Visit Allier, France
A largely rural area neglected by many visitors to France, Allier has a unique quiet charm with unspoiled medieval villages, castles and historic towns
Selected places to visit in Allier
Allier, Auvergne: an introduction
The Allier department is in south-central France, towards the north of the Auvergne region and the northern edge of the massif central. Among the highlights:
- the town of Vichy (best known for its role as base for the Vichy Government during World War 2) is towards the south-east of the Allier department
- the village at Charroux is situated about 20 kilometres north-west of Vichy and is inscribed as one of 'the most beautiful villages in France'
- the medieval centre of Montlucon (west of the Allier department), and the Chateau des Ducs de Bourbon in the town are also recommended
Other suggested detours include the village of Herisson (north-west Allier); the spa town of Neris-les-Bains (west Allier); the medieval centre of Ainay-le-Chateau (north); the little medieval village at Verneuil-en-Bourbonnais and Saint-Pourcain-sur-Sioule (central Allier); the old village of Ebreuil and the abbey in a picturesque setting at Chantelle (south); and the town of Lapalisse and village at Arronnes (both south-east Allier).
Castles and monuments in Allier
The Castle of Bourbon-l'Archambault (which dominates the village of the same name) and the castle at Herisson are perhaps the most dramatic of the castles in the Allier department but there are many others that you will come across as you explore - one highlight includes the Chateau d'Avrilly and its associated parkland.
Note: the Allier river itself crosses much of the Auvergne region, and the Allier gorges are a particular scenic highlight, but they gorges are not in the Allier department they are in the Haute-Loire!
See a list of all Allier communes
Map of Allier
French version: Allier (Francais)