The Auvergne consists of 4 departments, of which we live in the south-eastern part, the Haute Loire. The house is at an altitude of 750 meters. The highest part of our area is 1800 meters high and the source of the Loire. The area is varied in landscape, afforestation and height. It is volcanic and still very quiet everywhere. There are many villages with beautiful old churches, some dating back to the year 1000. Not all of them abandoned and sad: many old farms and houses have been beautifully restored and are bustling with activity, much in the cultural field. There is always a nice concert to visit …
Below you can see the Corboeuf. This is a ravine where you can hike and it is of geological importance: there was once an inland sea here, leaving beautiful clay deposits, which change color according to the light. You can make some beautiful pictures here!
The Haute Loire is the south-eastern part of the ‘Massif Central’, pushed up in ancient times by volcanic eruptions. An older mountain range than, for example, the Pyrenees and therefore less high, because it is already flattened. There is a museum in Clermont Ferrand where the volcanic event is depicted so that you can experience it (www.vulcania.com). You can also visit an old coal mine in St. Etienne from the inside (www.musee-mine.saint-etienne.fr) Both one hour away from la Garnasette.
Spring is characterised by an exuberant floral display, in summer it is never too hot due to the height, autumn offers a colour shade that makes you quiet and in winter there are cross-country skiing options. The walker will find many well-marked tours here, the so-called “Petites Randonnées”, both simple and more difficult. The old volcanic landscape is highly varied: forests, meadows, crater lakes and everywhere there is the Loire river that winds through the valleys.
You can easily encounter a deer or fox and there are many birds that you do not often see elsewhere. We are an active member of the Bird Protection Service here.
An important starting point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, the town of le Puy-en-Velay is well worth a visit with its medieval cathedral and the old streets surrounding it. And not to forget a very nice market!