France’s Scenic and Historic Massif Central Region

Massif Central Region pic
Massif Central Region

Horace Nalle guides Oriole Animal Health, LLC, and provides innovative biotechnology-driven solutions to animal health companies. With a passion for travel, Horace Nalle has visited Lyon, France, on numerous occasions and hiked extensively in the Massif Central. This network of extinct volcanoes spans some 85,000 acres in the upland central part of Southern France, from Toulouse to Lyon.

Traditionally one of France’s least accessible and most rural areas, the Massif Central was circumvented by travelers other than pilgrims for centuries, and defined by valley regions such as the Velay and the Auvergne. The mountains are a paradise for ramblers and hikers, with an extensive network of footpaths augmented by long distance routes such as the Santiago trail, which begins in Le Puy en Velay. The cathedral town is one of dozens in the region known for their extant medieval architecture and an historic atmosphere.

The Massif Central is also popular among bird-watchers. The Allier gorge and Tarn gorge areas provide a haven for numerous species, from short-toed eagles to falcons. One particular success was the reintroduction of the griffon vulture two decades ago.