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Vichy is world famous as a spa and resort town just 40 minutes easy drive from the Roannais.
With 80,194 inhabitants, Vichy’s urban area is the second largest in the Auvergne.
It retains its fin-de-siècle charm in spite of the knock its reputation took during WWII when Pétain’s puppet government was based here, and its ageing population.
Currently there is a move to attracting a younger audience by encouraging fitness enthusiasts to spend their vacations here, but as yet the spas and sulphurous springs attract an older audience of curistes who comes in droves to be dowsed in and drink the water.
This means that a refined and affluent crowd of tourists flock here in the summer, and have done so since Napoléon III first put Vichy on the map in the 19th century.
Vichy is a great place to visit for a day out with quality shops, and particularly excellent art, antique, and objet d’art boutiques and galleries. There are some excellent restaurants, too.
Victorian period ‘bourgeois’ mansions, beautiful public gardens, riverside views, and tree-lined avenues.
Go and take a look and taste the reinvigorating waters if you dare !!