Posts Tagged ‘Puy de Sancy’
For the past two days, the dynamic Tour de France of 2017 has taken cyclists and viewers throughout the revered Dordogne area and the Massif Central, where volcanic landscapes showcase lush forests and are covered with wildflowers each Spring. Today, Le Tour race ended in the latter in the enchanting city of Le Puy-du-Velay.
UNESCO pays homage to the extraordinary blend of cultural heritage and art de vivre within the Dordogne’s well-preserved natural landscape. Abundant natural resources stimulate the healthy economy of the basin that benefits from tourism, agriculture, forestry and industry – all in the remarkable beauty of the Dordogne and its tributaries.
France now boasts 11 such areas of natural heritage, including Mont Ventoux in the Vaucluse and the sprawling Camargue in the South. While UNESCO also designates World Heritage sites, the unique biosphere reserve honor aims to encourage people to revere and maintain the symbiotic relationship and mutual respect between man and nature.
When my husband and I ‘motored’ around the region, we were stunned by the landscapes – stark hills and long rolling landscapes, the cooling river waters and quaint villages. We aren’t able to spend nearly as much time in France as we would like, but I’ll let you in on one of my little vicarious travel secrets.
Google Earth offers me phantom travel, so that I can zoom down to a small road in the Dordogne or elsewhere and travel right along the routes we may one day visit. I also can re-visit Le Mont-Dore and search for that little restaurant we found. It’s simply a fun pastime that can lift my day and offer hope for new adventures.
Don’t hesitate to contact S. Sheridan with questions or specific requests!
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After leaving Chatel Guyon in the Central Massif, we happened upon Le Mont-Dore. It’s the sort of place you don’t necessarily seek out; but once there, you’re glad you didn’t miss. We parked near the Tourism Center to explore on foot and crossed over the Dordogne River that runs by the side of the village. There’s nothing quite as relaxing and inviting as the gentle rush of a river on a warm summer day.
We are greeted by lively pedestrian lanes, where cafes and shops open to grassy squares, and friendly merchants offer sausages, baked goods and artisan crafts. A 19th-century “Thermes” anchors the side of town away from the river – a thermal “curative” spa that promises health and renewal.
We decide to stay a couple of nights and enjoy a spectacular view from our hotel balcony – the highest summit in the Auvergne, Puy de Sancy, looks over Mont-Dore (and on to our room!)
A walk through the town offers little pleasures – browsing the marketplace, slipping into a bakery for an éclair, circling the Romanesque bath and wandering by the river. It is, perhaps, the lack of “attractions” that makes Mont-Dore so attractive!
One place not to miss is the deli/restaurant on a corner in town. You won’t need directions; as the aroma of rotisserie-baked ham, pork and chicken drifts through the air, like a surreptitious advertisement. Perhaps, you will have them make you a baked country ham sandwich complete with a slightly sweet barbeque sauce and crispy fries.
Take your treasures to the tiny fountained park next to Le Petit Paris Cafe. From your park bench, you will enjoy a savory picnic, overlooking the grassy mountain peaks in the background.
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