Walking and Cycling
Walking in the Auvergne
Barren yet beautiful, sparsely populated but abundant in personality, the warm embrace of the Auvergne will touch the spirit of even the most experienced traveller. Nature’s hand in crafting a landscape so rich in natural splendour makes tackling the volcanic peaks and undulating valleys a truly rewarding experience. With myriad hiking trails offering a route to spectacular viewpoints, a walking holiday in the Auvergne guarantees lasting memories.
There are few sights as rewarding as those seen from soaring peaks. Among the Auvergne’s highlights are the surroundings of the Puy de Dôme. Attracting nearly half a million visitors every year, the final trek to the Roman remains of the Mercury Temple is a worthwhile culmination of a climb through captivating scenery and presents walkers with incredible views across Clermont-Ferrand below and the Chaîne des Puys range.
Embark on the most famous of all trails
Crossing the border between France and Spain en route to the acclaimed pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St James negotiates the Auvergne’s volcanic landscapes from its starting point in Le Puy-en-Velay. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims that have traversed the route for centuries, experiencing some of the most well-preserved sections of the trail and uncovering a series of sacred locations.
Cycling in the Auvergne
For biking enthusiasts and novice riders, the terrain of the Auvergne offers an equally enticing range of cycling trails to complement varying experiences and styles. Thanks in no small part to the elevated surroundings of the region, taking to two wheels and exploring this area of verdant hillsides, plunging gorges, and winding rivers will take your breath away.
Cycling holidays in the Auvergne are a compelling and unique means of experiencing the geological splendour of central France. Defined by its rugged, eclectic landscape, the region offers a number of challenging trails traversing rolling topography that presents spectacular views of this sedate, peaceful region. And, with six areas approved by the French Cycling Federation, there are almost 4,000 kilometres of way-marked routes traversing the land, leaving you with plenty of choice and opportunity.
If ascending the soaring peaks of some 450 volcanoes sounds daunting, the Auvergne offers a series of road-based routes that enable cyclists to take in the charms of the area. From Bioude with its 12th-century church to quaint Blesle (designated one of the ‘most beautiful villages in France’), the banks of the River Allier to the stunning Château de Chavaniac in Chavaniac-Lafayette, a cycling tour of the Auvergne will leave a lasting impression, regardless of the routes and roads you follow.