5 Days in Auvergne: Part III, Chatel-Guyon

In Part III of the series "5 days in Auvergne," the author visits the spa town of Chatel-Guyon on the edge of the Regional Nature Park of the Volcanoes.

5 Days in Auvergne: Part II, An Introduction to Spa Towns and Hot Springs...

Part II of an exploration of spa towns, hot springs, Romansque churches, cattle pastures, cheese farms and villages in Auvergne. A brief history of economic developments relative to hot springs, by way of Royat.

Vichy: Not That Vichy, This Vichy

For many people, both French and foreign, something uncomfortable lurks in the name Vichy. Vichy calls to mind first and foremost the provisional French government...

Bonjour Y’All, It’s Equiblues: A Remote French Town Gets Into the Rodeo Spirit

On a typical day nothing about the remote town of Saint-Agrève (pop. 2,600) would allow the rare visitor to imagine that its inhabitants have the slightest interest in Americana. But come mid-August Equiblues transforms this town in to the rodeo capital of France.

Elsewhere along the Loire: Val d’Aubois

You’d be the rare traveler, French or foreign, to have heard of the Val d’Aubois, the Aubois Valley, a largely bypassed portion of Loire...

Tasted, Tested in Le Bourbonnais: Saint Pourcain Wines, Auvergne Cheeses, Charolais Beef

In which the author visits Le Bourbonnais, a little-known area of central France in the department of Allier within the region of Auvergne, encounters local cheeses, Charolais beef and Saint Pourcain wines, and gets smart by sticking his head in a saint's tomb.

5 Days in Auvergne: Part I, from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand

Part 1 of a 5-part investigation in Auvergne (in the center of France) with a focus on spa towns. Part 1 includes the train ride from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand, the region's capital, some highlights in the city, and a dinner of hearty regional fare accompanied by uncommonly awful music.

5 Days in Auvergne, Part IV: Château La Canière, a Luxury Hotel

Leaving Chatel-Guyon in the late afternoon I felt the call of the hill rather than the plain, in part because I’ve never associated Auvergne with the plain, in part because hills are more exotic to me than flatlands. But I also felt the call of a 5-star hotel, and Château La Canière, the only luxury hotel within many miles, stood out in the plain.

Party Like It’s 1865: A Taste of Imperial Splendor in Vichy

The primacy of French gastronomy may have gone the way of the rotary phone, still the hungry traveler explores France with a desire to taste its native tang, to savor its cultural heritage and, from time to time, to experience the flavors of long-gone imperial and royal glory served at Versailles or Chantilly or… (drumroll, please)… Vichy.

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Award-winning travel writer and editor Gary Lee Kraut is the go-to guy for individuals and agencies seeking personalized tours, events and advice in Paris and throughout France.

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