Nestled in the heart of Auvergne, in the Puy-de-Dome Department, is Saint-Floret, a small village of less than 300 inhabitants. Settling on this as our ‘base of operations’ for our holiday, we stayed at a lovely little three story refurbished maison. We knew we had made a great choice when we arrived and found our accommodation was situated right next to the river, meaning we would be able to fall asleep each night with the soothing sounds of the water lulling us into the land of nod.
Local amenities were scarce – there were just a couple of restaurants, which served decent grub at reasonable rates, and no supermarkets to speak of – however we were pleasantly surprised to discover the village came equipped with its own 24/7 bread-vending machine – something of a novelty to us Brits and meant that each morning could be started with a lovely, fresh baked repast.
There is a small playground within the village – no swings though! – so for families with small children you are guaranteed to have somewhere to go when you brood needs too unwind. Be advised though that the roads are quite narrow and traffic can sometimes go through at above the recommended speeds, so if you are coming with children then please be aware of this.
Sights within the village were outstanding, with the small windy alleys leading to treasures for the eyes, while venturing further afield led to even greater discoveries. Above the village lies the cemetery, with stunning views of the Saint-Floret and the surrounding area. A short walk – or drive if you have children – to the north of the village leads you to the ‘Tete de Lion’ an impressive, naturally formed rocky outcropping that is accessible via a not-too-challenging 1.3km circuit – this distance will allow you to see the Lion’s head and get you back to your starting point.
All in all a great place to stay, possibly lacking in much in the way of excitement for the older children, however if you are a walker, a person with an interest in history, or simply someone who admires beautiful views then this is heartily recommended.