Massiac is often referred to as the gateway to Cantal, owing to its geographical location. Cantal’s first town on the A75 motorway is the gateway to the department from the north, from Clermont-Ferrand/Paris. As soon as you arrive, the spurs of Saint Victor and Sainte Madeleine, the town’s iconic rocks, lead the way to Massiac and thus to the Cantal department, via the Alagnon valley.
It originates upstream of Massiac, in the Haute-Loire department. The departmental road 909 from Lempdes-sur-Allagnon will take you through the landscapes of the Alagnon gorges and to iconic sites such as Léotoing and the ruins of its castle, or Blesle, listed as France’s most beautiful village (Plus beau village de France). The journey through this valley continues downstream from Massiac, along the Route Nationale 122, towards Murat and the Monts du Cantal.
The Alagnon flows through Massiac
The Alagnon is also a popular spot for anglers, both for its biodiversity and its amenities. For fishing enthusiasts, the river Alagnon and its tributaries offer you a prime area to enjoy your leisure activities.
Fishing on the river Alagnon
Massiac, a designated stopover village on the A75 motorway, has everything you need (shops and services) for a stopover on the way to your holiday destination. The “aire de Chalet” motorway service area, just before the Massiac exit, features a trail with information panels explaining the history of Cantal and encouraging you to come and discover our beautiful department.
View overlooking the town of Massiac
The Massiac region is an invitation to travel back in time:
The Saint Victor plateau is full of hidden clues to help us understand how this area has been occupied over time.
A Gallo-Roman villa has been identified in the valley, and you can even see part of the Roman road in the “Aire de Chalet” service area.
Saint Mary, renowned gospeller of the area, tells his story at Saint Mary le Cros.
As for Gaspard d’Espinchal, it’s fair to say he was the talk of the town...
Discover the history of Massiac with our guides!
Saint Mary le Cros
Its Mediterranean climate has led to the development of terraced farming close to the town. A short distance from Massiac, on the way to the Monts du Cantal, the Palhàs site at Molompize, former terraces that have been recultivated, is well worth a visit. The site is steeped in the scent of vines and aromatic herbs and has been classified as a Sensitive Natural Area (Espace Naturel Sensible). There are also orchards in the Alagnon valley, where you can enjoy eating apples in autumn.
The Palhàs de Molompize
A sweet speciality made from hazelnut powder, the Macaron de Massiac is a precious delicacy with a tender shell and soft centre. You can find it at all the town’s traditional pastry shops. It makes an excellent accompaniment to your coffee breaks and an easy-to-carry gift to slip into your luggage! You will be sure to please!
Macaron de Massiac