Take a trip to a quiet place in the south central part of France for a relaxing but thoroughly enjoyable break by staying in Haute-Loire. This is a wonderfully scenic part of the country named after the Loire River. Here visitors will find numerous different places to stay including self catering accommodation, gites, apartments, B&Bs and campsites.
This is a very attractive region and ideal for hiking, cycling and horse riding with great gorges, mountains and countryside to explore. Holidaymakers can indulge in a few watersports in the region with canoeing, rafting and kayaking available on the Loire and Allier Rivers. Fly fishing is also popular on the rivers here. Golfers will not be disappointed as there are a few 18-hole courses in this part of the French countryside as well as tennis courts. The winter offers plenty of activities too with skiing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and sledding popular in the region. Visitors keen to take to the air and enjoy the magnificent views can try hot air ballooning, paragliding and hang-gliding. Self catering holidaymakers can purchase food and drink from local markets and stores. There are a few shops in the area to purchase souvenirs, arts and crafts. Bars, cafes and restaurants can be found in the Haute-Loire area, where visitors will get mainly local cuisine. Local specialities include lentils, beef, mushrooms and cheeses.
With such a rich history Haute-Loire has many interesting sites and ancient buildings including stately homes and mansions. Visitors will also find many churches and other religious sites such as Cloitre de la Cathedrale. A number of museums can be visited in this part of France such as the Musee Vivant du Cheval de Trait in Pradelles and Musee Crozatier in Le Pay-en-Velay. Another thing to visit of historic interest is the Vivarais Railway, which is run by volunteers and stops at interesting villages in the region. There are many beautiful parks and natural features in Haute-Loire including La Baume Waterfall made even more picturesque by the forest surrounding it. Slightly further afield to the north is the city of St Etienne, which has more museums and historic buildings.
The weather between June and September is generally warm with the average high in July around 27 degrees centigrade. There is an average of nine hours of sunshine per day in July. December and January are the coldest months with an average high of just six degrees centigrade. The wettest month of the year is May with an average of 11 rainy days.
Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport (LYS) is less than a two hour drive from Haute-Loire and has flights to and from various cities across Europe including Amsterdam, Dublin, Gothenburg, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Munich, Paris and Zurich amongst others. Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National/Citer and Sixt are car rental firms located at the airport.