Typical 19thC spa town
See www.sancy.com. From ‘Asthma capital’ to station oxygène, la Bourboule is attempting to jazz up its staid spa image. A difficult task in view of the pompous 19thC architecture that characterizes such places.
The hefty Grands Thermes by the Dordogne, and neoclassical Casino are cases in point, but this is a relaxing spot with the twin advantages of skiing in winter, walking in summer and cheap accommodation.
From the water-side lawns and children’s play areas of the Parc Fenêstre, a télépherique glides up to the wooded Plateau de Charlannes criss-crossed by numerous walking trails; or you can hike up the more challenging Banne d’Ordance, a 1,512-m volcanic peak east of town.