Situated in the geographical heart of France, the department of Cher was historically known as Berry province. Now the largest department in the Loire Valley, it is not only full of history, but also home to countless ancient castles, beautiful rivers, a magnificent and colourful countryside, and a warm and gentle climate throughout the year.
Its biggest city, Bourges, is located at the confluence of no less than four rivers, making it an absolutely stunning town to visit on your way to one of the department’s many vineyards, castles or lakes. It is, moreover, a renowned historical city, with its beautiful Saint-Etienne Cathedral inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Boating, fishing or simply relaxing along the banks of the huge 3 Provinces Lake, a former branch of the Cher River, is possible. Surrounded by a beautiful, protected meadow, there is much to do and much to see.
Castles, dating back from either the Renaissance or the Middle Ages, are open to the public, waiting to be discovered whether you’re walking down the large streets of Bourges or Vierzon, or visiting the small, unassuming villages of Apremont-sur-Allier or Ainay-le-Vieil.
8 hidden gardens, born from a desire to show a gorgeous, protected but never tamed nature, can be found all over the Berry province, 5 of which are in the Cher. Carefully grown and cared for by their owners, anybody can visit those dreamlike gardens, lose themselves for a few hours and experience a visit that is theirs alone.
Picturesque villages, beautiful parks, famous vineyards and even highly anticipated events and festival, many of which have earned an official label from the Ministry of Culture, are waiting for you all year round in this charming and often overlooked department in centre France.