Top Ten things to do in the Auvergne

« Back to Articles - Date Posted: 11/05/2017 9:40am by Alison Cummings

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View of Puy Mary, Auvergne, France

Despite being situated right in the heart of France, the Auvergne region is sometimes overlooked as a truly exciting holiday destination in favour of more obvious cities and seaside breaks.

However, this area of amazing natural beauty, thriving with culture and history, is quickly becoming the best-kept secret of French holiday locations. With so much to see and do, this is a holiday destination which will really make an impression on even the most seasoned traveller.

1.  One of the first things which must be mentioned is the Auvergne’s famed natural beauty. Its idyllic scenery and towering mountains make for a truly stunning backdrop, and easy-to-follow trails make it easily accessible for all.

2.  Another exciting day trip is to Vichy – if for nothing else than the typically French patisseries which line the streets – a real insight into French patisserie culture where young and old sit and chat.

3.  Also in Vichy, the famous incidents surrounding the creation and fall of Vichy France during the Second World War are evident as well, and those with a history-orientated mind will find much to see and do in the town Musée – as well as the evidence to be found out and about on the streets. Just ask for the History map at Tourist information

4.  No trip to Vichy would be complete without trying out the famed Vichy waters. Although quite a few of them taste surprisingly strongly of sulphur, it is still a fun experience not to be missed for their alleged healing properties…

5. … But for those wanting to experience the Vichy water without having to drink something tasting a little disgusting, the alternative is a relaxing visit to the Vichy Spas, bathing in the famed medicinal waters rather than ingesting them!

6.  The central town of Auvergne, Clement-Ferrand is also quickly rising to the status of tourist-magnet and provides a more metropolitan environment than the surrounding countryside. Particularly good areas to see are the Place Jaude in the centre of town with a stunning statue of Bishop Urbain, and the Cathedral which lies just off the main square and has a very pretty rococo-style façade.

7.  For a truly different day out and one which will really grab the kids’ attention, head to Vulcania, an interactive centre about the volcanoes of the area. The newly furbished iMax rides “Dragon ride” and “VolcanBul” are entertaining for everyone, and the Grand Geyser – a simulated Geyser in the centre of the dome – is a real sight to behold for anyone interesting in natural history.

8.  Whilst at Vulcania, make a bee-line for the earthquake simulator – although it’s an extra couple of Euros, it’s a heart-stopping experience for all the family and well worth the price, as a photo is also available of your faces during the rumbles.

9.  The nearby Chaîne des Puys – especially the Puy de Dome itself - are a famous range of volcanoes which have many guided tours operating and are a hiker’s delight. Amazing views over the Auvergne countryside are guaranteed on a clear day and make the climb totally worthwhile.

10.  Last, but by no means least, another great past time in Auvergne is to simply walk around. There are so many great little villages to discover, all nestled in the heart of one of France’s most beautiful areas.

So what are you waiting for? For a holiday in France a little off the beaten track but still with plenty to see and do for all the family, the Auvergne really is just waiting for you.