The village of Raucoules is in the Region of Auvergne; Department of Haute Loire (43290) and lies at an altitude of approx 870 meters. There are two cafes, a bakery and a salaison (pork butchers) in the village. A full range of shops can be found in Montfaucon (2kms); a wider range (including 1 supermarket) in Dunieres (6 kms) or Tence (8kms) and there are 2 large superstores in Yssingeaux (17kms). All the local towns and villages have weekly or bi-weekly markets. The route of the Camino (pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella from Geneva) runs about 200 meters from the gite and groups of pilgrims "pellerin" are a common sight in the area.
The village is on the edge of a plateau between the Dunieres and Lignon rivers. To the north the land falls steeply into the valley of the Dunieres. To the south the Lignon is dammed about 7 kms away to form the reservoir lake of La Vallette with its accompanying hydro electric plant.
At Barrage La Valette there is a sailing club where catamarans, sailing dinghies, rowing boats and pedalos can be hired. The lake has recently had its facilities overhauled and there is extensive car parking, a buoyed swimming area (with lifeguard in summer) and an attractive cafe. We offer sailing tuition by an RYA qualified instructor in our own boat for anyone who is interested.
The church in Montfaucon is renowned for its 12th century Flemish paintings. In Dunières is the start of the "Voi vert" a converted railway line that is a foot and cycle path. There is also a steam train, run by local enthusiasts, which travels between Montfaucon and St Agreve during the summer months and is a full day trip, with stops at Raucoules, Tence and Chambon sur Lignon. A "velo" rail system runs on the railway line around Dunieres some 16 kms of track being accessible on pedal driven cars. The area has numerous walking and cycle paths both local and national. All of these are well signposted and easy to follow varying in duration from short walks of 3-5 kms, to more strenuous walks of up to 20kms. Guide books for the local walks are available in the gite.