About the area
The Massif Centrale, Auvergne, Region Puy de Dôme
France’s “green lung”, Auvergne is the land of Wide-Open Spaces. Located in the heart of the Massif Central, today it is at the crossroads of several motorways. With is sprinkling of lakes and forests, Auvergne offers its visitors the largest group of volcanoes in Europe at Vulcania, the unique European Volcano Park, two Regional Nature Parks (the Auvergne Volcanoes and Livradois-Forez), more than 500 Romanesque churches, nearly 50 châteaux to visit along the Historic Road of the Auvergne Châteaux and 10 spa towns which preserve the charms of the “Belle Époque”.
Parc Naturel Régional du Livradois-Forez: This is an area of outstanding beauty with a volcanic region to the north west and many mountains in the area.
Le Puy en Velay.
The approach in itself is dramatic with volcanic cores rising out of the plain. The town was, and still is, the starting point for pilgrims from all over Northern Europe following the route of St.James into Spain. Enormous volcanic peaks rise up within the town, one surmounted by a Romanesque chapel, the other by a huge red statue of the Virgin Mary. Le Puy en Velay is rich in history and is also traditionally known for its lace making. Gastronomically it is famous for the Puy lentils.
Coisse/Montis: This is a small French village 2kms from Arlanc and is at 600m altitude. It has some 14 houses, of which around half are lived in throughout the summer and in the winter, only 5 of which (including us) are occupied.
Château de Coisse.
The château is in the process of complete renovation and all are welcome to come and see the progress inside. The history stems back to the 13th century and there are many features that date back from that time. Clermont-Ferrand is 80kms north and St Etienne some 60kms to the east, both which have their own airports.