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Guide to Central France
The spacious heart of France, marking the transition between north and south in both climate and landscape. At the centre of the region are timeless, laid back Auvergne and Limousin, with their dramatic natural scenery and outdoor pursuits. To the east and west are Burgundy and the Loire Valley, with their vineyards, gastronomy, history and culture.
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The central region of France includes the areas of Auvergne, Burgundy, Limousin and the Loire Valley.
- A timeless paradise for lovers of nature and the outdoors
- Awe-inspiring natural scenery with non-active volcanoes, lakes, rivers, forests and exceptional flora and fauna
- In warm summer, enjoy all types of outdoor pursuits and stay in thermal spa areas.
- In winter, enjoy three classified downhill ski resorts and excellent cross-country mountain skiing.
- 12th-century Romanesque architecture and sculpture in picturesque villages and towns.
- The capital, Clermont-Ferrand, is famous for its tire manufacturing
- Find out more about Auvergne and search for holiday properties.
- Unspoilt countryside of hills, gorges and lush green meadows with a laid-back feel
- Abundant lakes and rivers for canoeing, sailing, wind-surfing and other water sports. Good trout fishing in rivers and streams
- Ideal for equestrian holidays, with a long history of horse-breeding, especially Anglo-Arabs
- Ancient villages, abbeys and fortresses
- Famous for Limoges porcelain and enamel and Aubusson tapestries
- Find out more about Limousin and search for holiday properties.
- Lush green countryside of great natural beauty with meandering streams, majestic oaks, vineyards, sunflower fields and quiet roads.
- Breathtaking historical royal châteaux and gardens alongside the river
- Pastoral villages with picturesque cobblestone streets; lovely towns for festivals, concerts and theatre
- Excellent landscape for biking, barging, ballooning, golf
- Sumptuous or quaint hotels and inns; gourmet food and wine
- Find out more about Loire Valley and search for holiday properties.
- Famous wine-growing region with quiet, spacious countryside good for hiking, boating and mountain biking
- Medieval town of Beaune has rich history and distinctive architecture with colourful, Flemish-style tiled roofs
- Wineries to visit, open air wine markets, wine museum
- Trois Glorieuses wine auction in Beaune every November
- Main city of Dijon is a gastronomic centre with magnificent art museum in ducal palace
- Find out more about Burgundy and search for holiday properties.
Getting to Central France
Travelling to Auvergne
You can fly to Clermont-Ferrand, or by road from Calais is approximately 700km and should take 6.5 hours. There is no direct TGV service from Paris but you can travel to Lyon by TGV (2 hours) and then catch a regular train to Clermont-Ferrand.
Travelling to Burgundy
There is a regional airport at Dijon, or fly to Paris and travel via TGV or hire car. Burgundy is located just 100km south of Paris and has good motorway connections. TGV service to the area is excellent.
Travelling to Limousin
Ryanair and flybe both fly to Limoges airport from the UK. Limoges the Capital of Limousin is 680km from Calais and this should take around 6 hours drive time. Trains leave from Paris Gare d'Auserlitz for Limoges.
Travelling to Loire Valley
Ryanair fly from the UK to Tours or fly to Paris and take the TGV or hire a car. The region has excellent road connections. Orleans is about 425 km and 4 hours away from Calais. The TGV runs from Paris to Vendôme (45 min) and Tours (60 min).