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This small city of 44,000 in the Auvergne region of central France boasts a fine medieval city hidden behind modern department stores. Set along the banks of the river Cher, its many fine parks and gardens offer a charming place to picnic and explore.
The medieval village with its cobblestone streets, half-timbered houses and stone fountains invites you to wander and explore. The steep, winding streets will take you past 15th and 16th century buildings and the St Pierre church dating from the 12th century.
At the highest point of the town sits the Dukes of Bourbon castle, one of the few remaining castles in France. Offering views over the red-tiled roofs of the village below, the castle is also home to a fine art collection and lovely gardens, making it worth the climb.
The Boeuf-Ville carnival in spring and the Medieval Festival in summer are good times to visit Montlucon and mix with the locals. In 2008, Montlucon is also on the route of the Tour de France for the fifth time.
In town, look for Chambérat cheese, pompe aux grattons (bread containing pork), pear pastry, and Charroux mustard in the local shops. Try a bottle or two of the local Saint-Pourçain wine with your meal at any of the fine local restaurants. Guesthouses and small hotels are plentiful in the town for a night's stay.
Montlucon is a popular stopover for railroad travellers. The Parc Regional-des-Volcans is nearby, with breathtaking views of the Auvergne. To explore Montlucon and the thermal springs and spas in the area, a rental car is highly recommended. We offer the lowest Montlucon car hire rates, making touring the town an affordable activity.