The Cantal department is known as the "green zone" and is a paradise for hikers. You will find mountain landscapes, the Regional Park of the volcanoes of the Auvergne, natural lakes, flowing streams and valleys. Especially the valleys of the Jordanne and Cere rivers are highly recommended. Peaks like the Puy Griou and the Puy Mary are good starting points for a day in nature. Reason enough to pack your walking shoes during your holidays in the Cantal. Do go skiing in the winter months.
The Cantal borders the southeast with the Haute-Loire and Lozère. Besides natural beauty, there are many towns and villages to discover. Salers, famous for its cows, is a good example. This old town has an entry in the famous book “Les plus beaux villages de France” and therefore belongs to the most beautiful villages of France. You'll find nice cottages with stone roofs, idyllic squares and alleys which makes it very picturesque.
The town of Aurillac is the capital of the Cantal. This city has a lively shopping centre and interesting places to visit, like the wax museum, the monastery of Aurillac and the castle of Saint-Etienne. Did you know that the historic Aurillac is the umbrella capital of France? The majority of the French umbrellas are made here. The four-day Street Theatre takes place In August: many street artists will perform for you.
Your holiday in the Cantal is not complete if you have not been to Mauriac and Saint-Flour. In Saint-Flour you can walk through medieval streets and enjoy a French lunch at one of the cafes or restaurants on the Place du Palais and Place d'Armes. You can also visit a cathedral from the 15th century or the Musée de la Haute Auvergne. Another attraction is the Festival des Hautes Terres and the annual Festa del Pais. In the spa town of Chaudes-Aigues, relax and enjoy a well-deserved massage and a delicious meal. In the spa you will find the Restaurant Serge Vieira, where a star chef serves you delicious dishes.
The town Mauriac is located at the foot of the volcano Puy Saint-Mary, where you can visit the monastery of Saint-Pierre and the Notre-Dame-des-Miracles. TTe chapel at the top of the Puy Saint Mary offers a magnificent view of Mauriac and its surroundings. To complete your holiday in Cantal, you can taste the delicious French cheeses of Cantal: Laquiole, Salers and Fourme de Cantal.