Breathe on the Hautes-Chaumes of the Monts du Forez

The Hautes-Chaumes is a natural site classified as Natura 2000.  It is a natural area of ​​ecological, fauna and flora interest. 

Imagine yourself walking on the vast Hautes-Chaumes du Forez, where the wind blows freely like in the distant steppes of Mongolia. These lands are nestled between the departments of Puy-de-Dôme and Loire. It is a forgotten border that separates and unites both Auvergne and Forez.
Once covered in forests, these heights have been shaped by centuries of pastoralism, transforming the landscape into an undulating carpet of green beneath the sky.

In the Middle Ages, jasseries, these high-altitude farms with thatched or tiled roofs, sheltered families and livestock during the summer months. You would have seen the women and children tending the cows, especially the local cows, while the men stayed in the valley, busying themselves with agricultural work. It was a delicate balance, punctuated by the seasons and transhumance.
This era slowly faded in the 1960s. The jasseries, these silent witnesses of a bygone era, were emptied, leaving Hautes-Chaumes alone with their memory of the past.

Follow in the footsteps of the peddler Jasseries de Valcivières

If you opt for a day of disconnection, we invite you to walk in the footsteps of the Jasseries de Valcivières peddlers, on the path of the same name. A historic and picturesque route which will take you through high-altitude moors.
Here, nature reigns supreme, creating breathtaking landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. Located in the Hautes Chaumes, the landscapes of Jasseries de Valcivières are characterized by their meadows, forests and small hamlets.

Easy level, this hike stretches over 9,2 kilometers and 257 meters of elevation gain. At the beginning, vast meadows with short grass stretch out in front of you. After a few passages shaded by trees, the peat bogs come into view. Then, the high altitude pastures, adjoining the jasseries, appear. Finally, a winding path guides you through a forest of beech trees with their characteristic aromas. Enameled lava panels punctuate the route, telling a story passed down by a traveling merchant. If you are lucky, you may see a flock of sheep, discreet guardians of these wild lands. It’s the ideal walk to warm up!  

As for catering, why not stop at the Black Rooster Jasserie at Saint Anthème. In an idyllic and preserved setting, you will savor country meals composed of local products from Jasserie du Coq Noir: wild fruits and plants, farm cheeses, cold meats...Try the traditional patia of potatoes confit in cream. Be careful, this stop is very popular with hikers, remember to book!

Did you know?

In the heart of Hautes-Chaumes, the Jasseries de Valcivières bear witness to their rich pastoral past. In the Middle Ages, peddlers traveled the winding paths of this wild region, loaded with goods, to meet the isolated inhabitants of these heights. They used these paths to reach the jasseries, unique alpine farms of their kind.
These jasseries, built with local stones and topped with thatched roofs, were much more than simple shelters. During the summer months, they buzzed with activity, welcoming herds of cattle for summer grazing. These buildings were the heart of agro-pastoral life, where milk from the herds was transformed into delicious cheeses, such as the famous Fourme d'Ambert.
These historic farms, scattered throughout the green and hilly landscapes of Hautes-Chaumes, tell a story of adaptation and survival, where men and animals coexisted in harmony with nature. A precious rural heritage which, even today, arouses curiosity and inspires respect for the traditions of yesteryear.

Pierre-sur-Haute, the highest peak of Hautes-Chaumes

Pierre-sur-Haute, located at 1 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in the Forez mountains, marking the boundary between the departments of Loire and Puy-de-Dôme.

Imagine yourself facing the stinging wind of the burle, typical of this altitude. This capricious wind weaves a landscape of thick snow and fog, creating such a special atmosphere. You will almost feel in another world...

Look around you: the moors and high-altitude lawns stretch out as far as the eye can see, interspersed with pine forests and coniferous forests. In these wild expanses, the flora has adapted to survive. The blueberry nestles between the rocks, while the broom lights up the slopes with its yellow flowers.
And what about wildlife? You might be lucky enough to spot an agile chamois or be flown over by a majestic red kite. These impromptu meetings will be unforgettable moments of your adventure.

For hikers, Pierre-sur-Haute is a destination of choice. Follow the GR 3 for a memorable hike or, if you prefer a less demanding approach, the Jasseries chairlift, leaving from the Chalmazel ski resort, will take you comfortably to the heights.

Enjoy authentic entertainment in the heart of Hautes-Chaumes

At Jasserie du Coq Noir, an authentic Hautes-Chaumes experience awaits you. Discover life in a 19th century jasserie and the making of fourme, thanks to guided tours offered in May, June and September.

To delight your taste buds, la jasserie offers a group lunch or dinner. The menu includes aperitif, wine, cold meats, patia or green salad, cheese, dessert and hot drink. La jasserie du coq noir also offers accompanied walks, depending on the size of the group, allowing you to explore the local fauna and flora. Discover the tales and legends of the region and immerse yourself in the history of la fourme.
You should enjoy the rich cultural season from May to September, with concerts, shows, musette balls and conferences. 

Even during this period, remember that you are at altitude so remember to dress warmly!

Getaways around the Hautes-Chaumes du Livradois-Forez

To continue exploring Livradois-Forez, why not get on your bike and get on board?

Departing from Ambert, the Forez circuit is a 20km cycle tour to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the region. You will pass through charming little villages, you will be able to discover artisan workshops as well as emblematic places like the Moulin Richard de Bas where paper is still made according to ancient methods. 

Take a break at the Jardin de la Terre in Arlanc, an ecological garden that highlights local biodiversity. You will be able to discover a wide variety of cultivated plants, trees, vegetables and fruits biologically. 

Before leaving, wander the picturesque streets of the old town of Ambert. There you will find beautiful half-timbered houses, lively squares and an authentic atmosphere.

Stroll through the cobbled streets to reach the Maison de la Fourme d’Ambert and Auvergne cheeses. The opportunity to discover the history of Fourme d’Ambert, to understand how it is made and to enjoy a tasting at the end of the guided tour. Thanks to the shop, leave with a selection of local products to bring back to your friends to make them want to come and discover the charm of the destinations of the Livradois Forez Regional Natural Park.

Recipe for Patia, a traditional dish from Livradois-Forez


  • 1 kg of potatoes (recommended varieties: Bintje, Mona Lisa or Chérie)
  • 1 liter fresh cream
  • 75 gr de beurre
  • 250 ml of milk
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions :

  • Preparation of the casserole:
    • Take a cast iron casserole dish.
    • Rub the inside with a clove of garlic cut in half.
  • Preparing the potatoes:
    • Peel the potatoes.
    • Cut them into thin slices, using a mandolin or a knife.
  • Cuisson:
    • Melt the butter in the casserole.
    • Add the potatoes and brown them briefly.
    • Then pour in the crème fraîche and milk.
    • Simmer over low heat for 3 hours.
  • Seasoning:
    • A quarter of an hour before the end of cooking, add salt and pepper to taste.
    • For a gratin effect (optional):
    • Place the casserole dish under the oven grill for a few minutes.
  • Service:
    • Serve the patia hot.
    • Accompany with green salad and local cold meats.