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A dynamic landscape

The Puy-de-Dme has become popular with ramblers and nature lovers due to the variety offered by its dynamic landscape. Wide pasturelands and still lakes give way to volcanic mountain ranges with rocky corries and steeply cut valleys. Agriculture is the dominant industry in the department and cheese and wine are the Puy-de-Dme's two biggest exports.

A rustic feel

The departmental capital is Clermont-Ferrand, distinguished by its black houses made from local volcanic rock. The city is central to the Massif Central, both geographically and economically. This is an interesting town, which hasn't lost its rustic feel despite its increasing popularity. There is a charming old town, a lively university and a whole host of restaurants and bars.

Economic pioneering

Clermont-Ferrand was formed in 1631 from the union of the towns of Clermont and Montferrand. The town that resulted played an integral part in the French industrial revolution thanks to the entrepreneurial zeal of a lady called Madame Daubre. The niece of Charles Macintosh, Madame Daubre built upon her uncle's entrepreneurial wisdom and opened a number of factories in the town. The bouncing ball (often played with by children and originally made of rubber) is an invention whose origins can be traced back to one of Madame Daubre's factories.

Spectacular views

A short distance form Clermont-Ferrand, you'll find the impressive Puy-de-Dme volcano. The volcano last erupted so long ago that visitors are allowed to climb to the top and can do so with a certain peace of mind. The breathtaking panoramic views from the top make this an ideal setting for a picnic. Although this is a fairly gentle climb, if you don't have the energy to carry your lunch up with you then you could always make a reservation at the volcano's summit restaurant.

Carvings and cutlery

The city of Thiers is an architectural wonder in itself. It is situated on the edge of a ravine looking down on the Durolle River below and is home to a vast array of magnificent buildings. Many have been carved with intricate images such as grinning faces. Cutlery making has been the town's traditional industry since medieval times and there is an interesting museum dedicated to the subject.

A progressive town

Issoire is a prosperous and bustling town situated in the middle of lush green countryside and encircled by wide boulevards. It has a magnificent 12th century Romanesque Abbey, one of the largest in Auvergne. After the war the town was transformed into a major industrial powerhouse specialising in metalwork.

Site of a trial

Riom, in the north of the department, is the historical capital of the whole of the Auvergne region. It made its name during the Second World War when, in 1942, the Jewish socialist Prime Minister Leon Blum was put on trial here by the Nazis. He successfully managed to turn the proceedings around and blasted the authorities for Nazi collaboration. As the trial grew into a farce it was quickly suspended and Blum was sent to Germany. However, Blum survived the war and returned to deliver evidence in the Nuremburg trials. Today Riom is a quiet town with few lasting reminders of its past historical significance.

How to get there

Clermont-Ferrand does have an airport but the flights to/from the UK are currently only seasonal. The nearest airports with regular UK services are Rodez, Lyon and Limoges. Lyon and Limoges also have TGV train stations. (Saint Etienne Airport is close too, but does not currently offer direct flights to/from the UK. This may be worth checking in the future though.)

Puy-de-Dme property prices

The department is becoming a popular choice amongst Parisians looking for second homes. Clermont-Ferrand in particular represents good value for money and has the added bonus of a strong rental market.

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Puy-de-Dme AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Puy-de-Dme?

The Puy-de-Dme is located in the centre of the Auvergne region of France.

Puy-de-Dme Property Map


Auvergne Guide

Auvergne Property Map



Ambert Guide

Besse et Saint Anastaise Guide

Clermont-Ferrand Guide

Cournon d'Auvergne Guide

Issoire Guide

La Bourboule Guide

Mont Dore Guide

Lempdes Guide

Saint Eloy les Mines Guide

Saint Gervais d'Auvergne Guide

Saint Rémy de Blot Guide

Thiers Guide


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