- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holidays||
|Dates for 2020||
|Price 5 nights||
|Price 6 nights||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Auvergne & Tour of Sancy
This self-guided walking holiday in France explores the stunning Puy de Sancy mountains in northern Auvergne, including its summit, which at 1885m is the highest in France outside the Alps & Pyrenees. Your walking holiday takes the form of a circular tour, starting and finishing in the pretty spa town of Mont Dore, taking in the most spectacular trails with expansive breath-taking views. It will also explore many of the features that make up this beautiful landscape including beautiful volcanic and glacial lakes set in a backdrop of verdure, mighty volcanic domes, dramatic rocky cliffs, secluded glacial valleys and amazing waterfalls. Your walking trail will explore a number of dramatic summits and beautiful ridges on all sides of the Sancy mountain range. In between the summits your walking tour will visit the charming medieval villages of Besse and Murol, with the chance of extending the trail as far as St Nectaire with its wonderful basilica. A rich flora and fauna will accompany your circuit with mouflons, chamois, falcons, orchids, and a host of other wild flowers.
The walks on this independent walking holiday in Auvergne are graded challenging, although it is at the easy end of the grade. This holiday will suit those people who enjoy mountain walking as well as exploring different facets of an area. The daily walks on this walking holiday average 19km in length with an average of 750m of ascent. The terrain is hilly & mountainous. The paths are generally good although they can be rough and stony in places with the odd exposed section which requires a degree of surefootedness as well as a good head for heights.
Day 1: Arrival Mont Dore
Arrival in Mont Dore and transfer from station if arriving by public transport. Welcome at your delightful guest house.
Day 2: Tour from Mont Dore
You have the choice of two wonderful walks to start your holiday. You could always add an extra day at the end of the holiday to be able to do them both.
Option 1: You days starts by climbing to the beautiful Lac Guery, where you can reach the Col Guery and a magnificent view of the twin volcanic towers of Sanadoire and Tuilière, separated by a glacial valley. You then have a gentle climb to La Banne d’Ordanche amid a wild and spectacular landscape. Return via the summit of Puy Gros which has wonderful views of Mont Dore and Puy de Sancy. 21km, +820m. This walk can be shortend to take in just Puy Gros.
Option 2: A magnificent day taking in 3 waterfalls and a ridge of volcanic peaks with sumptuous views. Your trails takes you up to the Col de la Croix Morand, after passing Cascade du Queureuilh and Rossignolet. You then have a challenging but rewarding traverse of 4 volcanic mountain summits separated by short descents, with the highest the Puy de l’Angle at 1738m being a wonderful vantage point for views across the Auvergne mountains. Descend past the Grande Cascade which at 32m is a beautiful site. 19km, +900m
Day 3: Mont Dore - Lake Chambon / Murol
Another great day's walking taking in the eastern flanks of the Puy de Sancy. After a stiff climb up to the Plateau Durdise your trails climbs the edge of the spectacular U shaped valley leading down from Sancy. You have the opportunity to climb Roc Cuzeau before climbing to Puy de Crebasses at 1762m, which has remarkable views down into the Chaudefour Valley with its fins of rock. Take a moment to enjoy the views and look out for falcons or chamois. You’ll then begin a long descent, passing by the village of Chambon sur Lac before reaching the beautiful lake itself. A short walk brings you to your hotel. 20km, +830m, -900m.
Optional extra day: Murol & St Nectaire
This walking holiday has the option of an extra day where you can decide on the amount of walking you wish to do. You can have a partial rest day and do a short walk around Lake Chambon, Murol, and adjacent hills for views over the lake and the mountain summits. Chance to visit Murol’s 12th century castle and during the summer months watch a medieval show. 7km, +200m. Longer option: walk to St Nectaire and its superb basilica, one of the wonders of Auvergne, passing through beautiful rolling countryside with remote hamlets and pre-historic standing stones. 19km, +490m.
Day 4: Lake Chambon / Murol - Fontaneix
A long day packed full of interest. You’ll climb away from the lake via the GR30 before taking a detour to the small village of St Victoire la Rivière with its pretty 12th church. After traversing the Forest of Courbanges, you’ll reach the small medieval town of Besse en Chandesse. Take the time to explore this attractive settlement with its narrow alleyways and small squares lined with dark volcanic stoned properties. You’ll then take a picturesque walking trail to Lac Pavin, a beautiful circular lake, the deepest in Auvergne and the youngest of the volcanoes at only 6000 years old. A short walk brings you to your guest house on a working farm on the flanks of Puy de Sancy who serve superb food. 22km, +810m
Day 5: Fontaneix - Mont Dore
A wonderful final day’s walk. You’ll climb onto a ridge on the southern edge of the Chaudefour Valley with great views, before climbing to the top of Sancy, at 1885m, the highest point in the Massif Central. Your walking trail will then take you along a stunning ridge, this time on the western edge of the glacial valley. Broken into a number of summits this spectacular ridge has the odd exposed section, as well as a number of surprising rock features along the way. The trail then summits the Puy de Cliergue and le Capucin before descending directly to Mont Dore. 16km, +750m, -910m.
Day 6: Departure
Walking holiday ends after breakfast. Transfer to station at Mont Dore if needed.
Extra days at Mont Dore are possible.
Accommodation & Meals
5 or 6 nights: You will be staying in a mixture of B&B guest houses & small hotels, (good quality 2 star equivalent or higher). They are often traditional Auvergne properties offering authentic, comfortable accommodation where the welcome is warm and generous. Evening meals not included in Mont Dore. Below you'll find details of the guest house we'll use in Mont Dore if available, as well as the farm at Fontaneix, which serves great food in a wonderful restaurant.
|Les Garconnières du Sancy||B&B||A great town house in Mont Dore with comfortable rooms and an area dedicated to relaxation with sauna & spa. Voted top B&B in Mont Dore on trip advisor. Very warm welcome|
|Ferme de Fontaneix||Auberge||Renovated historic farm situated in a great location at the foot of Mont Sancy near the Lac Pavin. Wonderful cuisine.|
Pick up for this independent walking holiday from Mont Dore station and short transfer to guest house.
Train: Eurostar and the TGV run trains from London to Paris Gare du Nord. Take intercity train to Clermont Ferrand. Change and take either bus run by regional train company (TER) direct to Mont Dore station or take a train to Laqueuille station and a shorter bus trip from there, again run by the train company.
Flights: The nearest airport is Clermont Ferrand which only has limited services which change each year. Consult the airport website for more details. There maybe connecting flights via Amsterdam. The airlines Easy jet, Flybe and British Airways have scheduled flights from the UK - Luton, Gatwisk, Edinburgh, Heathrow - to Lyon St Exupery airport. From here you can take the shuttle tram to Lyon Part Dieu and take a train from here to Clermont Ferrand.
Self Drive: Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by a number of operators including P&0 ferries and DFDS. once in France, the journey from Calais to the Mont Dore takes about 8 hours (excluding long breaks).
Tolls amount to about 35 euros each way. Non-surveilled parking is available free of charge.
Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets