Situated in the rocky hills above Royat, Le Paradis is a Tuscan-like villa that continues to be a beacon for leisure, art, and creativity.
The crag, the precipice, the perilous pass, the castle-crowned hill, the arched bridge, the untutored mountaineer, the ravaging baron, the robber chief, the ugly legendary tale of death, the pretty tale of love and fairyland luck — all these come into the story of Auvergne.
Auvergne’s millennia-old lakes are natural vaults, full of — to paraphrase Shakespeare — ooze and sumless treasure. Many secrets lie hidden beneath their waves. In former times, some lakes — like the volcanic Lac Pavin — were believed to be the watery lairs of phantoms and monsters. Today, some lakes have become the resting places […]
You are now in the real Auvergne country as you near Lake Aydat that shines through its fringing firs-red soil, stunted shrubs, and, all round, rocks that look as though they have been hurled by giants in the last æons-ago eruption. -Robert Herring With its beaches, nature trails, and shoreline restaurants, Lake Aydat is one […]
Auvergne has a long tradition of loups-garous (werewolves). In fact, one of the most famous loup-garou legends first appeared in Discours execrable des Sorciers (1602), a book by the French magistrate Henri Boguet. In Boguet’s tale — which is set in 1588 — a man hunting near the village of Apchon (in modern-day Cantal) is trapped by a […]
Since Roman times, Auvergne has had a reputation as a perfect destination to, as the saying goes, “take the air”. Visitors and residents were well-aware of the positive impact of its montane landscapes and pristine water on the mind and the body. Although Auvergne is still regarded as one of the most eco-friendly geographic districts […]
What did nineteenth-century Americans think of Auvergne? In 1801, American ambassador William Short told President Thomas Jefferson that the Limagne — a sun-kissed expanse of meadowlands and pastures in Auvergne — was “certainly the most fertile the most highly cultivated & the most magnificent district that I have ever seen”. Here’s an excerpt from Short’s […]
Located thirty minutes south of Clermont-Ferrand, Montpeyroux is a fortified village that has the look and feel of a Tuscan citadel. Surrounded by the Limagne campagne — a vast plain of wheatfields and wildflowers — the town is a picturesque assemblage of cypress-lined terraces, sun-washed villas, and vine-clad alleyways. Like so many Auvergnat communes, it’s […]
In the minds of the mythographers of ancient Greece, Mount Olympus was the home of the gods. Frequently covered in clouds and snow, it was wild and inaccessible — a constant reminder of the elemental nature of Zeus and his fellow immortals. A similar and perhaps more numinous mountain exists in the Auvergne highlands: the […]