Volcanoes of Auvergne
Green Heart of France.
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Self-guided tour
From Clermont-Ferrand the Puy de Dôme and the Puys mountain chain are already visible. A must-see is the basilica ‚Notre-Dame-du-Port’, a masterpiece from the Romantic area and made from black volcanic Puys rock.
After a short transfer in the morning to the small village of Orcines, you will start your walking tour and will discover the volcano Pariou, one of the most amazing cinder cones. After that the trail ascends to the peak of the well-known Puy de Dôme. Enjoy the panoramic view onto the green volcanic landscape at your feet. Finally walk to Lachamps for overnight stay.
With short walk uphill on volcanic rock you approach the twin-volcanoes ‚La Vache’ and ‚Lassolas’, situated amidst younger cinder cones. Across green pastures and past grazing herds of sheep you reach Orcival, famous for its medieval basilika.
Orcival - Chambon
In the course of the morning you get to Servière, where a small crater lake lies tucked away in a luscious lava field. The crystal clear water definitely temps to jump in and cool off. Walk to Pessade and then onwards to Beaune-le-froid, the place of origin of the well-known ‚Saint Nectaire’ cheese. From there descend through the so-called ‚Jump of Pucelle’ to Chambon, where you can marvel at a tiny lake which was formed by the volcanic rocks of the Puy du Tartaret.
Chambon – Saint Nectaire
Today’s tour takes you all around lake Chambon, up onto Puy de Tartaret and finally you reach the medieval town of Murol. There on top of a a basalt block towers an impressive castle from the 12th century. In the afternoon over to Saint Nectaire, which is not only famous for the cheese but also for the beautiful Romanesque church on top of Cornadore mountain.
The day starts with a walk through small villages and via pastures you encounter an ancient lava flow and walk on it towards the river Saint Victor. In the afternoon you carry on to the Southern slopes of this massif and finally into the tiny village of Besse en Chandesse.
As a final treat the highest point of the Auvergne region awaits: the peak of Sancy. You walk along the edge of an ancient glacial valley - the nature reserve Chaudefour, along the crest and spot marmots and chamois. After enjoying the fabulous panoramic views sufficiently, you start your descent towards the thermal spa Mont Dore.
Individual departure or extra days
Moderately difficult walks on well-signposted walking paths and forest trails. Daily sections between 11 and 23 km long and with a duration of approx. 3,5 to 6 hours. Walking tours easily mastered with good basic fitness level.
Category: lovely and cosy 2**-hotels and country hotels (French classification)
- 7 overnight stays, breakfast included
- If half-board: min. 3-course meal (6x, no half board in Clermont)
- Luggage transfer
- Transfers according to itinerary
- Carefully elaborated route description
- Detailed travel and tour documents
- Clermont-Ferrand airport.
- Train journey to Clermont-Ferrand and by bus/train into city centre, from there short walk to hotel.
- Parking: public parking spaces, cost approx. EUR 75 per week, no reservation necessary.
- Return train journey from Le Mont Dore to Clermont-Ferrand or by bus, takes approx. 1.5 hours.
Minimum of participants: 2 persons