What to see and where to visit during your next vacation in Auvergne?
If you are not sure where to begin or what to see and visit in the Auvergne region then we will try to entice you into spending an enriching and exciting vacation in the area. Here are ten of our favorite spots in Auvergne. Let the visit begin!
The Vulcania Park is sure to enthral both the young and old. This educational and child friendly park is located 15 km (approx. 9 miles) to the West of Clermont-Ferrand. The park was designed by two French geologists and presents information about volcanic environments through two main attractions: an impressive 3D movie about volcanoes erupting called Réveil des géants d’Auvergne (Waking the Auvergne Giants) and the “Children’s city” featuring activities for children aged 3 – 7 years.
The Puy de Dôme
This volcanic mountain’s cone shaped summit is at an altitude of 1,464 meters (approx. 4,806 ft). The Puy de Dôme is considered by some to be the Auvergne region’s emblem. You can get to its summit by taking a 45-minute hike along a path called the Chemin des Muletiers, which runs parallel to an ancient Roman road, or you can take the Panoramique des Dômes train. The phenomenal view from the top of this mountain range extends more than 40 km (approx. 25 miles). This is a must-see destination if you are visiting Auvergne.
After Puy de Dôme you must see the Mont-Dore! This area is encircled by majestic mountains and is renowned for its thermal center. The Mont-Dore is a prime location for seasonal hiking and trending sports like mountain biking. It is also a destination of choice for winter sports amateurs. You will also find numerous stores specializing in equipment for outdoor activities and shops selling cheese and deli meats from Auvergne – food lovers will confirm that these shops are well worth the detour!
The town called Orcival was built around a Romanesque basilica that is well known for housing one of the Auvergne region’s Black Madonna statues. Every August 15th this statue is carried through the streets during a procession. Throughout the entire year one can take in the charm of this verdant landscape where the river, La Sioule, quietly meanders.
The Col de Guéry
The Col de Guéry offers numerous outdoor activities and breathtaking views of the Dordogne River’s source. You can also admire Auvergne’s highest lake (1,250 m – approx. 4,101 ft) that is teaming with Trout and Perch. For those of you that love fishing, now you know where to head to first on your next vacation in Auvergne!
What to see and visit in Auvergne? Saint-Nectaire of course!
How can we introduce Saint-Nectaire without mentioning the quality cheese that is made there? Food lovers will certainly be enchanted by a farm visit where you can do free tours demonstrating the milking of cows and the creation of cheeses… and of course tasting them! Saint-Nectaire is also home to a Romanesque church from the XII century that merits your attention, as well as the sublime mountain range surrounding the town.
How can houses made of volcanic basalt, cobblestone roads and this splendid little mountain village’s belfry not charm you? The dense network of trails that encircle the Pavin Lake, a volcanic lake located 6km (approx. 4 m) from the town, will satisfy individuals that are mad about hiking. This is a must see destination on your vacation in Auvergne.
The Puy Mary
The Puy Mary is the legendary peak in the department Le Cantal. You can take in its splendor from the vertigo-inducing mountain pass, Pas de Peyrol (1,589 m approx. 5,213 ft). A 30-minute path, which is steep at certain points, leads you to the peak. This hike will reward you with a breathtaking panorama.
What else is there to visit in Auvergne? The beautiful little village called Salers! Salers is located on top of a hill that is surrounded by rolling hills that are peppered by fields. This town is famous for its mahogany colored cows with exceptionally long horns that graze in their pastures. This cow’s milk is made into a cheese that is also called Salers. This town is well known for its mesmerizingly beautiful 16th century stone architecture and for creating an artisanal pocketknife that is wildly popular with knife collectors, which is also named after the town.
Visit Thiers, the historic cutlery-manufacturing city, on your vacation to Auvergne!
The city Thiers is considered to be the cradle of French-made cutlery and is world renowned for the expert knowledge of its artisans. This very beautiful city in Auvergne is peppered with numerous locations and activities centered on the knife-manufacturing sector, including manufacturing: kitchen knives, table knives, pocketknives and other luxury knives. For example: the Cutlery Museum and the trade fair, Coutellia, that showcases artistic and traditional cutlery. We cannot forget the various knife manufacturing locations, including TB Groupe, the number one in French knife sales, which is located in La Monnerie-Le-Montel.
Honored by the celebrated Lonely Planet travel guide
Auvergne: rated 6th region in the world to visit in 2016!
Auvergne? Listed as one of the world’s top destinations by the Lonely Planet travel guide? That’s right!
Lonely Planet is a source of inspiration for numerous travellers and adventurers around the world. This famous travel guide rated the Auvergne region amongst the world’s Top 10 must-see locations in a publication released at the end of 2015!
Auvergne was well rated, ranking number 6 between New Zealand and Hawaii. The Lonely Planet’s journalists described it as a hidden jewel. Auvergne classed in the same category as other dream locations such as Transylvania in Romania, Waiheke Island in New Zealand and the vineyards in Friuli, Italy.
New ranking places an area already known for its heritage on a higher pedestal
Did the number of tourists in Auvergne increase this year? This question will be hard to answer until this year’s statistics are released. The individuals living in this region have the right to be proud about being honored by this very selective “Bible of travel guides.”
Why visit Auvergne for a short weekend or a proper vacation?
The Lonely Planet takes into account several factors, including: a location’s dynamic, the activities it offers, the quality of tourism initiatives and its preserved natural habitats. From this point of view it is clear why Auvergne’s outdoor activities, wide range of hiking trails, artistic projects, valleys created by glaciers, volcanic mountains, preserved sites, Romanesque treasures and other Medieval vestiges seduced the Lonely Planet’s experts!