Limousin is often overlooked as a destination in France, with many people simply driving through on their way to better known holiday spots. However if you do visit, you‘ll find miles of unspoilt natural beauty with rolling hills and lush forests combined with stunning chateaux and picturesque villages – many of which are classified as “Plus Beaux Villages de France”.
Here are our top 5 recommendations of what to see and do during your visit to this beautiful region of France.
An incredibly moving and thought-provoking place, you’ll always remember your visit to Oradour-sur-Glane. The original village was destroyed on 10th June 1944 when 642 of its inhabitants including women and children were massacred by a troop of Nazi soldiers. A new village was built nearby after the end of the war, but President Charles de Gaulle declared that the original village should be preserved in its ruined state as a memorial to what happened on that day.
Limoges is the capital of Limousin and is famous worldwide for the beautiful porcelain that has been produced here for more than 200 years. There are several factories that you can visit with shops where you can pick up a bargain, and there are many museums and galleries proudly displaying this local artwork. Why not take a guided tour by foot, tourist train or even tuk tuk to see all that this fascinating city has to offer?
In Limousin you’ll find a host of fabulous lakes, with plenty to do for the whole family. Lake Viam is small and tranquil and ideal for simply relaxing and enjoying the scenery, whereas nearby Lake Barriousses has loads going on with canoes, pedalos, petanque, badminton – even a bouncy castle on the water for the kids! One of the most famous lakes in the region is Vassivière with over 1000 hectares of clear water just perfect for a variety of watersports or simply walking, cycling or horse riding along the shoreline path.
4. Massif Central
The Massif Central covers over 85,000 square kilometres of France, with much of this being found in the Limousin region! The highest point in Limousin is Mont Bessou, which is part of the popular Plateau de Millevaches. The area is famous for its magnificent scenery and is well loved by hikers and ramblers thanks to its many marked trails and long distance footpaths for all ability levels crossing the area’s picturesque landscape of forests, rivers, lakes and pretty villages.
5. National Parks
The Perigord-Limousin Regional National Park covers almost 2,000 square kilometres in Haute-Vienne in Limousin and neighbouring Dordogne. This area is famous for the diversity of its countryside with stunning woodlands and forests along with beautiful lakes and rivers. The roads are ideal for cyclists as they are very quiet and mostly flat with stunning scenery at every turn.