Tourist information on Limousin region in France
Being one of the least populated areas of France and with lots of lush green countryside, an abundance of woodland and wildlife like wild boar and deer along with plenty of lakes, rivers and streams that are ideal for fishing, making the Limousin region ideal for those that want a peaceful camping holiday in France.
Information, tourist attractions and places to visit in Limousin region in France
The Centre region, famous for its French chateaux is to the North of the Limousin region and to the East is Auvergne, then you have the Midi Pyrenees to the South, South West is Aquitaine and to the West is the Poitou Charentes region.
A big plus is that in Limousin the air quality is really good and the stars at night make this a fantastic area for relaxation and re-charging the body, but it has a far damper and milder climate than the regions that surround it even though the summer temperatures can reach up to around 30 degrees C. However, the winters are often harsh with severe frosts and even snow. In fact, many lakes even freeze over, yet there are still French campsites open all year in Limousin!
Limoges is the largest city within Limousin and was the birth place of Renoir and this is also the capital city of this region, which still attracts painters, artists and sculptors today. And once a Roman city, it was the main route between Paris, the capital city of France, and Toulouse in the Midi Pyrenees region. But it became a city renowned for art and culture along with its rich porcelain industry and you can visit a porcelain museum in the centre of Limoges to learn about this heritage.
You will find that cycling and hiking are popular past-times all over France, yet fishing is another sport that is very popular within Limousin with some fantastic lakes for cat fishing and carp fishing along with great rivers for course fishing, but horse riding is also another very popular past-time as this area is so sparsely populated and very quiet with over 350km of marked trails to enjoy.
There are of course lots of other activities on offer in this region from paragliding through to hot air balloon rides and wind surfing through to jet skiing. And even though the region is no where near the coast, if you are thinking of a family camping holiday and have children that would like a beach, then do not fear, as there are actually several leisure lakes that have beaches, which are manned by lifeguards during the summer months and these are ideal for a family day out.
Plus they often have dinghies or pedalos to hire, even water slides and more, so you do not necessarily need to look for a French campsite with swimming pool complex to let them have fun splashing around in the water.
When it comes to gastronomy, the region is famous for the Limousin cow that provides succulent, tender and tasty beef and you will see the distinctive chestnut colouring of these cows on lots of farmland throughout Limousin. However, mutton and lamb are also very popular as is pork from the Cul Noir, or black bottom pig, that has been reared for over five centuries and was traditionally slaughtered just before the Christmas festive season.
Also, apples, with numerous different varieties available, along with chestnuts that have been traditional in the regional cuisine of the area for centuries, are also very popular and feature heavily within the French food served in restaurants, although game is something else you will see on the menu when in season, such as wild boar or quail you can enjoy.
As you have probably guessed by now, industry in the region is mainly focused on the land and they also have a great timber trade with Limousin oak being made into casks that hold the famous Cognac from the Poitou Charentes region. So as you are touring around, you will often see piles of oak trees that have been cut down ready for being collected and machined for use.
Tourist attractions and places to visit in Limous region
Circled by the River Vezere, the Medieval town of Uzerche is definitely worth a visit and on the banks of the River Auvezere there is a chateau called Segur le Chateau and a looming castle.
Keeping on the theme of architecture and historical buildings, you could visit Puy du Tour near Argentat that has the remains of fortifications dated from around 450BC through to the Roman conquest. Then you have Rochechouart that has an impressive castle that dates back to the 13th century and Ahun is a very old village that is home to the remains of a medieval monastery.
There is a Romanesque Basilica at St Junien and at Beaulieu sur Dordogne you will find a Romanesque church that has a very impressive carved tympanum plus you could visit Bourganeuf that was a town founded in medieval times, or visit the old centre of Limoges with its quaint historical buildings and cobbled streets from the same period, the cathedral and the old bridges that span the River Vienne.
On a more sombre note and as a reminder of the atrocities that happened during World War II, there is a village called Oradour sur Glane, which has stayed the same since 1944 when virtually all the inhabitants of the village were massacred. It has been preserved as it was, even with a burned out old car, for the memory of those that lost their lives during these horrific times and for the reminder of how bad the war really was.
Now, lets get back to something a little more light hearted that is going to be ideal for a family camping holiday in Limousin. To start with, you could visit the aquarium at the city of Limoges that was set up in an old water reservoir or perhaps going to the Wolf Park called Les Loupes de Chabrieres where they breed wolves could interest you and there is also a wildlife park called Parc du Reynou.
There are also theme parks that are suitable for all the family such as Feeriland that is based on miniature villages that have been created over several years of painstaking work, the Parc Bellevue with amusements and rides, train rides, karting and artificial rock climbing and the giant labyrinth, which is the worlds largest natural permanent maze called Abyrinthe Geant de Gueret.
But if you want a bit more activity and excitement when on your camping holiday in France, then there are several tree top adventure centres along with an aquatic park called Le Splash d’Argentat, not forgetting the many leisure lakes with different activities, like we mentioned earlier.
So even though this is a quiet and unspoilt region in France, it is still a great place to go exploring and enjoy a family camping holiday, no matter what your passion is.