Comprising the four departments of Allier, Puy de Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire, Auvergne is well known for its volcanic landscapes and awe-inspiring natural scenery.
The peak of the highest volcano, Puy de Dôme, can be reached on foot, by bike or on board the small train which travels right to the top, where panoramic views reward your efforts. In winter, Auvergne is transformed into a snowy paradise, where winter sports enthusiasts can ski down the side of a volcano, speed through the snow by dog sled or try their hand at luge.
The volcanic activity gives rise to another of Auvergne’s attractions; an array of spa towns, notably Vichy, which boasts spa facilities in abundance. Other spa towns include Châtel-Guyon, La Bourboule, Le Mont-Dore and Chaudes-Aigues, home of Europe’s hottest springs.
Besides its natural wonders, Auvergne benefits from a rich heritage, with nine of the ‘most beautiful villages’ in France, hundreds of castles in the Allier which are open to the public and a fascinating industry which includes Volvic mineral water, Michelin tyres and knife making, all of which have museums which can be visited.
Sample some of Auvergne’s delectable cuisine during your stay, from delicious cheeses made from the milk of cows which enjoy a diet of wild mountain flowers, to cured meats and hearty ‘aligot’ a blend of cheese, mashed potatoes and garlic.
Don’t miss the small towns and cities off your itinerary, each has something a little different to offer, from Orcival’s Basilique Notre-Dame cathedral to the small city of Le Puy-en-Velay, historically a starting point for the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella.
The city of Clermont Ferrand (home of Volvic and Michelin tyres) boasts a stunning black cathedral, constructed from volcanic rock, an annual short film festival and a thriving arts scene.
Take a look at our large villas in Auvergne for the perfect base for your group holiday.