The region know collectively as Auvergne Limousin is made up of the respective provincial areas of Auvergne and Limousin and is typically known for its natural beauty, which remains one of the greatest draws for tourists, especially those with an affinity for the great outdoors.
Auvergne takes the crown for offering the most scenic displays of nature with key locations such as the Auvergne Regional Park, which is the largest park of its kind in the country. The hot springs at Chaudes-Aigues in Cantal claim to be the hottest thermal springs in Europe, while the Tronçais Forest is famous for its ancient oak trees, some of which are over three centuries old.
Limousin meanwhile comes a close second in terms of natural beauty and has the edge regarding the aestheticism of its rural villages, with notably picturesque locations including Curemont, Collonges-la-Rouge and St-Robert in the Corrèze district.
The capital of the Limousin area is Limoges, a city best known for its porcelain industry and hailed as the economic capital of the region. Notable city sights include the Church of St Michel-des-Lions and the St Etienne Cathedral. The Adrien-Dubouché National Museum, with its 12,000 exhibits, is the best place to gain some background on the history of ceramic production in the city.
Limoges sits in a rural district known as Massif Central, an area famed for its eye-catching castles, beautiful valleys and quaint old towns and villages. Notable locations in the area include Aubusson, Nieuil, Le Puy-en-Velay and Vichy.
Aside from natural beauty, Auvergne is famous for being the chief production centre for both Volvic mineral water and Michelin tires. The fame and quality of its cheeses however are more likely to attract visitors with the scent of the Bleu d'Auvergne variety, teasing the noses of many a cheese lover.