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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Guided walking holiday
  • Amazing Auvergne

Dates for 2020
  • Mid May - end of September
  • Please contact us for a quote for your group
  • Varied and interesting walking through unique and spectacular volcanic landscapes with breathtaking views
  • A region of perfectly preserved volcanoes easily accessible on foot
  • Dramatic waterfalls, beautiful lakes and strange rock formations
  • Historic villages with important romanesque churches built from the volcanic stone
  • Great views and abundant wildlife
  • Welcoming guest houses in historic buildings serving great local cuisine
  • "Wonderful holiday, your knowledge of the geography and geology of the area added to the interest of the walks which were both varied and interesting. I appreciated the opportunity to see such a wide area of the Auvergne and would have a hard time deciding which of the walks I liked best." Ricki Bull, UK More testimonials from the Auvergne
Accommodation and Meals
  • 7 nights accommodation in two 2 and 3 star equivalent guest houses, double and twin rooms with own bathrooms. All breakfasts included, 6 packed lunches and 6 evening meals
What's included
  1. Airport and station transfers from Lyon or Clermont Ferrand
  2. Transport to and from the start of each walk
  3. 7 nights' accommodation
  4. Full Board (with the exception of lunches on day of arrival and departure and one evening meal.)
  5. 6 guided walks.
What's not included
  1. Travel to Lyon or Clermont Ferrand, France (see travel shop for transport operators)
  2. Lunches on the day of arrival and departure and one evening meal
  3. Transfers, other than those from Lyon
  4. Any excursions or entrance fees
  5. Drinks to accompany some meals
  6. Travel insurance

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See travel diary from the Auvergne

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Amazing Auvergne- Lakes, volcanoes & historic villages

This guided walking holiday explores the Puy de Dome area of northern Auvergne in the Massif Central which is home to some of the finest landscapes in France. They make for interesting and varied walking with lush green valleys sheltering beneath windswept upland ridges and peaks, affording breathtaking views in all directions. The Auvergne is also the region with the highest number of Romanesque churches and monuments in France. For the most part built on celtic sacred sites, these works of art tell a tale of labour, faith and passion of the middle ages. Whether it be important churches, smaller but no less charming chapels or historic villages, they are set within sumptuous natural scenery protected within a regional natural park. Our guided walking holiday will explore many of the features that make up this beautiful landscape including volcanic and glacial lakes, volcanic domes, rocky cliffs, secluded valleys and dramatic waterfalls. In the north, the Chaine des Puys are a range of 80 geologically recent volcanic domes and cones which stretch as far as the eye can see. These varied landscapes are also a haven for wildlife, including birds of prey, deer, marmots and a host of wild flowers.

Find out more about the Auvergne its historic villages and its average weather conditions

Walking profile

The walks on this guided walking holiday are graded moderate and explore the full range of landscapes found in the northern Auvergne. There is the option of making some walks longer or shorter depending on the group's abilities and the weather conditions. Longer days out on the hills are interspersed with shorter easier days exploring the lakes and villages of the region. Ascents are generally no more than a couple of hundred metres at a time. Average length of walk in a day on this walking holiday in France is about 14km and average ascent is about 370m. All the walks are on good paths. The upland terrain, is occasionally rocky and requires a small degree of surefootedness.


Location Auvergne Massif Central France guided walking

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome and pick up in Lyon and drive to Auvergne.

Day 2: A stroll amid the volcanoes

This circular walk explores the most impressive volcanoes in the Puy de Dome area; a remarkable landscape found in the northern Auvergne which is unique in Europe. With some volcanoes as young as 7000 years old, this region of perfectly preserved volcanic cones lets you walk back in time to an era when lava and hot ash filled the skies. Our walk climbs onto the Puy Pariou before completing a gentle traverse underneath a series of volcanoes. Afterwards we'll visit, the Puy de Dome by funiculaire train, the highest of the volcanoes at 1465m, which is also the site of a 1st century Roman Temple and provides amazing views over northern Auvergne.

Day 3: Around Orcival

Today we'll visit the pretty village of Orcival nestled in a secluded valley and its 12th century basilica. This is an easy walk that passes chateaux, chapels, historic villages and has lovely views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.

Day 4: Descent from the Puy de Sancy

We'll take the cable car from Mont Dore to the top of the Puy de Sancy, a spectacular summit with amazing views, which is not only the highest point in the Auvergne, but in the whole of the Massif Central, reaching 1885m (6184ft). After taking in the views we have the choice of two walks leading back down the valley. The longer option follows the glacial u-shaped valley revealing a multitude of views of rocky faces, dramatic waterfalls and views over the surrounding hills and valleys.

Days 5: Murol and St Nectaire or Puy de Vache

A choice with either a partial rest day or Exploring two collapsed volcanoes with exposed red cinder. A partial rest day would have the chance to visit the medieval hilltop chateau of Murol and the village of Nectaire, known for its famous cheese (visit of cheese maker) and home of a remarkable 12th century basilica situated on Mont Cornadore. A picturesque small walk around Lake Chambon in the foothills of Puy de Sancy. Otherwise we can climb the volcano Puy Vache whose red summit provides amazing views of the Puy de Dome and is a great place to see the exposed volcanic rocks. Afterwards we'll summit Puy Lassolas before an enjoyable walk through mixed forest across the old lava flows.

Day 6: La Banne d'Ordanche

Near the town of Mont Dore, this moderate walk starts by the Col de Guéry where there are great views of two volcanic rock towers which stand like sentinels either side of a beautiful glaciated valley. After walking past Lac Guéry we'll ascend by a gentle path to the Banne d'Ordanche, offering great views of the Puy de Sancy.

Day 7: Lac Pavin and Besse

Today's guided walk starts with a visit of lac Pavin, a remarkable circular volcanic lake, the youngest volcanic formation in France. A lovely walk around its rim is followed by a picturesque walk to the historic village of Besse en Chandesse with its town walls and pretty cottages built from volcanic rock.

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast, return to Lyon

Contact us about this guided walking holiday


lac guery sancy massif auvergne guided walking holiday

eglise at st nectaire Auvergne guided walking holiday

Walk besse lac pavin in auvergne france

grande cascade Sancy Auvergne France guided walking holiday

Puy de Dome

lac pavin puy de dome Auvergne France guided walking holiday


Once you have booked on this guided walking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.

Please Note: We will endeavour to keep to the walks programmed for this guided walking holiday; however they are subject to change. In addition, we like to maintain a certain degree of flexibility to take account of the group’s abilities and interests, and the local conditions. The final selection of walks will be made by your guide during the week after consultation with the group. Thank you for your understanding.


Accommodation & Meals

On this guided walking holiday, you will be staying in two guest houses during the course of your holiday. They are traditional Auvergne properties offering authentic and comfortable accommodation. The exact guest houses used will depend on availability. Below is a representative selection of the ones we use.

A hearty and healthy continental breakfast provides the perfect opportunity to discover the local specialities such as home-made jams and local cheeses. At midday we will eat packed lunches prepared by our hosts and they will be eaten during the course of the walk. All evening meals will be taken at your guest house, with the exception of one evening where we will dine in a local restaurant. (This meal is not included in the price of the holiday). Local specialities will be available to try every evening.

Name Type Details Rating  
Domaine de Goulandre B&B Renovated farm house situated in a hectare of land at Saint-Sauves nr Le Bourboule 3 Corns Domaine de Goulandre Auvergne France guided walking holiday puy de dome
Ferme de Fontaneix Auberge Renovated historic farm situated at the foot of Mont Sancy near Lac Pavin   Ferme de Fontaneix Sancy Auvergne puy de dome France guided walking holiday
Travel Options

Travel Options

Flight Options

Transfers from Lyon & Clermont Ferrand airport to Auvergne

Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Auvergne region of France are included in the price of your guided walking holiday.

The airlines Easy jet, BMI and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK to Lyon Airport.

The nearest airport is Clermont Ferrand which will have limited weekly schedule from Southampton in the UK run by Flybe, between May and September.

Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you. We would be happy to book travel arrangements to Lyon, France on your behalf.


By Train

Eurostar and the TGV provide a relaxing journey from London to Lyon Part Dieu changing at Lille. Please use Rail Europe's train finder in our travel store to organise your train journey.

There is a practical train time leaving London at 9am and arriving in Lyon at 3pm. Please contact us before booking to check for other practical times.

Self Drive

Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&O Ferries and DFDS Seaways.

Once in France, the journey from Calais to the Lyon area takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks).

Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way. Controlled parking is available at the airport for 50 euros. Other secure but non-surveilled parking is available free of charge.

You can also drive direct to the guest houses in Auvergne, travel time about 8 hours.



Auvergne region Puy de Dome France
Auvergne region Puy de Dome France
Besse et st Anastaise Auvergne region Sancy France guided walking holiday
Auvergne region Puy de Dome France
Grande Cascade Puy de Sancy Auvergne guided walking France
Puy pariou  Auvergne guided walking holiday France
Valley near Puy de Sancy Auvergne guided walking France
View towards Puy de Dome Auvergne guided walking France
Puy de dome from Puy Pariou Auvergne guided walking holiday France