While it does, just about include the point which is the geometric "centre" of France, the region known as "le Centre" does not generally coincide with the middle of the country; confused?
It is more accurately the centre section of northern France. An area stretching from a latitude slightly north of Paris, down to the Limousin and Auvergne regions, it is bordered to the west by Normandy, the Pays de la Loire region and Poitou-Charentes, to the east by the Paris region (Ile de France) and Burgundy. Its regional capital is the glorious city of Orléans.
As for the exact location of the "centre" of France, several communes in the south of the region, some in the north of the Auvergne, and some maverick villages in-between are rivals for the title, depending on the criteria used. But according to various criteria, the centre of France lies at some spot in the commune of Saint-Armand-Montrond, in the south of the Cher department.
The Centre region consists of 6 departments:
By train (TGV) from Paris Gare Montparnasse, Gare d'Austerlitz, or Gare de Bercy.
Easy to get to from the UK, via any of the Channel ports, then drive via Paris or Rouen. The region is crossed by the main motorways between Paris and southwestern France, the A10 (Paris-Tours-Bordeaux), the A11 (Paris-Chartres-Rennes), the A71(Paris - Orleans -Clermont-Ferrand), the A77 (Paris-Nevers) and the A20 (Paris -Vierzon-Toulouse).
Air access is easiest via Paris Orly airport, or Tours airport.
I have stayed many times in this region, often going on further south as it is a good halfway stopping off point. Although taking more time to have a good look at the Centre region it offers some very nice food products and delicious traditional dishes like the Andouillettes (typical French pork sausages generally cooked with Vouvray wine) Yum. Meat lovers will also appreciate the well known Rillettes mainly from Tours and Le Mans's, cheese connoisseurs will be pleased by the regions goat cheeses like the Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine. The region's gastronomy also boasts one of the best known French desserts, the fantastic Tarte Tatin.
The Centre region offers a very wide variety of outdoor activities in many centres and local towns and villages. The these include Hiking and walking, and where that can be found you can also find Cycling and Mountain Biking, plus for the even more energetic there are many Water-sport centres.
Most tourist offices have information brochures in English and a fair few have websites with details on the activities on offer and where to find them.
Styles of property for sale vary throughout the area but of course the landscape is dominated by the Grand Chateaux of the region. It boasts the biggest one of them all, Chambord Chateau and the one pictured at the top of this page is Chenonceau Chateau which was built between 1515 and 1521. You may not be looking for such grand dwellings so there is a wealth of different styles and it is surprising how affordable properties are in this region.
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