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Auvergne Geography

  • Auvergne is one of France's smallest regions. This is also a largely under populated area with an ageing population.
  • Auvergne is located in the southern central part of France. It is bordered to the east by the Rhône-Alpes region, to the south by the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees regions, to the north by the Centre and Burgundy regions, and to the west by the Limousin region.
  • Auvergne offers an idyllic environment that welcomes nature lovers in the medium height mountains Massif Central. Here, each extinct volcano, each lake, each gorge, each river, each waterfall, each natural park and each forest account for geographical features of Auvergne and uses its charms to attract admiration.
  • The Chaîne des Puys brings to the region the status of biggest geological site of Europe, with volcanoes old of more 8000 years.
  • For the pleasure of holidaymakers and travellers Auvergne offers various scenery and landscapes throughout the seasons.


Auvergne Geography and Key Data
Surface Area
Auvergne consists of 26 013km² equivalent to 4.8%of France's total surface area.

Departments
Auvergne consists of 4 départements: the Allier(03), the Puy-de -Dome (63), the Cantal (15) and the Haute Loire(43).

Communes
Aquitaine is composed by more than 1310 communes.
Water in Auvergne
Rivers
The Loire rise in the south of Auvergne.It is long of 1020 kilometres and is the longest river of France.
The Allier rises in the centre of France and tumultuous waters is at the origin of the exceptional natural site: the Gorges de l'Allier.
The River Cher also located in the centre of France originates in the Massif central.
The Sioule belong to Auvergne rivers and originates near the Servières Lake along 150kms.

Freshwater ponds and lakes
Auvergne accounts for about 50 freshwater ponds and lakes.
The massif Central and more especially the Puy de Dôme has number of mountainous and altitude lakes with volcanic origins: Guéry Lake :the highest of Auvergne lakes, Pavin Lake and Servières Lake:the deepest one in Auvergne.
Nautical activities are available on several of the region's lakes, notably at:lake of Bort les Orgues, Lake Lavalette or pond of l'Allier and pond of Garabit.
Auvergne also benefits of bontiful water sources rich in mineral salts, most of them being commercialised like the famous Volvic.
Mountains range in Auvergne
Mountains
Auvergne is popular for its moutains ranges and volcanic peaks, located in the Massif Central.
Auvergne is like an open-air geological exhibition with its four volcanic massifs - the Chaîne des Puys, the Monts Dore, the Monts du Cantal and the Volcanic Velay -
The Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys form the most imposing volcanic group in Europe, including 80 majestic and mysterious dormant volcanoes aligned on 40 kilometres. The Puy de Dôme is the highest of them all with 1,465 m of altitude.
The Sancy Massif is the highest point in central France(1,886 m).
The Plateau de l'Artense and the Plateau du Cézallier are the start of a land of pastures.
Northern region is a land of hills.

Ski Resorts
Auvergne accounts for number of ski resorts, some of them being world famous.
Massif du Sancy : Mont Dore, Super Besse, Chastreix-sancy
Massif Cantalien : Lioran
Massif du Mezenc : Les Estables.
Forests and Natural Parks in Auvergne
Forests
The Domanial Forest of Tronçais, covering nearly 11,000 hectares (27,170 acres)is the largest oak forest in Europe.
The Upper Auvergne granite plateau is known for its "Châtaigneraie" covered with over 210,000 hectares (518,700 acres) of chestnut trees.

Protected areas
Auvergne accounts for two Regional Nature Parks
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park is the most visited site in the département an also one of Europe's oldest and largest regional parks. There is fantastic panorama on 12 glacial valleys at its summit.
Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park is also one of the biggest French nature park, offering rich and various landscapes,fauna and flora fonctions of altitudes.

Fauna and Flora
Fauna: salers cows,heron,roe deer,wild boar,owl,falcon as zander,pike,trout and char.
Flora:oak, beech, pine,poplar and ash trees as orchids,lime blossom, gentian, mimosa and lily plants.
Areas of interest in Auvergne
Gorges de l'Allier
Unique natural site located in the Valley of River Allier. The heart of these deep "Gorges" offers wild and exceptionnal lanscapes only acessible via the touristic train.

The Garabit Viaduct
Classified and protected as a historical monument, the Viaduc de Garabit, designed by Gustave Eiffel, joins the two sides of the Truyère Valley at a height of 120 metres. Visit via touristic train.

Super Besse
The dynamic resort of Super Besse is situated on the south facing slope of the Sancy mountain and offers 22 ski lifts connecting with the resort of the Mont-Dore.


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