Take a trip to Auvergne
Situated in the middle of France at the heart of the Massif Central mountain range, with its wide open spaces and some of the best preserved natural landscapes in Europe, Auvergne is a dream destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities. On the agenda: vast, green pastures, peaceful lakes, and splendid, volcanic settings. In winter and summer alike, the region offers a multitude of hikes… in utter tranquility!
Tour guides in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes
Five ideas for guided tours in Auvergne
At 1,200 meters above sea level in the Monts Dore mountain range, not far from the village of Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise sits the romantic lake Pavin, surrounded by a forest of pine trees. The lake, a near perfect circle, measures 800 meters in diameter and is 92 meters deep. It was formed by an ancient volcanic crater dating back nearly seven thousand years. On sunny days you can admire its deep blue color; on cloudy days its darker color will appear. Don’t hesitate to walk around the lake using the trail laid out around its embankment. Multiple activities are available, so choose between fishing, canoeing, or hiking up cliffs along the lake’s west bank that were formed from basalt runoff from the Puy de Montchal, less than a kilometer away.
Situated in the Allier region and covering more than 10,000 acres, Tronçais is considered the most beautiful oak tree forest in Europe. It is home most notably to the Stebbing variety of oak, more than 35 meters tall and 380 years old. The Tronçais forest exists thanks to Colbert, who turned his attention to it in 1675 to fulfill the lumber needs of the royal navy. Its many marked pathways make it easy to navigate on foot, on horseback or even by bike thanks to a 40km trail. You’re sure to come across ponds and if you like birds you won’t be disappointed: here you’ll see a diverse variety (black woodpeckers, oak jays, tawny owls…), as well other emblematic animals like stags, does, foxes and wild boars… a nice collection!
Nine Auvergnian villages are ranked amongst the prettiest in France. Make a stop in Tournemire, located 20 kilometers north of Aurillac in the Cantal region. You’ll be blown away upon arrival by the imposing Anjony Castle, dating back to the 15th century. This fortress contains a dungeon, four watchtowers, a rampart walk and machicolations. Don’t hesitate to visit the castle, you won’t be disappointed. Then, continuing your promenade in the flowery village, look out for the 14th and 15th century thatched cottages made from large stones from the ancient 12th century castle, no longer in existence today.
The Puy de Sancy
Located in the Monts Dore mountains, the Puy de Sancy is a majestic, dormant volcano. 35 kilometers from Clermont-Ferrand, it dominates the central mountain range. In fact, it’s made up of multiple volcanoes whose successive eruptions made them melt into one another, creating a vast plain of mountain peaks. The Dogne and Dore rivers merge here to form the Dordogne. Hikers reach the summit via multiple pathways or, for the less sporty, via cable car. Once at an elevation of 1885 meters you’ll gain access to a magnificent panorama; on clear days you can even see Mont-Blanc…
The Cézallier plateau
This volcanic plateau located between the Monts Dore and Monts du Cantal mountains is a dream for lovers of wide-open spaces. The Cézallier’s landscape is comparable to the steppes of Mongolia. Its immense, bewitchingly calm expanses lead towards lakes, waterfalls and green prairies. To the west, you’ll see the Jolan and Godivelle bogs; to the east you’ll enjoy a series of valleys with clear water from the Couze, Sianne and Allanche rivers. Between the two lie open and airy plateaus. To be sure not to miss any element of this magnificent region, don’t hesitate to reach out to a tourist guide in Auvergne.