Abbey of La Chaise-Dieu, medieval masterpiece
Here, the city shelters the largest mountain abbey in Europe, still in Livradois-Forez. Of Gothic architecture, it houses in its heart the famous “Danse macabre”. Every year, it hosts the famous festival of sacred music in Auvergne. Peacefully, let yourself be charmed by the atmosphere conducive to meditation in this building. Finally, don't miss the amazing Echo room where you can whisper all your secrets….
Gothic architecture, medieval town
In the city center, walk the streets where houses with medieval facades are home to artisans and cultural cafes. Sandstone potter, ceramist, wood turner, luthier, restorer: the craftsmen of the House of Art present their passion to you.
Nature and landscapes
Here, enjoy a walk on a path paved with legends: the Golden Serpent Trail. And, take a dip in the Breuil pond set up on the edge of the pine forest where you can even fish. Then, ten minutes by car, discover species from all over the world at the Charvols arboretum. There, a former medieval fishery and today a regional nature reserve, you can learn about fly fishing on the lake of Malaguet.
The Chaise-Dieu, a must-visit for lovers of Gothic architecture. Everywhere, the houses of the villages with golden stones and round tiles dot a landscape conducive to peace and relaxation. In Bonneval, discover a charming village in bloom, it has even won the label's prize for excellence. In Lavaudieu, "one of the most beautiful villages in France", remain captivated by the majestic allure of the fortified city and the old abbey. This one, with its Romanesque cloister and the Byzantine-inspired mural painting adorning its refectory, is one of the most beautiful jewels of Auvergne's religious heritage. Near Allègre, climb an authentic Strombolian volcano: Mount Bar, which is home to the only crater bog in Europe.
Moments to enjoy to fully enjoy the region
- #ambience – Spend a cultural and gourmet evening at the café The Blizzard at La Chaise-Dieu
- #hike – Climb to the top of a Strombolian volcano: Mount Bar in Allègre
- #roche – Climb one of the 9 routes of the natural climbing site of Lavaudieu
La Chaise-Dieu and its surroundings
Every day, craftsmen also open their doors to you. There, discover the profession of leatherworker in Allègre, that of glassmaker in Monlet or even that of potter in Sembadel. Above all, don't forget the distillery in Saint-Hilaire: hydrosols and essential oils will hold no secrets for you. Every day, these passionate creators work to embellish and reveal the wonders of nature that will enchant you. Finally, cheeses and jams from producers will make you salivate on the market stalls. Important, several car itineraries are also offered in Haute-Loire. One of them, 95 kilometers long, takes you to discover the castles and defensive constructions through La Chaise-Dieu. Finally, “Le Velay Volcanique”, is a circuit of 170 kilometers. Enjoy, it crosses the landscapes of mountains and valleys, from towns to villages.
Off the beaten track
During the visit of Charvols arboretum, you will discover trees brought from all over the world. Nearly 100 species are spread over 3 hectares. Panels teach you anecdotes and scientific information about these different specimens.