The small town of Mauriac is located in the northwest of the Cantal department, directly due south of Paris, at an average altitude of 700 metres, between the upper Dordogne Valley (listed as a world biosphere reserve in 2012 by UNESCO) and the Puy Mary, a major national site. This sub-prefecture town is the gateway to the Auvergne Volcanoes natural regional park and boasts all the services that make it the most important hub for a considerable part of the Cantal department. It is proud of its commercial culture and a dense fabric of companies that accentuate its economic influence. Now, thanks to the Val Saint-Jean tourist centre which brings together a 9-hectare lake, quality accommodation (4 star camp site), sports facilities (golf course, swimming and recreation centre, etc.) and various leisure pursuits (a beach, walking routes, mountain biking trails, etc.), Mauriac has become an appealing “nature destination”.