Ambert town hall round 1Ambert town hall round 1
©Ambert Town Hall|© Arnaud Frich

Ambert, Fourme et Forez

Ambert is a small town, which from the air and from the layout of its streets, is shaped like a snail’s shell. Nestled between the Forez and Livradois mountains, its geographical position makes it a dynamic and attractive town. The town center is a pleasant place to explore on foot, with a historic district dotted with half-timbered houses. Renowned for its blue-veined cheese, the AOP Fourme d’Ambert, the town has made the most of its production. Other skills to discover include paper-making, industrial braiding and rosary-making, as well as traditional silk-screen printing techniques.

Explore our historic heritage d'Ambert

Ambert, fourme et forez
Ambert, fourme et forez
Ambert, fourme et forez

Ambert is a medieval town that has made a significant contribution to the history of papermaking in France. From the Middle Ages onwards, Ambert established itself as an important center of papermaking, influencing the production methods that defined this era.

A stroll through the medieval quarter, with its narrow streets and ancient buildings, will take you back to a flourishing period when paper mills lined the Durolle River, transforming rags into precious sheets.

Over the centuries, thepaper industry has left an indelible mark on the town, shaping its identity and economy. Today, Ambert celebrates this heritage with museums and cultural centers such as the Moulin Richard de Bas and the Moulin de Nouara.

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Head to Manufacture d'images for a printing workshop

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  • You can try out different printing techniques - silkscreen, etching or other processes - and leave with your own work.
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Next, a short detour to Passage Kim En Joong

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  • It exhibits the works of this internationally renowned Korean-born painter, known in particular for his magnificent stained-glass windows.
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A gourmet lunch

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  • Lunch at the "trendy contemporary bistro" M & Caffée Noisette should win you over, as the Michelin guide describes its cuisine as "contemporary and tasty".
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Afternoon visit to the Richard de Bas paper mill

  • A certified Living Heritage Company, we take you right to the heart of papermaking. Discover the secrets of papermaking, and learn about the traditional methods for which the mill is renowned. You'll also have the chance to try your hand at creating your own sheet of paper, whether you're young or old. It's the perfect opportunity to learn and have fun, as you dip your hands in the pulp vat and follow the steps that transform simple materials into a unique sheet of paper.

Family activities to share!

Why not try out the tree course and enjoy the giant zip line waiting for you in the heights at Prabouré?

This ski resort transforms itself into a nature resort for the summer season. It offers a wide range of activities to appeal to young and old alike (from age 3): Rando-ferrata, suspended nets in the trees, barefoot trail, moutain Kart, downhill scooters and orienteering.

For a digestive and instructive stroll, discover the Garden for the Earth in Arlanc. On this giant6-hectareplanisphere, the only one of its kind in Europe, you’ll discover an ever-expanding collection of 2,000 plant varieties restored to their original continents.

Enjoy total immersion in nature around Ambert

From Ambert, you can observe the Hautes-Chaumes, a natural site classified Natura 2000. It’s a natural area of ecological, faunistic and floristic interest. Imagine walking on the vast Hautes-Chaumes du Forez, where the wind blows as freely as in the remote steppes of Mongolia. Up there, you can follow in the footsteps of the peddlers of the Jasseries de Valcivières, on the trail of the same name. A historic and picturesque route that takes you through the high moors of the Hautes-Chaumes.

Continue your exploration in the Vallée de l’Ance, where landscapes and nature are close at hand. Here, the quality of the river water is of great ecological interest, much coveted by fishermen and remarkable animals such as the white-footed crayfish and the pearl mussel. Finally, the Montpeloux volcano is one of a kind. From the bottom of its crater, visit an atypical geological formation of basaltic organs. Your vacation in the heart of the Livradois-Forez region is sure to make your heart beat faster.

Take time for an original discovery aboard the Ambert velorail. The panoramic tourist train from Ambert winds its way peacefully along the River Dore. The bridges and viaducts, veritable works of civil engineering, blend into the green and sometimes rugged scenery, testifying to the railroad’s adaptation to the region’s complex topography.

Must-do activities in Ambert

Ambert's historic district

Take a stroll through the historic district, with its narrow streets and alleyways, where the cool summer air makes for a delightful shopping experience. You can explore remarkable buildings such as the Gothic Saint-Jean church and the round town hall, reminiscent of the shape of the famous Fourme d’Ambert cheese.

Maison de la fourme

At the Maison de la Fourme d’Ambert, you can learn about all the stages involved in making this marbled cheese, take a step back in time with our exhibits and, of course, taste, test pairings and add to your larder.

Mus'Énergie

Then it’s off to Mus’Énergie to discover the emblematic skills of braiding and chapelets. It’s also an opportunity to learn more about the fundamental principles of electricity generation through experiments.

The Ambert World Festival, voted best mid-sized festival in France

The World Festival d’Ambert stood out in the French festival landscape by winning the Best Intermediate Festival award, which honors festivals with a daily capacity of between 5,000 and 15,000 people. The World Festival d’Ambert was recognized for its eclectic, high-quality program, its entirely association-run organization, its commitment to sustainability and its rural roots. After breaking attendance records in 2023, the festival continues to attract large audiences thanks to its family-friendly atmosphere.

What you need to know

For 2024 and the 36th edition, the organizers have planned several new features. On the catering side, a new culinary offering will be presented by Toques d’Auvergne and Michelin-starred chefs, blending local flavors with influences from the musical program. In addition, the festival will provide shuttle buses from Clermont-Ferrand and Saint-Étienne, as well as transportation on demand for neighboring towns.

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