Château de Murol

Top choice in Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne

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's cage' torture implement; the castle interior is far merrier, its chambers draped with animal skins and lit by wooden chandeliers.

Medieval history comes to life on summer guided tours (French only), when costumed guides, scullery maids and jesters recreate daily life in the castle and knights joust beneath the keep; check the programme online.