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Thiers - a dramatic setting

The town of Thiers which sits in the Puy de Dôme department of the Auvergne region of southern central France, has a spectacular location. It perches on the edge of a vast ravine, at the bottom of which the crystal waters of the River Durolle flow and tumble down steps of waterfalls through this lush and beautiful land. The volcanoes that underlie the region have created a landscape both dramatic and fertile, and quite distinctive. The town itself is equally distinctive, dating back to mediaeval times. It is renowned for its architecture.

Stunning architecture

Thiers is a fascinating town to discover, and offers some beautiful and unique architecture. There are many lovely old buildings, but perhaps the features that give Thiers its reputation are the carvings that appear on many of these buildings. There are strange carved faces peering out from under the gables around the windows and anywhere a carving can be placed, grinning at you and demanding interest!

Knives, forks and spoons...

The art and industry of cutlery making is the industry that sustains Thiers economically, and in fine style too. In fact, this should hardly be surprising, since the town's inhabitants have been honing this craft since mediaeval times. Thiers is sometimes referred to as "the knife town", and its excellent knives, forks and spoons are known internationally as well as within France. Thiers has a very interesting museum dedicated to its traditional industry, and a visit here is both educational and extremely enjoyable.

Shops and services

Thiers supports a good number of shops and businesses, including supermarkets, schools, health care, a cinema, a museum and sports facilities, so provision for its residents is first class. The restaurants and bars are notable too, with one particularly atmospheric eatery set in an old knife making workshop.

Out and about

The spectacular setting of Thiers makes for some great sight seeing trips, so make sure you have access to a car or you will miss out on a lot. Places worth a visit include Clermont Ferrand, which will afford you that big city experience and offers ice skating, museums and cinemas, excellent shopping and some of the oldest chocolate shops in France. Issoire and Ambert (try the cheese!) are also worth putting on your itinerary. Then there are the numerous small villages that are so pretty that passing through will entice you to stop and explore. The entire region offers a host of sports and leisure activities. Within easy access of Thiers you will find an aquatic park as well as beautiful leisure lake, so you can do your swimming in either man-made or natural surroundings!

How to get there

Unfortunately, the airport of Clermont Ferrand doesn't offer direct flights to the UK, so you will have to fly into Lyon, St Etienne or Limoges. Lyon is served by Air France, British Airways, easyJet and bmi; St Etienne by Ryanair; and Limoges by Ryanair and flybe. Paris is another option, situated a little further away but it has the advantage of easy links to services which will get you to the capital of the department, Clermont Ferrand. There are then frequent trains to Thiers itself from Clermont Ferrand. If travelling by road you will find Thiers near the A72 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Thiers

As the Puy de Dôme is one of France's less well known departments, property can represent a real bargain here. Currently on the market are some unbelievable bargains, with prices that simply don't seem to exist in the rest of France. Can you imagine finding not one, but two stone cottages to renovate at less than 25,000 Euros? Or a fully renovated farmhouse for just 150,000 Euros? If you want a bargain or are on a tight budget, you won't believe your luck when you arrive in Thiers!

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Thiers AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Thiers?

Thiers is located in the heart of France, on the Massif Central. It lies in the north-east of the Puy de Dôme department.

Thiers Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AUVERGNE

Auvergne Guide

Auvergne Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUY-DE-DME

Puy-de-Dme Guide

  Puy-de-Dme Map


Population: 13,338


Access: By air: Fly to Lyon, St Etienne, Limoges or Clermont Ferrand (local flights only).By rail: The TGV stops at Clermont Ferrand making the train a possible choice.By road: The A72 motorway is very near the town.


Economy: Knife making and cutlery is the famous mainstay of the economy of Thiers.


Interesting fact: The tradition of cutlery making has continued in Thiers since mediaeval times.


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