Located in the lush heart of France, Limoges is a destination to enjoy the French art of living, whatever the season. Festive, gourmet, natural, lively and full of gems to uncover.
Listed as a City of Art and History and recognized among the UNESCO Creative Cities network for its precious crafts such as its famous porcelain, Limoges also offers a welcome break from it all in the pretty countryside of the Limousin region.
1. Go wild swimming and terrace-hopping
In the heat of the summer, seek out swimming spots with a natural feel at the Saint-Pardoux and Vassivière lakes. They boast plenty of water activities for fun such as boating, paddle-boarding, canoeing, wakeboarding, etc. Also enjoy the various summer festivals planned in the calendar and feel the warm buzz of hospitality on the terraces of Limoges’ bar and cafés, in tavern-style addresses and at local farmers’ markets in the countryside.
2. Tuck into local, seasonal products
Bite into fresh apples or roast chestnuts, not forgetting the delicious Limousin beef and many other specialties. Among the highlights not to be missed, go to the Frairie des petits Ventres in October, a big celebration in the heart of the historic butchery district in Limoges. Meet at the Halles Centrales for a tasty moment in this covered market, try local specialties at Flognardes & Clafoutis or enjoy tea-time at the Consulat Cour du Temple…in porcelain cups of course.
3. Enjoy the Christmas cheer
In December, Limoges‘ Christmas market takes over the city and offers an “off-piste” holiday for a full month of festivities: gourmet and artisan markets, ice rink and street shows, without forgetting the traditional mulled wine. Stay in a charming and local gîte and cuddle up round the fire.
4. Outdoor activities galore
More than just pretty landscapes, the countryside around Limoges is best enjoyed with your boots on: go on a hike, take a fishing or a cycling trip or even hire an electric scooter. The greenery, tranquillity and emblematic sites of the beautiful countryside will seduce you: go to the Monts du Limousin, to the Millevaches plateau, to the heart of our forests, rivers and peat bogs. You don’t even need to go that far to enjoy the city’s parks, gardens and the banks of the Vienne River. Just come and breathe a big breath of fresh air!
5. A cultured city break
Take in Limoges’ emblematic monuments and historic districts – the Limoges Bénédictins train station is among the most beautiful stations in France, the cathedral, in the heart of the Cité district, is not to be missed as are the Evêché gardens. Enjoy the buzz at the central market halls just around the corner from the Boucherie district in the heart of the Ville Haute… The second urban centre in Nouvelle-Aquitaine after Bordeaux is sure to amaze you!
6. Discover a preserved artcraft
Discover the ancestral know-how of the Limoges porcelain at the Adrien Dubouché National Museum, recognized by the Michelin Guide as one of the 20 best museums of France. Explore further at the Four des Casseaux Museum, the Bernardaud Foundation and during visits to local porcelain companies and workshops. To leave with a precious souvenir, plan a shopping trip in town or in the factory outlets.
7. Groove to the music at local festivals
With festive events held all year round for all tastes, Limoges’ festival calendar is well stocked with classical, contemporary and jazz music festivals, street arts festivals, festivals in the countryside… Among the unmissable highlights: Urbaka, the 1001 Notes Festival, the Eclats d’Email jazz festival…! For something truly special, head to the Opera, and see its beautiful classical, lyrical and sometimes offbeat program.
8. Go beyond the city
Discover Limousin via the small roads which lead to authentic villages and typical markets nearby. As the country that raised famed cyclist Raymond Poulidor, the destination is best discovered by bike and you can hire mountain bikes for a day trip in the sun. For young ones, start a game of Terra Aventura. Using a smartphone, go on a hunt for hidden QR codes in the local nature and uncover local cultural gems along the way. Eco-responsible adventurers who have collected and then deposited in a collector the waste encountered on their way, will be rewarded with a badge.
9. Step back in history
Explore the local history and travel along the Richard the Lionheart Route through its medieval sites and villages, or in the footsteps of the Second World War at the Resistance Museum in Limoges or during a visit to the martyr village of Oradour-sur-Glane and its memorial centre. Head to the top of Mont Gargan, a place steeped in the history of the Limousin resistance.
10. Immerse yourself in the local arts
For arty travellers, the destination is full of good addresses: the Museum of Fine Arts of Limoges, the Cécile Sabourdy Museum of Brut and Naïf Art, the International Centre of Art and Landscape in Vassivière, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rochechouart… For art lovers, from the most classic to the most contemporary, there is something for everyone.
To get there, check flights at www.aeroportlimoges.com
For visitors’ information, check www.destination-limoges.com
Lead photo credit : © OTI Limoges Découvrir Ensemble
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