Top things to do

Top Choice Church in La Chaise-Dieu

Église Abbatiale de St-Robert

For Pope Clement VI, a humble tomb simply wouldn't do. The pope commissioned a palatial church to shelter his final resting place and the resulting Église Abbatiale, completed in 1352, is an imposing sight: two squa…
Top Choice Museum in Thiers

Musée de la Coutellerie

Split across two buildings, this museum gives an entertaining account of cutlery-making history. In number 23, a kid-friendly sound-and-light show evokes the dazzling, deafening conditions of a medieval workshop. Co…
French in Thiers

Le Chaudron

Test the limits of your cheese threshold with fondant St-Nectaire, an entire baked cheese served with morsels of potato, salad and cured meat, a marvellously garlicky truffade (cheese and potato bake), or perhaps an…
Museum in Ambert

Maison de la Fourme d'Ambert

Creamy blue Fourme d'Ambert, recognisable by its tall, cylindrical shape, is one of the Auvergne's five Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) cheeses. This dairy museum, within a 14th-century building in the cheese's…
Gastronomy in Parc Naturel Régional Livradois-Forez

Auberge de la Forge

Auvergnat flavours receive a makeover at this restaurant in Glaine-Montaigut, 20km southwest of Thiers. Savoury tarts of boudin noir (black sausage) and quail with forest mushrooms hit the spot, though the spirit of…
Church in Parc Naturel Régional Livradois-Forez

Église St-Jean

A blushing sandstone church in Glaine-Montaigut, 20km southwest of Thiers, makes a worthwhile detour. The Romanesque church's interior, brightly coloured with stripes and fleur-de-lys designs, has been nicely restor…
French in Thiers

La Belle Excuse

A satisfying, great-value restaurant turning out local classics like truffade, as well as a delicious range of seafood from fish tartare and ray wing with capers to salmon lasagne (a refreshing change from the Auver…
Museum in Thiers

Vallée des Rouets

About 4km northeast of Thiers is the Vallée des Rouets, an open-air museum dedicated to the knife-makers who once toiled here in front of water-driven grindstones, a method abandoned in the 1930s. In July and August…
Music in La Chaise-Dieu

Sacred Music Festival

The extraordinary acoustics of La Chaise-Dieu's church transform classical and choral music into a sublime force at this 10-day festival in mid-August. Buy tickets for concerts and discover the full programme on the…
Cafe in La Chaise-Dieu

Le Blizart

A crooning blues soundtrack and a friendly welcome set the tone of this shabby-chic cafe. The programme of entertainment varies from chess nights and karaoke to crochet circles; check the website for the latest.