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General

“L'embellie” is located in the Parc Naturel Régional Livradois Forez. This area is more than 320,000 hectares and is an oasis of greenery and tranquillity.
We are situated at an altitude of 800 metres with wonderful views from our walled garden over the valley of the River Dore. The highest point of the area is visible across the valley at 1600 meters, with its small family friendly ski station.
Our area features many authentic villages where time seems to have stood still and is an excellent base for numerous hiking, cycling and motorbike tours.

The Auvergne has a continental climate, meaning the seasons are more pronounced than in Great Britain. So, we have warmer and longer summers, and the winters are colder with more snow. Autumns are more settled with long pleasant days showing the magnificent changing colours of the forests. Relax or be active - and at weekends there is always a flea market somewhere (vide grenier), where you can often pick up an unusual bargain.
Actually everything your heart desires is present in this beautiful part of France.


Pierre sur Haute, heerlijk wandelgebied


Fleamarket, bargain

Region

Auvergne

Auvergne consists of four departments: Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Haute Loire and Cantal. Allier has a rolling hilly landscape, the other departments are generally more rugged and mountainous.
The region is comparable in size with Wales but with a population of only 1.3 million people. It is therefore a sparsely populated region, with relatively few large cities. Clermont-Ferrand is the capital and largest city of the Auvergne.

Auvergne is best known for itís volcanic mountains (no longer active!) and regularly included in the Tour de France. The Puy de Dôme is the most famous volcano, of which the department is named after. The highest peak is the Puy de Sancy, about 1886 m. high. The top is accessible on foot or by cable car offering fantastic panoramic views over the volcanic area of the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne.

The area is fortunately not yet overrun by mass tourism. Nature lovers can enjoy the fresh air and the clean environment here. The many lakes, rivers, thermal and mineral springs, volcanoes, valleys and forests have an exceptional flora and fauna. The spring with small wild daffodil-strewn fields are a great example of it. The nature reserve is ideal for both summer and winter activities.

Puy de Sancy, hiking



Wild daffodils, hiking



Towns and villages

Clermont-Ferrand, at the foot of the Puy de Dôme, is located about 70 km from us. It is a vibrant, friendly city with many attractions, including the gothic cathedral Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption. The cathedral and many other houses and buildings are made from Volvic, a grey lava stone.
The old medieval centre from the 12th century is well preserved. Imagine yourself back in the old days, walking through the narrow streets and pretty squares with Baroque fountains. It is also a bustling modern city with its many museums, restaurants, markets and music and film festivals.

La Chaise-Dieu, about 30 km away, is famous for its abbey church in the village center, a cathedral from the 13th century.
Especially the Dance Macabre, a mural from the XVth century, is very worthwhile. Also the Salle de l'Echo is very special.
Furthermore, there is the annual internationally renowned classical music festival.



la chaise dieu
Ambert
Ambert, less than 8 km from our home, the place to go shopping and to stroll around. Prized for its blue cheese, Fourme d'Ambert, which is for sale on the Thursday market around the picturesque round city hall. Ambert is characterized by narrow streets and squares with outdoor cafes and restaurants and there are several museums, include Musée de la Fourme d'Ambert and the Moulin Richard de Bas paper museum. In July and August, there is a tourist train from Ambert following the Dore river valley. For cycling enthusiasts there is the famous race in July “Cyclo les Copains du Monde”.

Recreation

Hiking, biking, motorcycling

Auvergne is ideal for hiking, cycling and motorbike tours.
There are many well indicated and maintained hiking and mountain bike trails in our neighbourhood, through mountains, hills, forests and meadows. If you prefer to cycle on the road, there are numerous quiet roads in the neighbourhood.


Hiking, cycling, motorcycling
The many small well-maintained twisty roads are ideal for motorcyclists with many stops to enjoy the beautiful views. If you want information about walking and cycling routes we are here to help you.

River Dore, Olliergues

Water(sports)

The Auvergne is rich in rivers, lakes and small streams that run through forests and meadows. Here's the place to be after a long walk or bike ride.
Do you want to take a refreshing dip or let the kids play in the water? This can be in the many beautiful recreational lakes of Ambert and other larger places, because most have a "plan d'eau".
For anglers, there are many rivers and lakes, with plenty of fish. If you are interested, we have a local specialist who can take you for a fee to excellent fishing spots.
He can tell you all about the right spots to fish and the best way to get results. In short, there is something to do for everyone in our area.

Wintersport

Just a forty five minute drive from our house is the ski resort of Chalmazel. The season is from December to early March.
Altogether, there are 12 km of slopes spread over 15 runs. Snow is assured due to the snow cannons used if there is an absence of real snow and prices are much lower than the popular ski resorts.
chalmazel winter sport