Top things to do

Top Choice Church in La Chaise-Dieu

Église Abbatiale de St-Robert

For Pope Clement VI, a humble tomb simply wouldn't do. The pope commissioned a palatial church to shelter his final resting place and the resulting Église Abbatiale, completed in 1352, is an imposing sight: two squa…
Top Choice Church in Le Puy-en-Velay

Chapelle St-Michel d'Aiguilhe

Le Puy's oldest chapel, first established in the 10th century, and rebuilt several times since, teeters atop an 85m-high volcanic plug, reached by climbing 268 craggy stairs. Stepping through its polychrome doorway …
Top Choice Museum in Thiers

Musée de la Coutellerie

Split across two buildings, this museum gives an entertaining account of cutlery-making history. In number 23, a kid-friendly sound-and-light show evokes the dazzling, deafening conditions of a medieval workshop. Co…
Top Choice Cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand

Cathédrale Notre Dame

Clermont-Ferrand’s skyline broods with volcanic stone, but its most impressive edifice is Cathédrale Notre-Dame, whose 108m twin spires pierce the sky like blackened spears. Its façade, with snarling gargoyles and G…
Top Choice Volcano in Puy de Dôme

Volcan de Lemptégy

Feel the Auvergne's smouldering terrain beneath your feet at this mined volcanic site, across the main road from amusement park Vulcania. In summer, at weekends and during school holidays, a motorised 'train' chugs …
Top Choice Street Carnival in Le Puy-en-Velay

Fête du Roi de l'Oiseau

This Renaissance-themed street party dates back to a competition first recorded in 1524. Le Puy's most skilled archer, the first to shoot a straw bird from a high tower, was rewarded with year-long tax exemption, di…
Top Choice Bistro in La Montagne Protestante

La Coulemelle

Renowned French chef Régis Marcon has a glittering trio of Michelin stars and he masterminds a clutch of restaurants in St-Bonnet-le-Froid. An affordable gastronomic experience can be enjoyed at this bistro, where e…
Top Choice Chateau in Murol

Château de Murol

Roosting on a basalt knoll above Murol village, the 12th-century Château de Murol offers peerless views along with insights into a brutish medieval past. Pacing uphill to the castle, you'll pass a 13th-century 'crow…
Top Choice Gallery in Clermont-Ferrand

Musée d'Art Roger Quilliot

Housed in an Ursuline convent 3km northeast of central Clermont, the city’s premier gallery takes design cues from NYC’s Guggenheim, its white spiral staircase linking various centuries of European art. Head upstair…
Top Choice Gallery in Riom

Musée Mandet

Dating back to 1866, the Musée Mandet's splendid collection of art is arranged across two atmospheric hôtels particuliers (town houses). Exploring these beautifully restored buildings is part of the charm, while the…