The Massif Central is a volcanic, mountainous area where vast amounts of thermal waters are produced and nearby towns have developed around the hot springs in order to draw tourists in. The Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central goes through four regions within central France – Auvergne, Limousin, Bourgogne and Rhône-Alpes. Within these four regions are 17 towns, including Vichy, Royat – Chamalières, Le Mont Dore and La Bourboule which you can read posts about in more detail on our website.
This route is split up into eight parts and can start in Burgundy at Saint-Honoré-Les-Bains and finish on the banks of the Loire River in Montrond-Les-Bains. One of the towns on the route is Chaudes-Aigues which has waters reaching 82 degrees Celsius, the hottest in Europe. Also, the commune of Vals Les Bains (another stop on the trail) has a thermal water jet which can reach 15 metres high!
This route isn’t just about thermal spas, it also encourages tourists to visit festivals, architectural treasures and learn about the area’s historical context and thermal spa heritage.