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A thriving market town

The town of Issoire in the Puy-de-Dôme, is a buzzing and interesting market town, sitting in the central mountains of France known as the Massif Central. Walking around the town you will be struck by the contrasting wide open squares and the little narrow streets which give Issoire its distinctive character.

Decorative buildings

Issoire has some interesting fifteenth century architecture, and indeed, the buildings of the town are extremely attractive with their red tiled roofs and examples of unusual decorative brickwork friezes in the walls. Worth a visit are the Renaissance clock tower, and the ancient and beautiful Church Saint Austremoine. Those who enjoy museums can visit the Musée de la Pierre Philosophale, a lithological museum, and there is also an art gallery, the Centre d'Art Roman.

Saturday market

Saturday morning brings the market, and this is the liveliest day of all. Here traders set up their wares early in the morning, and locals trawl the stalls for the freshest and best fruit and veg, the brightest waxed tablecloths and the pick of locally produced cheeses, for which this region is justly famed.

Excellent shopping facilities

Aside from market day, there is still plenty happening in Issoire, and if shopping is on your agenda this is a very good place to be! Issoire is blessed with excellent shopping facilities, both in terms of small and interesting boutiques, and also useful large supermarkets. There are bars and restaurants where you can while away a lunchtime or an evening in very pleasant style, and the usual sprinkling of attractive cafés if a quick coffee is all you require.

Exploring the area

Issoire has a motor racing circuit close by, le Circuit Issoire, so speed lovers should enjoy a trip to the racing! Issoire offers lots of opportunities to take part in sports, and it should be noted that although Issoire is in central France rather than the Alps or the Pyrénées, as it sits in the Massif Central, winter sports such as skiing and dog sledding are possible in season. Summer sports include fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, horse-riding, swimming and hang gliding. The area around Issoire is noted for having natural hot springs also, and a trip to see these and to enjoy the waters can be a good experience for both body and soul! Finally, a trip to the volcano is essential.

How to get there

You can fly to Rodez (Ryanair), Limoges (Ryanair or flybe) or Lyon (Air France, bmibaby, BA, easyJet, or bmi) from airports in the UK. Rail travel is another possibility as Issoire is close to the town of Clermont-Ferrand which has a major train station. If you are travelling by road you will need to take the A75 motorway taking the exit for Issoire.

Property prices and availability in and around Issoire

Properties in this region can really represent value for money, as prices here have not yet reached the highs seen in certain regions of France, such as the Cote D'Azur, or the Atlantic coast. One reason for these lower prices is that there is not yet an international airport serving the area, so transport to and from the UK can be an issue for second home owners. As with everywhere in France, however, property seekers are discovering the delights of the area, so don't expect prices to stay low for ever!

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Issoire AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Issoire?

Issoire is located in the very heart of France, in the Massif Central. The town lies centrally in the Auvergne region, in the south of the Puy-de-Dôme department.

Issoire Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AUVERGNE

Auvergne Guide

Auvergne Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUY-DE-DÔME

Puy-de-Dôme Guide

  Puy-de-Dôme Map


Population: 13,559


Access: By air: Fly to Rodez, Lyon or Limoges airports from the UK. By rail: Take a TGV to Lyon or Limoges from Paris. By road: Issoire is signed from the A75 motorway.


Economy: The main economy of the town is industry, with metalwork being of particular importance. Issoire has the biggest aluminium press in history.


Interesting fact: Issoire is traditionally known as 'The home of beautiful women and fine wines!'

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