A place of breathtaking natural beauty, the countryside of the Auvergne region is a true provincial France. Despite the fact that Auvergne is a popular holiday destination in France, the tourism industry in the region is less developed than in other regions of France. In this unspoilt region, there are two of France’s largest reserves: the Volcan de Auvergne Regional Park with its dramatic volcanic cones and the Livado Forez Regional Park with its diverse flora and fauna. This picturesque landscape features impressive volcanic mountains, idyllic valleys, crater lakes, fast-moving rivers, calm streams and pristine forests. At the same time, there are many cultural attractions. The region is dotted with castles, magnificent churches and quaint villages, and several cities are famous for their cheese. Auvergne also boasts the fashionable spa towns of Vichy and Le Mont Doret, as well as a source of bottling of Volvik's water, thanks to thermal springs and untouched nature. The lively capital of Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand is an elegant city with an interesting history related to the Crusades.
1. Volcano park in the Auvergne region (Maison du Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne)
This vast nature reserve is a place of magnificent landscapes with one of the most beautiful landscapes of rural France. A variety of landscapes offer astounding volcanoes, calm valleys and plateaus, crater lakes, lush forests, pristine rivers and thermal springs. Tourists and local people come to the park for relaxation. With beautifully groomed trails, this nature reserve is a haven for walkers. The park's attraction is the dramatic volcanoes from the Cantal Mountains to Puy. The most magnificent of the volcanoes is Puy de Dom. Climbing it, tourists can enjoy a fantastic view of the Volcano Park, with craters of ancient volcanic activity, which are now covered in grass.
2. Clermont-Ferrand (Clermont-Ferrand)
The city of Clermont-Ferrand is the capital of the Auvergne region, it is one of the oldest cities in France, but the most interesting episode of the city’s life is that it was from it that the first crusades began. The main city attraction is the church - Basilica of Notre-du-Port, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 12th-century basilica was one of the main stops on the medieval pilgrimage path “The Way of St. James” in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
The basilica has interesting architectural features, such as a choir with a passage and a ring of the chapel. Other details include a bas-relief of human figures and animals at the top of the columns. The crypt contains the 17th-century Black Virgin, a copy of the Byzantine original, which attracted many pilgrims in the 13th century.
3. Viaduc Garabi (Viaduc de Garabit)
This iron viaduct, across the River Trier, south of the city of Saint-Flour, was built by Gustav Eiffel in 1884 before he began designing his most famous creation - the Eiffel Tower. The steel structure with a monumental arch is considered the most beautiful work of Gustav Eiffel. The Garabi Viaduct is illuminated at night, which draws attention to its graceful silhouette.
4. Reserve Livradois-Forez (Livradois-Forez)
In the very center of France, a little to the west of Lyon, on the border of the departments of Puy-de-Dôme and Haute-Loire, its true gem is the Livradois Forez reserve. About two hours drive from the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park. This park is known for its exceptional biodiversity of flora and fauna. In pristine mountain forests you will find pine and beech trees, as well as rare ferns. Amazing species of birds, including hazel grouse and owls, also live in the forests.
Other interesting aspects of the park’s landscape are heather marshes and plains, which are more like the North European tundra. This nature park is an attractive place for hiking and bird watching. The rich and contrasting landscapes of forests, plains and wetlands give an idea of the wonderful ecological environment of France.
5. Bor-les-Orgues (Bort-les-Orgues)
In the picturesque Dordogne Valley, this picturesque little village is a good starting point for exploring the Dordogne Gorges. The most important monument of the city is its church, which dates back to the 12th century. Bor-les-Org means “organ pipes”, however the village is also known as “Ville Fleurie” due to the abundance of public spaces that are complemented by flowers. It is also worth a visit to the Château de Val, a ten minute drive from Lannobra. This fabulous 15th-century castle is one of the best-preserved castles in the region.
6. Isoire (Issoire)
The second largest Romanesque church in the Auvergne region, after the Basilica of Saint-Julien in Briud, is located in Isoire. The Church of Saint-Ostremuan is a stunning 12th-century church with a richly decorated interior. During the tour, visitors get the impression that they are entering a jewelry box, because the church sparkles with bright stained-glass windows, colorful mosaic patterns and complex sculptural decoration.
In the small French town of Saint Necter is one of the best Romanesque churches in Auvergne. Saint Necter Church was built in the 12th century in a beautiful location on top of a mountain range. The church has an impressive architectural design depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The central feature of the Saint Necter Church is its harmonious interior with a 20 meter high dome. The church also has a rich treasury, including a 12-century gilded bust of Saint-Bodin. In addition to its church, the city is also known for its cheese Saint-Nectaire, which has the special designation Première AOP Fermière d'Europe.
In the small town of Briud, surrounded by the plains of Allier, is the largest Romanesque church in the Auvergne region. The Basilica of Saint-Julien is an amazing church, which was built in the 12th century from colorful masonry. The azilica has a spectacular Gothic interior. Frescoes adorn the porch and nave, and the columns have richly decorated capitals. Another interesting attraction in Briud is the Salmon and River House, located in a beautiful location on the Allier River. Here in the salmon aquarium contains 800 fish from 35 different species of salmon.
9. Aurillac (Aurillac)
Aurillac is the old capital of Auvergne and the current capital of the Cantal department. This picturesque old town grew up around the Saint-Gyurot Abbey, founded in the 10th century and rebuilt after its destruction in the middle of the 17th century. The first French pope, Sylvester II, was born and studied here at a monastic school. In the castle of Saint-Etienne, in the wing dating from the 11th century, is now the House of Volcanoes with a collection of minerals and displays illustrating volcanic activity.
10. Roquefort (Roquefort)
Roquefort is a unique village known for its cheese. It is located in a spectacular location in the Gran Kos Regional Natural Park, a tiny village held on the rock of Combalu. Natural caves offer ideal conditions for the ripening of the famous Roquefort cheese. Here, and only here, in the depths of the caves, the famous Roquefort cheese ripens.
Guide: Sightseeing in Honduras
If you are looking for a new world, you will find it ... in Auvergne!
Lakes, volcanoes, valleys, forests, ponds - all the wealth of natural landscapes and a variety of flora and fauna are present in Auvergne. A variety of flora and fauna complement the beauty of the region. 109 sources of (among them the famous Volvik (External link)), more than 100 volcanoes, 20,000 kilometers of rivers - it is not surprising that Auvergne is considered one of the most green areas of Europe.
Auvergne - the edge of volcanoes
INAuvergne Volcano Nature Park (External link) Anyone can enjoy hiking along the slopes of the Plomb du Cantal, Puy de Dôme and Puy de Sancy volcanoes. Through forests and valleys Livradua Foret Natural Park endless hiking trails.
Ski resorts Auvergne offer traditional winter activities: downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or dog sledding. In the summer, Auvergne is engaged in rafting, paragliding and mountain climbing. If you are interested in less extreme types of recreation, then here you can relax in the rehabilitation centers at the thermal springs or in the spa. No wonder Auvergne is called the second most important thermal region of France.
Gastronomic specialties Auvergne
After a walk on a high plateau, it's time to go for a snack. Fragrances traditional dishes they will show you exactly the right restaurant. Puy green lentils, stuffed cabbage, a pot of stew with stews and vegetables, potato truffade - all these nourishing phenomena perfectly complement local wines: Saint-Pourcain, Cotes d 'Auvergne or pink Chanturgue. Cheese plate Auvergne also deserves attention: Bleu d'Auvergne, Fourm d'Ambert, Saint-Nectaire, Cantal and Salers all have cheeses quality status A.O.C
The historical heritage of Auvergne
One of the very first historical heroes of Auvergne was the brave leader of the Celtic tribe of the Arverns Vercingetorix. His reign ended in an unsuccessful battle near Gergovia, the ancient capital of Auvergne. Later, the harsh St. Peter's Cathedral in Saint-Flour and the Romanesque Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Port in Clermont-Ferrand, through which the pilgrimage Way of Saint James to Santiago de Compostela.The monument to the Bourbon dynasty, whose history began in Auvergne, is the medieval fortress of the dukes. Modern residents of Clermont-Ferrand are proud that it was in their city that the fat Michelin appeared, symbolizing excellent tires and a reputable restaurant guide. In the small town of Thiers, there is a knife museum.
Art and Culture of Auvergne
It’s good to come to Auvergne during busy street festivals. The International Theater Festival in Aurillac or the Pamparina Music Festival in Thiers will long be remembered by travelers for their colorful and interesting performances. For movie buffs, there is a short film festival. The festival of classical and sacred music has been taking place in the town of Chéz-Die for over 40 years. In addition, balloonists from all over the world regularly gather in Auvergne. Far from cities, in the lap of nature, artists place unusual objects of land art. For lovers of quality products, the European Festival of Taste (Les Européennes du go dut) takes place. If you are traveling with your family, be sure to visit the Amusement Park and wildlife, theme park Volcanoes (External link) , amusement park in the open air inside a real volcano (Volcan de Lemptégy) or electricity museum Electrodrome.
Traveling over Auvergne is a pleasure for both body and soul. Clean air, healthy waters, rich historical heritage and amusement parks are waiting for you!
Interesting places Auvergne
The site contains Auvergne attractions - photos, descriptions and travel tips. The list is based on popular guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you will find answers to questions: what to see in Auvergne, where to go and where are the popular and interesting places of Auvergne.
Chateau Balleure is a historical landmark in France, located in the department of Saunas and Loire. It was created in the middle of the XIII century and belonged to the Sauvement family. In 1941, it was included in the additional list of historical monuments of the French Ministry of Culture. Today it is in the possession of Pierre and his wife Nicole, who rebuilt the castle on their own, transforming it into a small hotel with various types of entertainment that will help you to feel the essence of the Middle Ages.
Like most castles in France, Balleure Castle is made in the style of the Middle Ages. Its shape resembles a rectangle with flat round towers in the corners. If you look at the building from the east, you can take it as an ordinary residential building, but if you look from the north, then you immediately understand that there is a defensive fortress in front of your eyes, but that square towers are almost the same size. In the west, a long staircase from a high tower stretches to the residential part of the building.
The interior design of the Balleure Castle is fascinating. The rooms for visitors are decorated according to the Middle Ages, but, nevertheless, are completely cozy and bright.
Anjonu Castle is located in the department of Auvergne, in the eponymous valley. It was built in the 15th century by the merchant Louis Anjoni at the end of the Hundred Years War. Today, the owner of the castle is Robert Anjoni, who is trying to keep the castle in good condition with his family. The construction is made in the style of the Middle Ages, as it has the shape of a square with round watch towers placed at the corners.
Throughout history, the castle belonged to the d'Angioni family and only during the French Revolution was confiscated and sold. At the end of the latter, the building was returned to the true owners.
The rooms and halls of the building are decorated with antique furniture and trophies, and the walls are decorated with portraits of its owners. The Hall of Valor is one of the many ancient halls of the castle, dedicated to the legend of nine valiant warriors and decorated with various frescoes in their honor. Another interesting place is the chapel of small size, decorated with frescoes already on biblical themes. The highlight of the chapel is the sculpture of the Black Virgin, who managed to miraculously escape during the revolution.
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Moltgilbert Castle is located in the Ghentel neighborhood, Auvergne district, France. Since 1930 it is a historical monument. It was built in the 13th century on top of a rocky hill by the St. Gelant family. As a result of several military operations and prolonged use as a quarry in the 19th century, it became unsuitable for life and fell into decay. Now it is in a dilapidated state, and a young volunteer association is raising money for the restoration and restoration of old walls.
Externally, the castle is made in the usual medieval style for those times. Powerful walls close into a square, forming a courtyard, in the corners of which there are round defense towers, where chapels are still visible. The main entrance was blocked by massive grating gates, but now they are no longer there. When the owners left the castle, the windows were walled up, the walls covered with frescoes were smeared, and by the 18th century, all medieval beauty had turned into ruins.
In photo mode, you can view the sights in Auvergne only from photographs.
Alleuze Castle is located in Alles in France. It was built in the XIII century and is now an old castle of the Cantal department. Its founders and first owners were Bishops of Auvergne, and city guards worked on the erection of the fortress. The castle dates back to the Middle Ages and today has its pristine appearance.
The structure was built in the form of a square with a courtyard and round towers in the corners, which was characteristic of the architecture of the XIV century. Also on the territory of the castle is an old chapel called Saint-Illide, which was created in the XIII-XV centuries.
During the Hundred Years War, the castle was captured by the British under the leadership of Bernard de Garlan, who for seven years robbed and destroyed everything in its path. The only solution was to burn the castle, in order to avoid its capture by Bernard's receivers, which the townspeople did in 1405.
After some time, the building was rebuilt to its original appearance, and prisons were created in the towers by order of the bishops of the Clermont department. In 1927, the Alleuze Castle was declared a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture. Now he is in a dilapidated state.
Volcano Puy de Dom
The volcano Puy-de-Dome is one of the main natural attractions of France. It is located in the department of the same name, near Clermont-Ferrand. The Puy-de-Dom massif is a chain that includes several extinct volcanoes. Despite the fact that not much remains of its former greatness, the volcano makes a powerful impression with its monumental craters, the remains of frozen lava.
The volcano Puy-de-Dom is located on a granite plateau, stretching at an altitude of about a thousand meters above sea level. In ancient times, this volcano was a sacred place that was honored not only by the Gauls, but also by the Romans. In the Roman era, the temple of Mercury was built on top of the mountain, which was preceded by an earlier Gallic temple. Historians believe that the name of the mountain is partly due to the presence of a religious building, because the word "puy" is translated from French as "mountain", and "dome" - "cathedral".
The surroundings of the volcano are picturesque and diverse - here you can find traces of volcanic activity, as well as dense vegetation, rivers, lakes. Among the travelers, the Puy-de-Dome neighborhood is very popular because there are opportunities for a varied holiday - climbing, climbing on a paraglider or hang glider. In fine weather, a magnificent view of the famous Mont Blanc opens from the top of the mountain.
Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady
Notre Dame Cathedral stands proudly in the historical center of Clermont-Ferrand. This is the central temple of the city and one of the main attractions. The predecessors of the grandiose Gothic cathedral were three earlier Christian churches, the oldest of which dates back to the 5th century. The building, which appears to the eyes of citizens and many tourists today, was built in the XII century.
In 1248, Bishop Hugo de la Tours initiated the construction of a new cathedral. Thus, he sought to emphasize the episcopal authority over the city, as well as to surpass in beauty one of the most beautiful churches of the city. As a result, both of these plans were realized - the construction was not only grandiose, but also very interesting from the point of view of architecture. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Mother of God is unique in its building material - the so-called Volvik stone. This dark mineral is of volcanic origin and is a unique material. The Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral is the only major building whose walls are made of this stone.
The interior of the cathedral dates from the middle of the XIX century, when new furniture, church utensils and organ appeared. The walls of the cathedral are decorated with an interesting collection of paintings of the 12th-15th centuries, and the 13th-century stained-glass windows are among the most beautiful stained-glass windows of France. In the chapels you can see fragments of Gothic frescoes that have been preserved to this day.
Fountains with drinking water
Clermont – Ferrand is a picturesque city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. In addition to the beautiful architectural monuments, it is famous for its many mineral springs. Since ancient times, healing water from "magic springs" flowed through the city and splashed in numerous fountains. And so far nothing has changed - you just have to experiment and try to put any object in the water, after a while a mineral coating appears on it.
There are many fountains in the city. One of them is located next to the cathedral. Built in 1885, it is crowned with a statue of Pope Urban II, who almost a thousand years ago blessed the first Crusade in Clermont-Ferrand. Not far from it is another fountain, which is located on the site of the former shopping area. The city garden is decorated with a pyramid-shaped fountain, erected in honor of Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign. And another fountain is made in the Baroque style and depicts Poseidon armed with a trident. And this is not a complete list, because a walk through this wonderful city is fraught with many discoveries!
Fountain d` Amboise
Among the fountains of Clermont-Ferrand, a special place is occupied by the ancient fountain Amboise, which is not only the most beautiful fountain in the city, but also the oldest. An inscription carved in stone in Latin says that the fountain was built under Bishop Jacques Amboise, and this happened in 1515. Initially carved from the local dark volcanic Volvik stone, the fountain was located near the cathedral.
The fountain consists of several tiers, each of which repeats the octagon of the base of the pool and is made on a reduced scale compared to the previous one. The composition is crowned by a human figure with a baton in his hands. Over the centuries, the appearance of the fountain has not changed, but since 1808, when the redevelopment began in the city, the fountain changed its address several times. At its current location, it was installed only in 1962.
In addition to sculpture, the fountain is decorated with numerous decorative elements - pilasters, Gothic windows, ancient sculptures, as well as the coat of arms of the d’Amboise dynasty.
The castle of Murol is a national historical monument of the city of the same name in France, the department of Puy de Dom. It was built in the XII century by the ruler of Murol and is considered the last building that his family founded. From the very beginning, the castle was designed to protect the city, its powerful and harsh walls scared away enemies, inspiring hope for civilians. Today it belongs to local authorities and receives guests all year round, showing them the ancient customs of the local people.
Murol Castle was built quite a long time, from the XII to XIV centuries. During the tenure of Guillaume de Sam Castle, a second chapel and several other structures were completed, and with the owner Jean Estin, the castle acquired two watch towers and Renaissance-style decoration.
After the French Revolution, Murol miraculously survived and began to be used as a prison, and over time they wanted to make a quarry out of it, but the building was transferred to the local authorities in time, by the decree of which a restoration was carried out, which returned the monument to its original medieval look.
Aulteribe castle since 1949 is considered a national historical monument of France. Located in the city of Sermantison, department of Puy-de-Dome. It was built at the end of the Middle Ages and is now its full representative. It is owned by the Center for National Monuments and is open to visitors all year round.
Throughout the history of its functioning, the castle was repeatedly damaged, but at the end of the XIX century was subject to restoration and some change. As a result of the latter, new elements in the medieval style were added to the structure.
The last private owner of the castle was Pierre de Henri, who in 1954 transferred the building to state ownership. The castle’s interior decorations are chic. Particularly noteworthy are paintings and Chinese porcelain of the 17th-19th centuries, as well as Finnish tapestries. Around the building landed a cozy park, which in 1991 was included in the List of World Heritage Sites.
Chapel Saint-Michel d'Egil
The chapel of Saint-Michel d'Egil is known worldwide for its unusual location, namely on the cliff of a volcanic formation at an altitude of 85 meters. This church is the oldest of those in France. It was built in 962 and was slightly enlarged in the 12th century by the addition of a short nave, two chapels, a bell tower, a portal and an outpatient clinic.
To get to the chapel, which is located near the city of Le Puy-en-Velay in the very center of the plain, it is worth going 268 steps up. Then you get to the observation deck, from which the whole city is visible, with its old cathedrals, small houses and a sea crossing.
This small Christian chapel was built by Bishop Puy in honor of the return of St. Michael from the pilgrimage. Since then, Le Puy has become the starting point for many pilgrims on the route to Santiago de Compostella. In 1429, it was in the chapel of Saint-Michel d'Egil that Danne D'Arc's mother came to pray for her daughter.
In 1955, archaeologists found ancient treasures in a secret niche located in the altar. They are put up for general review today.
The most popular attractions in Auvergne with descriptions and photos for every taste. Choose the best places to visit famous Auvergne places on our website.
The southern part of the region is mainly located in the mountains of the Central Massif, the formation of which dates from the end of the Paleozoic era, and the shape of which changed significantly in the Cenozoic era due to the reaction to the rise of the Alpine plateau.
The general shape of the region appears as a karst funnel open to the north (lowlands of Limagnes and Bourbonnais) and pulled in the south (Allier gorge). Auvergne's highest point is the highest point of all Central array - Mount Sansi (fr. Puy de Sancy) (1886 meters).
For a long time the region was away from major transport routes in France. Today, such an infringement has been corrected thanks to the construction of the A75 highway connecting the Paris Basin with the Mediterranean coast, however, the economic development of the region has slowed significantly after the emergence of this transport artery, as locally produced goods were replaced by goods from other regions.
The Auvergne region has four departments:
Allier in the north, Puy-de-Dome in the center, Cantal in the southwest, Haute-Loire in the southeast.
The territory of the Allier department roughly corresponds to the lands of the Duchy of Bourbon.
The administrative center of the Auvergne region is the city of Clermont-Ferrand, with more than 400,000 inhabitants together with the suburbs, which is almost one third of the total population of the region.
The idea of uniting the Auvergne and Limousin regions was put forward by Valerie Giscard d’Estaing in anticipation of the 2004 regional elections and was supported by Jean-Pierre Raffaren, Prime Minister of the period. However, this proposal was negatively accepted in Limousin, since the areas of Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde in their development are more focused on the Atlantic coast.
In Auvergne, numerous traces of the presence of a prehistoric man were found: the oldest coarse flint products, later stone axes, elegantly trimmed and polished, bronze sabers and daggers (crafted by some tribe with surprisingly small hands, judging by the size of the arms).
Departments and cities of Auvergne
The Auvergne region consists of four departments: Allier, Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and Haute-Loire. The administrative center of the Allier department is Moulin, but it is glorified by a completely different city - the resort of Vichy. The main city of Cantal, the homeland of the two presidents of France, is Aurillac.
The regional capital of Auvergne is Clermont-Ferrand, which is also the center of Puy-de-Dome.
Auvergne is famous for its thermal spas. It is believed that water, passing through layers of long-frozen lava, acquires useful properties, simultaneously being cleared of harmful trace elements. Currently there are more than 10 stations. The most famous Mont-Dore, specializing in all kinds of allergies and diseases of the ear, throat, nose, La Bourboule, recommended for the treatment of respiratory diseases and skin diseases and, of course, Vichy. There are also Bourbon-Lancy, Bourbon l’Archambault, Châteauneuf-les-Bains, Châtel-Guyon, Chaudes-Aigues, Evaux-les-Bains, Royat-Chamalières.
History and culture
The province of Auvergne got its name from the Gallic tribe of the Arverna, who lives in these territories until the conquest of Julius Caesar. The Romans founded several settlements here, the most famous of which was the city of Augustonemetum, which later turned into Clermont-Ferrand. After the fall of the empire, the province was ruled by Franks, Aquitans, and Carolingians until it fell into the hands of the Dukes of Auvergne in the Middle Ages. The capital was then located in Riom. After the French Revolution, Clermont-Ferrand became the regional center.
It was during this period that Auvergne gradually turned into one of the economically developed regions. This process is finally completed by the end of the 19th century, after the founding of the world-famous Michelin tire factory. Provincial resorts, which were chosen by aristocrats, brought no less glory. The most popular among them were the cities of Vichy and La Boerboel.
How to get to Auvergne
Clermont-Ferrand - Auvergne International Airport is regional and serves all flights to Auvergne. The airport is 7 km from the center of Clermont-Ferrand and connects the capital of Auvergne with all the major cities of France and Europe. In particular, regular direct flights from Paris are carried out.
Search for flights to Paris (nearest airport to Auvergne)
Most TGV trains to the cities of Auvergne depart from Lyon Station (Gare de Lyon). In three and a half hours without any difficulties you can get the first or second class to Clermont-Ferrand. It is better to book a ticket online on the French railways website. One way travel costs 23-40 EUR. Trains run every day in an amount of at least eight (from 5:00 to 20:00). From Monday to Friday - once a day express, reducing travel time by half an hour. True, the cost of such a trip is much higher. From Bercy Station in Paris, you can get to Vichy. Travel time is a little less than three hours. One-way fare is 40-65 EUR.
Prices on the page are for August 2018.
What to get around
For traveling around Auvergne, a rented car is more suitable than anything else - so you can take your time to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of the region, regardless of the schedule of public transport. If you prefer not to “drive”, but to relax, contemplating the changing pictures outside the window, regional buses are at your service (they connect all, even the smallest towns of Auvergne to each other) and trains of the French Railways.
Be prepared for the fact that regional trains are extremely slow and, like commuter trains, stop at all stations and stop stations along the way. For quick access to Auvergne, it is recommended to use direct bus service.
Weather in Auvergne
Auvergne in the tourist sense is a universal year-round destination. In summer, people come here to be treated at thermal springs and relax actively in the mountains of the Central Massif - trekking, hiking and just a relaxed vacation among the picturesque landscapes go here with a bang. In winter, mountain peaks are taken by skiers - there are several “snowy” resorts in the region: the oldest Super-Lioran, modern Super-Bess and family-oriented Mont Dor.
Auvergne has a temperate continental climate. Summer is moderately hot, maximum temperature is +28 .. +31 ° C, average - +23 .. +26 ° C. Winter is quite mild: the thermometer column is kept at an average of 0 .. -5 ° C. It’s difficult to determine the best time to visit the region (it all depends on what type of vacation the tourist is inclined to) - in general, you can come here all year round - the vacation is so diverse that possible slight weather whims are unlikely to spoil the impression of being in Auvergne.
Cuisine and restaurants
The cuisine of the region is designed for mountain residents: it is nutritious, high-calorie and as simple as possible to prepare. The main ingredients of many overnight dishes: cheeses, sausages, ham and lentils. Especially popular is the famous sausage with blue cheese, which includes Bleu d’ Auvergne cheese.
It is Auvergne - the birthplace of French blue cheeses. A resident of the Antoine Roussel region was the first to start using mold to make a new variety. The cheese that later glorified France was called Bleu d'Overgne.
Numerous pies with different fillings, overoung scars (tripoux d'Auvergne), potato dishes, in particular truffade, potato stew with vegetables (potée auvergnate), stuffed cabbage (chou farci) and pastilles from Vichy (pastilles de Vichy) is just a small list of delicious sights. High-quality cheeses stand separately on this list, five of which are certified in accordance with A.O.C.
Well, from the “solid” one in local restaurants you should definitely order a steak - the Allier department beef is known all over France thanks to the special high-mountain grass fed by cows.
Attractions and attractions in Auvergne
The capital of Auvergne Clermont-Ferrand is located on the slopes of an extinct volcano. The rich history of the city, in which the traditions of eternal rivals on these lands - the counts of Auvergne and the bishops of Clermons - were mixed - embodied in a mass of interesting sights. Among the most famous are the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady with unique medieval stained glass windows depicting representatives of various professions and scenes from the Bible. Well, fans of the car industry and all who care about the world of cars will be interested in visiting the Michelin Enterprise Museum, dedicated to the history of this brand.
In addition to world-famous thermal resorts, the most popular of which is Vichy, here you can find unique Romanesque churches, including pearls such as the Basilica of Our Lady of Orsival, the Basilique of Notre Dame du Port (Basilique Notre-Dame-du-Port ) in Clermont-Ferrand, protected by UNESCO, the Church of Our Lady of Saint-Nectaire (Église Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Cornadore de Saint Nectaire), the Church of St. Austremonia in Issoire (Église Saint-Austremoine d'Issoire).
Fans of the Middle Ages will be able to get acquainted with a number of medieval castles that form a route with stops in each of the departments.
Mont-Dore is known as a balneological resort, and as a ski center. The thermal springs of the local mountains were also used by the Celts, but today there are a lot of sanatoriums that use the most siliceous mineral water in France with temperatures from +38 ° C to +44 ° C for treatment. The Mont-Dore ski resort is one of the three oldest winter resorts in the country - along with Chamonix and Megeve. The total length of the tracks here is more than 500 km, and winters are unanimously recognized as the snowiest in France.
The Auvergne Regional Volcano Park is the region's main natural attraction. Here is the largest extinct volcano in Puy-Marie, the largest in Europe, along the slopes of which many summer hiking and winter skiing routes have been laid. To the other peak of the park - Plom du Cantal, you can not only climb on your own, but also get there by cable car, and the most dizzying views will open in front of you!
Volcano Park will appeal to both children and adults. This is the first volcano park in Europe. It was built on the territory of the former military base, located on the site of the once existing dangerous "neighbors" of the cities of Auvergne. In addition to interesting and useful information on geology, filed in an entertaining way, here you can participate in a number of attractions.
The cost of tickets depends on the season, which is divided into three periods: green, yellow and blue. The green period is from March 23 to June 30. Entrance ticket for adults will cost 24.50 EUR, for children from 6 to 16 years - 17 EUR. The schedule of the park at this time is from 10:00 to 18:00.
The blue period is from July 1 to August 31. Entrance ticket for adults will cost 27 EUR, for children from 6 to 16 years - 18.50 EUR. Schedule of the park: in July - from 10:00 to 19:00, in August - from 10:00 to 19:30.
The yellow period - every Wednesday from July 20 to August 24, August 9 and 16. Entrance ticket for adults will cost 28 EUR, for children from 6 to 16 years old - 19.50 EUR. Children under six are always free. Schedule: from 10:00 to 22:00 + fireworks.