Mourjou travel guide

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Mourjou is a small village to the west of Maurs in the Auvergne region of southern France. It is found in the south-western part of the Cantal department in an area known as the Chataigneraie after the chestnut trees that are the main trees in the forests of this area.

A village of chestnuts

Both historical and modern Mourjou have been shaped by the locally harvested chestnuts, These were once an important crop in this area but production has dropped from 510,000 tonnes in 1890 to 10,800 tonnes in 1993. Despite the decline in importance of the crop the trees continue to be a distinctive and attractive part of the local landscape.

Mourjou has a small chestnut museum (the Maison de la Chataigne) dedicated to the history and uses of chestnuts in this area. As well as the chestnut museum there is also a recreation of a 1950s shop full of products from the 50's.

Every year in the last week of October there is a chestnut fair in the village with a procession, music and, of course, roasted chestnuts. All the villagers dress up in medieval style clothes for the event, and many thousands of people visit to enjoy the festivities.

The Auberge de Mourjou restaurant even has a menu where every course is based on chestnuts - very nice it is too, especially the chestnut ice-cream!

Foodies (and French cinema buffs) may be interested to note that Peter Graham lives in this village which inspired his book 'Mourjou: The Life and Food of an Auvergne Village'.

Attractions nearby

The most popular activity with visitors in the countryside around the village is to follow one of the trails through the woods, usually on foot or mountain bike. There is a marked trail that follows through the countryside along the gorges of the Célé Valley and is a nice introduction to the local scenery. The walk takes about two hours and leaves from the Maison de la Chataigne.

Also in the Chataigneraie region visit the small villages of Marcoles and Boisset. The other very important highlight near here is the village of Conques: a little to the south of Mourjou, Conques is a beautiful village with an impressive abbey.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Cantal guide and the Auvergne guide.

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Map of Mourjou and places nearby


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Address: Mourjou, Maurs, Aurillac, Auvergne, 15340, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.691389, longitude 2.33

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The French version of this page is at Mourjou (Francais)


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