View Map

Overview

It was Robert Louis Stevenson who first brought the Auvergne to travelers’ attention, with his account of a trip through the region, Travels with a Donkey, published in 1878. A popular route today follows his journey step by step through this part of the great Massif Central, a range of long-extinct volcanoes between the Rhone River and Toulouse. Now part of a national park covering 80 eroded craters, the Auvergne region is a green landscape of cone-shaped mountains and rounded valleys that betray their volcanic origins. Walking trails lead beside lakes and through meadows of wildflowers amidst a natural environment conducive to ...

It was Robert Louis Stevenson who first brought the Auvergne to travelers’ attention, with his account of a trip through the region, Travels with a Donkey, published in 1878. A popular route today follows his journey step by step through this part of the great Massif Central, a range of long-extinct volcanoes between the Rhone River and Toulouse. Now part of a national park covering 80 eroded craters, the Auvergne region is a green landscape of cone-shaped mountains and rounded valleys that betray their volcanic origins. Walking trails lead beside lakes and through meadows of wildflowers amidst a natural environment conducive to walking, hiking, fishing and horseback riding.

Follow the cheese route, Routes des Frommages, to find farms making AOP cheeses (certified local appellation) or visit craftsmen's workshops to find ceramics and woodworking on designated discovery trails, such as those in the Livradois-Forez area. Wines, liquors and aperitifs are produced from wild plants and herbs, and the region is known for its cured meats.

History is alive in turreted stone castles, abbeys and medieval churches, while historic manors now house museums of everything from costumes to Roman art. Le Mont-Dore is a spa town, built on the site of ancient Roman baths, with a spa pavilion, Les Thermes, rebuilt by Gustave Eiffel. Arlempdes was the first Loire château, built in the 12th to 14th centuries, overlooking wild gorges in Le Velay.

Juliette Rogers
About the Expert

Juliette Rogers is coauthor of the guidebooks Eating New England: A Food Lovers Guide to Eating Locally, Secret Providence and Newport, and two Thomas Cook guides on France.

view full overview

Juliette Rogers for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Auvergne is one of the 27 administrative regions of France. It comprises the four departments of Allier, Puy de Dome, Cantal and Haute Loire. The region contains many volcanoes, although the last confirmed eruption was around 6,000 years ago.
  • Language: French, Auvergnat, Occitan
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Region of Auvergne | Province of Auvergne | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring, summer and fall are all good seasons for outdoor sports.