CENTRAL FRANCE: Centre, Auvergne and Limousin

Central France information for tourists and residents: Allier, Cher, Creuse and Indre departments and outlying areas

Le Blanc, Indre, Central France

Le Blanc, Indre, Central France

central france departments map
Main Photo: Lac de Vassiviere, La Creuse and Haute-Vienne
sancerre, france, famous french wine region, central france, le cher

Sancerre, Le Cher, Central France


Bienvennue / Welcome to Central France ~ Information for tourists and residents alike, for the Allier, Cher, Creuse and Indre departments.

PLEASE NOTE THIS SITE IS BEING RE-DESIGNED, SOME OF THE NEW LINKS MAY NOT YET WORK! These updates should be finished by end summer 2014.

La Souterraine, Central FranceCentral France (not to be confused with the Région Centre although we cover some part of this region on this site), a largely rural and under-populated area, is becoming more and more popular with tourists and for second home owners as well as those looking to relocate permanently.

Jouliat beach near Gueret, FranceThis area has much to offer. Come here to enjoy delightful scenery such as chateaux, lakes, medieval towns and villages; superb cuisine including a wide variety of regional dishes, many of which are explored in our recipe pages; and an enormous array of regional wines many of which are world renowned such as the Sancerre wines of Le Berry (departments Cher and Indre). Central France is a perfect holiday destination for everyone - we even have superb beaches, but without all the crowds of the coastal resorts!

Around 80 million people visit France each year, making it one of the top countries in the world for tourism. It is also one of the most popular places for the British to buy second homes and/or relocate permanently to.

Visiting France is very easy, with a wide variety of travel links to all regions in France combined with an excellent road and rail system once you have arrived. France does not have any seriously dangerous insects or animals, (although it has its fair share of scarey drivers!!) and does not require any inoculations before you travel. You can also travel here with your pet quite easily - just be aware that if you are coming from a rabies-free zone, returning with your pet to your homeland will require a visit to the vet and a small amount of paper work.

There are literally thousands of choices for holiday accommodation in France from municipal campsites to five star hotels.

There are 21 regions made up of 94 departments on the mainland. On this website we are exploring the four departments in the middle: Allier, Cher, Creuse and Indre that cross into the 3 regions of Auvergne, Centre Val-de-Loire and Limousin. These four departments are quite different from each other. For example, the Indre is quite flat in the north, and becomes more wooded and "rolling" in the south leading across the border to the south to La Creuse where the landscape changes quickly into granite outcrops and deep gorges.

All four departments are brimming with rural charm. There are very few large towns in any of these departments, and what there is is divided by miles of picturesque landscape with scatterings of pretty villages and small towns.

Although these four departments are about as far from the coast as you can get, there are plenty of beaches as we are lucky to have an abundance of superb swimming lakes. Many of these lakes have other facilities like cafés, water sports, tree-top adventures and fishing. However, it is very rare to find these beaches crowded like those on the coast, even in high summer - so if you like to swim and sunbath but don't like crowds, inland is the best choice, and often much more economical.

This site is all about central France and aims to provide ideas for new places to visit and information to make you want to return again and again.

I get many requests for leaflets and brochures, please note this is an independent information website and not linked to a tourism office  - if you want leaflets, please contact a Tourist Information Office or Syndicat d'Initiative in the area you are interested in.

Vichy, Aliier, Central FRance

Vichy, Allier, Central France