Limousin is a land of lakes and waterways, offering every kind of activity from fishing to jet skiing, with watersports galore to be found on the sandy shores of Lake Vassivière. The sparsely populated and untouched landscape is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, with ample opportunities for cycling and rambling. Local farms produce delicious cherries and plums, regional specialities include cherry clafoutis and the variety of liqueurs distilled from local fruit and berries. The region’s capital, Limoges, is famous for its pottery and porcelain. The Contemporary Art Centre at Meymac and the châteaux and monuments of the area also attract people to this peaceful area of France.
With a slightly warmer climate than its neighbour, the Auvergne’s dramatic volcanic landscape provides a contrast to Limousin’s rolling greenery. Vulcania, a recently created park, is devoted to the explanation of the area’s volcanic activity. The dramatic gorges, geysers and large expanses of forest of the Massif Central make for excellent walking. Wildlife such as falcons, owls and otters, is abundant. Hang-gliding, hot-air ballooning and skiing in the winter are popular activities. Local cuisine is wonderful, the region serves the best garlic and lentils in France, as well as a spicy soup called vichyssoise, named for the spa town of Vichy. The mineral waters of the area provide a crisp and refreshing alternative to the local wines.