France regions: Central array
Region around the central massif (Massis Central, Massis Centrau, Massif Central) – one of the most beautiful places in France. Country without roads, without fashionable hotels and gold shores, where any journey is associated with certain difficulties, nevertheless attracts attention to many thousands of tourists. And this is not surprising – almost in the center of the abundant cultural monuments of France, there is an extensive highland with a huge number of extinct volcanoes (in all of them here more than 450), many short mountain ranges, narrow river valleys, green forests and pastoral villages who have retained the spirit "Old France".
The heart of the region is the historical area of Auvergne (Auvergne, Auvernhe, Auvernha), which includes modern departments Ardesch, Cantal, Upper Loir and Puy de House, as well as the Mountain Array. This is one of the poorest areas in France, most of which lies at the heights of about 1000 meters above sea level, so extremely few arable land. However, this is a true treasure for fans of active recreation and ethnographers, famous for their majestic landscapes, the origins of many rivers of the country’s south and surprisingly untouched nature.
In the south-western corner of the central massif, landscapes begin to change markedly, because the mountain slopes are gradually inferior to the swamps and heather empty, AUBRAC (AUBRAC), dissected wild gorges Lo (LOT) and Truyere (Truyere). Even south they go to Tarn Gorge (Tarn), Jortie (JONTE) and Durbie (Dourbie), Avan Arman Caves (Aven Armand) and Dargilan (Dargilan). These desert places in which cows are usually many times more than people, in the summer literally overwhelmed by lovers of ecotourism and outdoor activities, because it is unlikely else where in the territory of France you can find so wild areas so close from the world-famous resorts and large megalopolises of the Mediterranean coast.
Tiny town Frame (AUBRAC), who gave name for the whole region, must its existence of a small pilgrimage station built on the famous path to Santiago de Compostela around 1120. Around the worst and most beautiful part of the area, where it is necessary to visit the numerous picturesque gorges of the Lo River, the village Saint Jursiz (Sainte Ursize, 13 km north of the IP) with its beautiful Romanesque Church and Memorial Victims of the First World War, a small ski resort issue (Nasbinals, 8 km to the southeast), "Capital of knives and cheese" – town LAGOL www.Laguiole-Online.COM with the Museum of the Historical Area of the Upper Rueger (Haut-Rouergue), the capital of Ruej and the Contemporary Department Averon – Charming Town Rodeza (Rodez) with its massive Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Episcopal Palace (both – XII-XVII centuries.), the famous abbey of the IX-XVI centuries in the village Konka (Conques, 37 km north of Rhodes), as well as a small town Espalon (Espalion) with beautiful waterfront, WWW Speaf Museum.Musee-Scaphandre.COM (his inventors were born in this city) and the Regional Museum of Joseph Vial in the medieval church.
An impressive white cliffs in Tarn’s radiation – the ancient center of the province of Ruegrag – as if indicated on "New miracle of light" – Viaduct near the city Miao (Millau). Supported by seven huge supports, which from time to time goes to the clouds (height 326 meters – more than the Eiffel Tower), this almost three-kilometer bridge finally provided a convenient crossing of the valley, almost doubled the time required for travel from Paris to Côte d’Azur. Is it wonder that the surroundings of this truly unique engineering structure are elected by the location of the CHALLENG-AIR WWW.Challeng-Air.Com. Yes, and Miyo himself is quite sympathetic to attract the attention of thousands of guests, – here you can see the ruins of the medieval bridge, almost the perfect ring of shady boulevards, marking the perimeter of oldest fortress walls, Church of Notre Dame (IX-XIV centuries.), Miyo Museum in the Majestic Mansion of the Eighteenth Century and the Archaeological Museum of Grafesenk.
21 km south of Miyo lies a small village Rokfort Sur-Sulzon (Roquefort-sur-Soulzon), which would be a completely unassuming place if not the glory of the Motherland of the Rochet cheese, which is boiled only using a special type of mold fungi genus Penicillium, allegedly growing exclusively in the cracks of local stone. 25 km south of the Cisterian abbey of the XII century Silvan – the first monastery of this Order in southern France, as well as the magnificent castle of De-Zhisak (XVI in.) rebuilt into an excellent hotel.
And the north the limestone Plates of Kos-de Sovier (Causse de Sauveterre) and Kos-Mejean begin rich. Their pine-covered slopes create a special microclimate, brightly contrasting with intricistrate plateau, and therefore abounding with small animals and herbs. The most beautiful plot from the whole series of gorges Tarn lies 21 km north-east of Miyo, near the town Spanish (ISPAGNAC), as well as around the famous caves Avan-Arman WWW.Aven-Armand.COM on the very edge of Kos-Mean. The same places are very popular with fans of water types, and in the gorges there is a whole string of routes for alloy.
Seven and Ardesh
Mountains Seven (Seven, Cevennes) and the Ardesh River (Ardeche) form the southeastern border of the central massif, reaching the rone valleys in the east and the coast of the Lyon Bay in the south. Therefore, the internal and western regions of Sevenn are no different from the mountains of the Central Array, but the South Mont Aigoual Milk (Mont Aigoual) and its valleys are brightly pronounced signs of the Mediterranean. For centuries, this hard-to-reach area was a citadel citadent in France, and it was in these valleys that the most illuminated resistance of the Tirana Louis XIV and Louis XV was rendered. During World War II, Seven turned into "Partizansky Krai", And after 1968 – in the master of Hippies (Zippies, as the locals called them), who settled many farms left by the owners because of the scarcity of these places.
Main decoration of the region – Seven National Park, Having been occupying almost all southern part of the Lozer Department (Lozere). It was created in 1970 to protect landscapes, flora, fauna and architectural heritage Seven. Access to the periphery of the park is surprisingly simple thanks to two major motorways (Paris – Clermont-Ferrand – Him and Bezier – Miyo – Clermont-Ferrand), envelope Park from the East and West. But the inner areas are available only on SUVs, horses and on foot. For green valleys and gorges, the Park laid more than 380 km of pedestrian and cycling trail, about 120 km of water routes, and many vertices, primarily Eguul (Mont Aigoual, 1565 m) and Finel (Pic de Finiels, 1699 m), are fully suitable For simple climbing. Main Information Office WWW Park.mescevennes.com is located in the Florac Castle (Florac) – in July and August, it is highly recommended before visiting the park to look here, otherwise the likelihood is that many routes will be so clogged with tourists that they will no longer release anyone. In addition, the flora is famous for the fantastic choice of hotels and a picturesque rock wall of the outskirts of Kos-Mean, towering over the city.
Capital Department Lot – City Mand (Mende) is located in the deep valley of Lo at the northern border of the National Park. This is a typical old southern city, although most of his charm, unfortunately, is lost in the intensive commercialization of recent years. The main landmark – the Cathedral, which began to build in 1369 during the lifetime of the native of these places – Pope Urban V, but did not finish until the end of the XIX century. The most obvious signs of such long construction – two divergent towers at the main entrance, from which the beautiful panorama of the city and the split pines of the Valley of Lo. In addition to the cathedral, the tiny areas of the Old Town deserve attention and its narrow medieval streets and their buildings, as if discovering outside their foundation. And 22 km east of Manda Highway Route 901 passes through the tunnel under the impressive ruins of the Tour Castle (XII in.), the type of terrible towers of which brightly indicates his role in the protection of the region in the Middle Ages. And over all this is towering the harsh vertex of the Mont Lozer, often closed with fog or dense clouds and hiding the origins of the Tarn river.
V Le-Pon (Le Pont) The seventeenth century bridge crosses the Tarn of the Stone Tower, which once served as a post of collection of duty. It was here that in 1702, the progress of Protestants (Huguenotov), angled by the cancellation of the Nange Decree, was completed, which ended with repression that had more than 12 thousand people, and the real partisan soldiers of Kamizarov. On the edge of Le – there is a small eco-eco-du-du-low (open from May to September daily, from 10.30 to 12.30 and from 14.30 to 18.thirty; Entrance – 3.5 euros) and Cute Tavern Auberge Des CEVENNES at the most bridge.
In addition, it is worth seeing the bizarre rock formations of the Nimes-Le-Vieux, the picturesque top of Mont-egulo with the observatory (the local legend says that with this small, only 1565 meters, the mountains can be seen in France – from the Alps to the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean coast), an amazing village of Kuvertorad (La Couvertoirade), the Sevenol Museum in Vigane, Elegant Arch Bridge (XVIII in.) and many picturesque old buildings in "Guenota Fortress" – Saint-Jean-du-Gard town (Saint-Jean-Du-Gard), Bamboo Garden in the nearby village Prafrance (Prafrance), and also drive through a magnificent winding road from Vigan to the Ero (Herault) valley (herault) and chestnut forest.
Small but succeeding Oben (Aubenas) is located on the northern slopes of Seven, high on the hill, towering over the Valley of the Ardesh River. His historical part with quiet streets and cute pavements occupies the top of the hill around the L’Hotel-de-Ville Square and the Eleventh Century Castle, from which local feudals managed the region up to the revolution. The sights of the city also include the carefully restored church of Saint-Lauren (XIII in.) with a chapel (XV in.), as well as a curious hexagonal chapel of House-Beno’a (XVII in.). Nearby, in the Pont d’Arc district (Pont d’Arc), the beautiful Gorge of the Ardesh River, stretching 35 km to the Rhone Valley, as well as the famous caves of Plateau Graols. And even higher, near Wallon-Pont-d’Ark (Vallon-Pont-D’Arc), in December 1994, a whole complex of rock paintings created approximately 30 thousand years ago was discovered.
In the middle of the central massif, 78 km from Saint-Etienne (Saint-Etienne) and 132 km from Clermont Ferran, lies one of the most picturesque small cities of France – Le Puy An-Vel (Le puy-en-velay). It is literally clamped between the high mountains from the East and the West, even in the very center of urban quarters, the destroyed volcanic cone rises, so its landscapes and architecture seem completely theatrical. In the Middle Ages Le-Puy, the locals are often named (it should be borne in mind that cities with such a name in France are more than three tens), flourished, being an important point on the path of pilgrims in Santiago de Compostela, – It is believed that the local bishop Godeskalk believes In the x century was the first to pass this almost 1600-kilometer route. Now it is a beautiful town with a clear medieval charm, a rather difficult to reach, but the famous Mary with a baby, towering over the city quarters of 130 meters (installed on the top of Rocher Cornell, 755 m). The statue of cast from 213 cannons captured by the French expeditionary case in Sevastopol, and painted in red to harmonize with tiled roofs of the town.
Also deserve attention to the wedding lava cone 82 meters high small Romanesque church Saint-Michel (x in., The staircase in 265 steps is leading to the entrance, symbolizing the path in Santiago de Compostela), a labyrinth of steeply cobbled streets on the terraces Roshe Cornel, Cathedral of Notre Dam de France (XI-XVI centuries.), adjacent to him exclusively beautiful monastery (XI-XII centuries.), a squat tower of Panesac (all that remains from the city walls of the X-XVI centuries.), the extraordinary tower of Dzer Robin, spacious public gardens Henri fault with a museum to crogue (rich collection dedicated to the city’s traditional craft – weaving lace) and numerous lace workshops themselves.
Nearby, in the town Shas-Die (Chaise-Dieu), you can see the abbey of Saint-Robert (XI-XIV centuries.) with his colorful church (XI-XX in.), grave Pope Clement VI and famous fresco "Dance-Makabr" (XIV-XV in.). And north of Le-Puy En-Vel begins an extensive area of Pine-covered Highlands, which is now given under the natural regional park Livradois-Forez (Livradois-Forez).
Also deserve attention to a small city Amber (Ambert) with his paper history museums (in the XIV-XVIII centuries. The city was the center of paper production) and cheese of Furme-Amber, the ancient center produced by Klinkov – the city of Tiere (so far 70% of the knives produced in France have stigma of local masters), wooded Mountains Vivar (Vivarais) and the capital of the Department of Loire – City Saint-Etienne www.Tourisme-St-Etienne.COM with its numerous museums and temples.
In the central array, due to its natural climatic features "clean" Ski rest is unlikely. However, for the same reason, this area is considered one of the best places of France for plain skis, initial skiing and snowboarding, hiking and horse robes, and his amazing nature allows you to rest here at any time of the year. At the same time, sleeping volcanoes overnight offer quite serious slopes with a drop of heights up to 500 meters, more than 1,300 km of trails are laid here, of which to "Purely ski" Applies 160!
Besse-Superbesse and Le Mont-dore Ski stations offer more than 70 km of descents from Sansi slopes (Sancy, 1886 m), and La Loge Des Gardes mountain resort is only 2 km of descents, but it is the most closest to the capital of the country ski center – only 380 km.
Narrow LE MONT-DORE gorges have long been a recognized center of inclusive riding, and not so simple, as it seems at first glance. Let local slopes and cannot boast the complexity of the Alps or painting of the Pyrenees, but here you can find a cozy atmosphere, low prices and excellent opportunities for combined rest.