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Vichy is a world-famous spa town that is located in Bourbon country at the north edge of the Auvergne. It's noted for its sparkling mineral waters which are said to alleviate digestive ailments.
The spa today looks much the same as it did in the 19th century, when royalty and the barons of industry visited the rococo casino. The casino building is now a convention centre and the casino operation has been relocated to another building in the centre.
In the 1980s, the baths and hotels were modernized to compete with other European spas. This plan succeeded in increasing the number of visitors coming to Vichy annually. Another attraction is the Parc des Sources, which is a covered promenade in the centre of the town that's at its busiest from mid-May until September.
The Perrier Company bottles the famed Vichy waters and also manages all of the town's attractions from here, including the spa and casino. In addition to the spa, Vichy is known for its recreation and sporting options, including golf, horse racing and live theatre.
Much of the centre can be seen on foot, particularly around the spa. Buses are available for transportation to the city's main attractions and to other area cities and towns. Hiring a car will give you the chance to have greater flexibility and the freedom to explore the Auvergne at your own pace. It's recommended that you rent your car online in advance of your arrival to get the best possible deal.