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There are dozens of good reasons to visit the Cantal’s Saint-Flour area. You can take part in events which reach far beyond the Auvergne's borders, including a festival of mountain cultures, a major festival for "terroir" products (local produce and specialities), an exciting night event in the Truyère gorges and an art festival etc. A friendly and festive selection of events combined with a remarkable local heritage which has earned the area the prestigious "Pays d’Art et d’Histoire" label (Region of Art and History).
Perched on a volcanic hill, the town of Saint-Flour is brimming with religious, historical and natural heritage including the Alfred Douet Museum of Art and History in the old consular house, the Haute-Auvergne Museum in the Episcopal palace, and the Saint-Pierre cathedral. Don't miss the basalt columns that surround the city, along the road linking the upper and lower towns.
The Saint-Flour area is lised as a "Pays d’art et d’histoire" (Region of Art and History), so it's not surprising that there's such a diverse offer of cultural heritage throughout the area, where the sheer majesty of the castles, such as Alleuze, combine superbly with the charm of the Romanesque chapels and churches.
These areas can be discovered on foot or by bike or from the sky! Take a hot air balloon ride accompanied by a flock of birds. A unique way to see the sights of Saint-Flour.
Another attraction which has its own particular charm and is certainly worth visiting is the Garabit viaduct, built by Gustave Eiffel that crosses the Truère River. Take a lunch or dinner cruise along the river to get an up-close look at the iron structure. Further down the river, dams have created lakes with swimming areas and a marina.
The Saint-Flour area is a lively one, with several summer festivals. There's the Hautes Terres mountain culture festival at the end of June, the Festa del Païs in August celebrating local agriculture and the bi-annual Chemin d'art contemporary art festival.
In this festive and cultural atmosphere, you can also enjoy a welcome change of scenery, open-air activities and a generous dose of health and well-being with an example being Chaudes-Aigues, the spa resort offering Europe's hottest waters (82°C - 180°F) and its recreational spa centre, Caleden.