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The Limousin region of France

Limousin lies at the heart of France, and is part of the area known to the British as the Dordogne. It’s largely undiscovered but becoming more popular amongst those who love the timeless heart of rural France. Limousin is divided into the three departments of Corrèze, Creuse and Haute-Vienne. It lies on the western slopes of the Massif Central and is not very touristy. In this area you can truly relax. Sheep roam the lower slopes of the Cévennes, cattle graze in the pastures, and the rivers and lakes teem with fish. The wet winter climate gives rise to a rich, verdant countryside.

Nature lovers will enjoy the region. This area of woods and forests is crisscrossed by rivers, including the Creuse, Vienne and Dordogne. The trees, water and pure air make it popular amongst hikers.

The northwest is covered by woods and fields known as the bocage. The Marche area is a marshland between the Loire country and the Massif Central. The plateaux of Bas-Limousin are known for their milder climates. It’s a great location for water sports as Limousin’s many rivers and lakes provide pportunities for canoeing, windsurfing and sailing. Fishermen will appreciate the abundant trout in the many streams and brooks. As the home to many horse-breeders, it’s alsa an ideal destination for horse lovers.

You’ll discover great fortresses and abbeys, mountain villages and Roman remains in the region. Picturesque villages abound. Collonges la Rouge, built entirely of bright red stone, and located above a tributary of the Dordogne, is thought of as one of the most beautiful villages of France. Turenne, which lies six miles to its west is a small city dominated by an chateau offering panoramic views of the countryside.

The city of Limoges is acclaimed the world over for its fine porcelain and enamels, over ten thousand of which are exhibited in the Dubouché museum. You can fly direct to Limoges and use it as a base to explore the rest of the area.

The park of Plateau de Millevaches is one of the region’s main attractions, with an expanse of hills, rivers and slopes perfect for hiking.

Hundreds of ancient village churches dot the landscape as well as more imposing abbey churches and fortresses. Sights not to miss are the twelfth century cathedral and City Museum in Tulle, the Lascaux caves in the Verzere Valley, where the paintings date back over fifteen thousand years and the domed churches of France in Perigueux.