As well as its beautiful villages and historic towns, there’s an abundance of nature and family fun to tempt you
Related article: Discover the Enchanting Villages of Auvergne
For volcanic scenery, bijou communities and a wealth of outdoor activities head to the Allier Gorges south of Brioude – Langeac and Lavoûte-Chilhac, Chanteuges, Prades and Monistrol. Tourist offices can advise on companies offering climbing and canoeing, fishing, pony trekking and guided walks.
In the Senouire Valley, east of Brioude and Lauvaudieu, the château of Chavaniac-Lafayette near Paulhaguet, is the birthplace of military hero the Marquis de La Fayette. Visit on Wednesday afternoons in July and August for a 90-minute guided tour by professional costumed actors, booking essential.
For open-air activities and more in the Haute Loire département, visit auvergnevacances.com
To really make the most of the Puy-de-Dôme and its magnificent volcanic landscape, snap up a three-day Terra Volcana pass, which covers 14 must-see sites and activities, as well as a host of discounts at restaurants and amusements. It costs €26 from the Tourist Offices of Châtel-Guyon, Riom and Volvic.
For more info and other travel tips, visit terravolcana.com
Plot your route from one beautiful village to another with the help of Michelin’s map to Les Plus Beaux Villages de France and with the 2020 English edition of the Association’s handbook, Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, published by Flammarion, £16.95.
Get up close and personal with young salmon at the Conservatoire National du Saumon Sauvageat Chanteuges in the Allier. Atlantic salmon which are born here, 1000km from the ocean, swim 5,000km to Greenland where they mature before returning to their birthplace to breed.
Discover the legend of a giant wolf which terrorised the area between 1764 and 1767, killing more than 100 people. The story is played out at the Musée Fantastique de la Bête du Gévaudan in Sauges near Monistrol d’Allier, open June to September. (Check out France Today’s article about this notorious legend here.)
In Clermont-Ferrand, L’Aventure Michelin has something for all ages from historic cars to interactive games. And of course lots of tyres! Close by at Saint-Ours-les-Roches, Vulcania is an immersive theme park at the heart of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes, showcasing not just local geology but volcanoes across the world. Expect 5-D and giant screen films, special effects, scientific workshops and a wide variety of explosive experiences. Open March 25 to November 1.
Ferme de la Moulerette children’s farm at Montpeyroux has farm animals a picnic area and games.
For more things to do in Auvergne go to auvergnerhonealpes-tourisme.com
From France today magazine