembron, a national monument with impressive painted interiors.
Impressive natural sites
Wherever you go, if you make your way up to the peaks, to the Puy d’Ysson or the Perrier caves, you can admire the breathtaking views of the volcanoes and the Livradois area.
In La Godivelle, on the Cézallier plateau, hike around the two lakes, one volcanic and the other glacial. In the heart of the area, the Allier River is a natural playground, with whitewater sports and even a zipline park.
There are also several equestrian centres for discovering the Issoire area on horseback. However, there's nothing stopping you from aiming higher (literally) by taking a trip in a microlight aircraft or glider.
Gîtes, B&Bs and hotels provide plenty of opportunities to stop off or to enjoy a hearty meal, as you get the most from the area’s richness and diversity.