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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Guided Walking Holiday
  • Rugged Cantal Mountains

Dates 2020
  • Everyday (subject to availability) from mid May to mid October
  • Please contact us for a quote for your group
  • 8 days: 6 days guided walking, centre based holiday
  • A sumptuous green landscape of wild and rugged ridges, elegant peaks and glaciated valleys
  • Exciting and dramatic walking
  • A rich upland flora and fauna
  • An important rural heritage with picturesque well preserved villages and farmsteads made up of sturdy and pretty houses.
  • A unique site - the largest volcano (now extinct) in western Europe
  • A unique walking holiday, created to experience the finest Cantal landscapes
Accommodation and Meals
  • On this French walking holiday, you'll be staying in two guest houses, which are small chambres d'hôtes style accommodation. They are 2 and 3 star equivalent in quality offering authentic and comfortable accommodation. They are historic properties that have been lovingly restored where you'll be reserved a warm and generous welcome and enjoy home cooked fresh cuisine. They are located in stunning surroundings
What's included
  1. Transfer from Lyon, transport to and from each walk, 6 guided walks, 7 night's full board accommodation (except lunch on day of arrival and departure)
What's not included
  1. Travel to Lyon, France, lunches on day of arrival and departure, any excursions or entrance fees, travel insurance

See our travel diary from Auvergne

See full list of guided walking holidays in Europe and Africa

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Rugged Cantal Mountains

The Auvergne in France is home to some of the finest mountainous landscapes in France. This guided walking holiday explores the Cantal mountains in the southern Auvergne, the extinct remains of one of the largest volcanoes in Europe. Erosion by ice and water has since created a series of ridges, peaks and valleys of stunning beauty that you'll simply never tire of. Beautiful U-shaped valleys radiate outwards defined by rugged and airy ridges that emanate from rocky summits. The rich green hues of the steep mountain slopes and the wild untamed nature of the mountains give them an almost British feel. Its southerly position means that the area has relatively high levels of sunshine and relatively high temperatures.

In addition, the Cantal has a rich historical legacy through its rural settlements and farms. The local architecture is simple yet easy on the eye, the sturdy cottages blending seamlessly into the mountainous backdrop. In this upland area, the local dishes are simple yet appetising. For example, la truffade is a typical mountain dish made from cheese, potatoes and bacon. The Cantal is also a haven for wildlife, including birds of prey, deer, marmots, mouflon, chamois and a host of wild flowers.

Read more about the Cantal mountain range, how Cantal's volcanic landscape developed and its average weather conditions

Walking profile

This French guided walking holiday includes a series of circular day walks with average ascents of between 500m and 1000m. The walks vary in difficulty in terms of length, which will allow us to pace ourselves during the week. The terrain is mountainous. The paths are generally good although they can be rough and stony in places. There are some sections where you will need to use your hands for stability or progression, although they are brief and the majority of the time the walking is without difficulty. The holiday is suitable for the regular walker. Some walking experience in mountainous terrain would be an advantage, but is not essential, as long as you are sure footed and have a good head for heights.


Location Cantal Auvergne massif central France independent walking holiday

Day to day walking

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome in Lyon and transfer to the Cantal mountains in Auvergne. Evening meal in guest house.

Day 2: Plâteau du Limon (5hrs, +600m)

A fairly easy day to ease you into the week designed to discover the Limon plateau to the north of your guest house. Once you’ve climbed out of the glaciated valley you’ll explore a unique landscape of moors, bogs and grazing land covering a plateau of deep lava fields, punctuated by small hills and valleys. 

Day 3: Puy Griou

A lovely walk. From the Col de Font Cère we'll climb very gently in the direction of Puy Griou. After making a tour of the peak, it's possible to go to its perfect coned summit. (1690m) It's central location provides a great panorama of the peaks and valleys we'll be exploring during the week. We'll descend via the Bois de Combe Nègre. 5hrs +500m

Day 4: Puy de Peyre Arse

A great day's walking for those who enjoy aesthetic mountain routes away from the main paths. You’ll ascend the superb, rocky north east ridge of the Puy de Peyre Arse. This is a beautiful ridge ascending 700m that leads almost directly from the B&B to the lofty summit. After a moderate descent you’ll scale the various summits of the Puy Bataillouse before descending directly to your B&B. (5hrs, +910m)

Day 5: Plomb du Cantal

Today's walking tour takes us to the highest summit in the Cantal range. Starting from the Cere Valley, we'll climb to the Puy Gros and then follow the stunning ridge line, following an ancient Roman route to the summit Plomb du Cantal (1855m) for great panoramic views. We'll then descend by the Puy Brunet and the Apron du Diable and the village Les Gardes. 6hrs +920m

Day 6: Puy Mary

Our circular walk takes us to the Puy Mary, the emblematic summit of the Cantal range, its pyramidal summit having been formed by glaciers creating a series of ridges and valleys spanning out in all directions from its summit. From Gravière we'll ascend along the slopes of a u-shaped valley to the Col de Cabre. From here it's an amazing walk along mountain flanks and ridges on the edge of a wonderful ampitheatre before summiting the Puy Mary. We'll descend by another ridgeline. 5-6hrs +700m

Day 7: Cirque du Falgoux

This is the longest and hardest day, although smaller alternatives are possible. Our walk starts and finishes in Falgoux and follows the rugged volcanic ridges in a spectacular and demanding horseshoe. The route climbs up onto the ridge to the south of the village and flirts with a number of wild volcanic peaks to reach the head of the valley near the Puy Mary. The return walk follows another amazing ridgeline taking in a couple of peaks including the Puy de la Tourte (1704m). 7hrs +1000m

Day 8: Departure

Breakfast and transfer to Lyon.


Cantal ridge near Puy Mary Auvergne Massif Central France guided walking holiday

Summits and ridges above Falgoux Cantal Auvergne Massif Central France guided walking holiday

Above Mandailles Cantal Auvergne France guided walking holiday

Puy Griou Cantal Auvergne Massif Central France guided walking holiday

View of Puy Mary from near Puy Griou Cantal Auverge France guided walking holiday

puy st mary cantal region of France

Book this holiday

e-mail High Point Holidays about guided walking holiday in Cantal, France  

Once you have booked on this guided walking tour in France, 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.

Further information about this French walking holiday in the Cantal will be sent to you prior to your holiday. We will endeavour to keep to these walks as far as possible on our 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.


Accommodation & Meals

On this guided walking holiday in the Cantal, France, you will be staying in 1 or 2 guest houses, of chambres d'hote style accommodation. They are small traditional Auvergne properties offering authentic and comfortable accommodation where you'll receive a warm Cantal welcome. A couple of examples are listed below.

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 you'll eat packed lunches prepared by our hosts. Evening meals will be taken at your guest houses. Local specialities will be available to try every evening.


Name Type Details Rating  
Les 4 Saisons B&B Former Farm owners house in picturesque ampitheatre in the heart of the Cantal 2/3 star equivalent Les 4 Saisons B&B Auvergne France
La Boudio Auberge/gite Lovely terrace of traditional stone buildings in a great setting at the foot of the Cantal mountains 2/3 star equivalent La Boudio Auberge gite Cantal Auvergne France independent walking holiday
Travel Options

Travel Options

Transfers between Lyon Airport or train station and the Cantal region of Auvergne in France are included in the price of your guided walking holiday. Transfers may also be possible from Clermont Ferrand

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 9 hours.



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