"Off the beaten paths Auvergne" Auvergne by kokoryko

Auvergne Travel Guide: 324 reviews and 1,228 photos

So many things to do. . . . .

The French Massif Central is an area blessed by God: it is so beautiful-landscapes, buildings villages, people- and it is not crowded by tourists. . . No Unesco world heritage, no Himalayan mountains (just hills, rivers, forests) no Seychellian beaches (but lots of lakes and rivers), in one word, no world top tourist destination.
For me it is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, but it is better it keeps like it is, very quiet, calm and relaxing, and here I just share a bit from this jewel.
Well, as often, I exaggerate: there are tourists and tourist spots in Auvergne, (Puy de Dôme, Vulcania parc, Chaine des Puys extinct volcanoes, Vichy, upper Gorges de l’Allier, etc. . . ) in Summer and in Winter, but so many wonderful places, are so much off the beaten paths, I just wanted to show a bit and, well, it is far for overseas travellers (but if they go to Paris, they may spend a bit of time in this area), but I think of Northern European travellers (tourists) who rush in their car to the southern sea-sun-etc . . . places, they may find some beautiful things to do in this area. My intention is not at all to make “promotion” for this area, just share a little bit of what I like here and may be some VTers may want to have a closer look one day. . . Auvergne promotes a lot rural, “green” tourism, mainly familial tourism, and outdoor sports. The local institutions ((Region, departments, groups of municipalities. . . ) make a big effort for what is called “rural tourism” and they propose many activities and various stay and accommodation solutions (with lots of homestays).
I do not built a Auvergne general page, this area is too big and diverse, I just give 2-3 general tips and take you to some very local spots which have their personality and can give an idea of what the rest of Auvergne can look like or inspire.

You may find general info on this Auvergne tourist info website or on this tourist info one

For the hikers and trekkers more info on this hiking and trekking website

Latest news from Auvergne. . .

Well, there will not be news from here every day or week or even month possibly, but I will keep up to date every time I go to Auvergne and see something new, or (in many cases) have the opportunity to make a picture or re-visit places I already know.
So I will add new “tips” from time to time.
This time (April-May 2007), there are new “tips” about:
A few castles,
A few day hikes on or around extinct volcanoes and general information about the Parc Naturel regional des Volcans d’Auvergne .
Roman churches of Auvergne
A few hikes on the mountains not far from my “den”.

They are almost all in the things to do section; please go in the first section of this page, there are links to some websites I find interesting for people who may want to visit Auvergne for general information and where to find information to book travels and stays.

Small places

The Auvergne I like is the rural one, the one with deep beech and fir forests, high hills with open view, villages with old churches and abbeys, local festivals, markets, local food. . . . If I calculate, I walk in average 7 km per day when I am there, (average, some days, 0, some days 25km), I covered about 4000 hiking km in Auvergne, (many of them in fact on the same trails), since I go regularly to this place.
I visit places here or there, and will share some of the nice places or souvenirs I have from here or there, not really in order, but there is some “coherency” for some places like the two ones here:



Small villages, abbeys, castles, extinct volcanoes are among the things to visit in Auvergne; I will put some pictures and lines about places I visited here or there and update regularly when I think to take the camera with me (and think to take a picture!); places I visit regularly or not really as a tourist, I generally “forget” to make pictures! From now, I will make some pictures to share. I begin here with three castles close to the beautiful city of Le Puy en Velay. More to come. . .

I recently found one of my pictures somewhere on the web where it has nothing to do.
It arrived there without permission.
My pictures are far from being works of art, but be kind and ask if you want to use.
Unless otherwise marked, I am the author of the pictures.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:lanscapes, hikes, nature
  • Cons:nothing really bad!
  • In a nutshell:un chou est un chou
  • Last visit to Auvergne: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (22)

Comments (10)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Thanks for your tips, I'm heading there next April, looking for somewhere to stay. Sounds wonderful. Cheers, Ian

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    What a nice page with so many good photo's! I don't think of would ever tire of looking at the many French Castle's, I love them! We were in this area recently, but I haven't done any reviews yet. I thought it was a beautiful area.

  • Chicham's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2009 at 10:46 AM

    Merci pour votre aimable commentaire. Quant aux vins de Beaune ils sont à des prix disons élevés pour ne pas dire excessifs!

  • Tijavi's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    These pages on off-the-beaten-path treasures are a treat. I love the chateaux and churches but can't help but notice your "geologist" bent in describing the rocks these are made of. And oh, I won't forget - never wash mushrooms and only with red Bordeaux!

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    Great tips and pictures on Auvergne! Well done. I just went back to Cantal for vacations and it was so beautiful with fall colors. One of these days I may build a VT page... Anyway, cheers from Texas.

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2008 at 10:04 PM

    Thanks for very wonderful Auvergne Page

  • robertgaz's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2007 at 12:47 AM

    What an enchanting area Hermann... I like your over stated humour btw :~)

  • Anne-Lieze's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2007 at 7:38 AM

    This is really wonderful Hermann!What is the easiest way to go from Brussels?.Having a nice bleu d'Auvergne with a glass of wine in that little chateau, while visiting the region,seems paradise to me.What is the best time to do that?

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Dec 12, 2006 at 2:05 PM

    You live in a beautiful area! Yes, I can almost smell the frying mushrooms in your second travelogue. Great idea to show so many different kinds of mushrooms and give the names in three languages.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2006 at 3:50 AM

    An excellent start on your Auvergne page, Hermann. I just had to dig out my book of maps to find the villages with those chateaux!

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“Il me plait de courir sans but et sans raison . . . .”

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