Top things to do

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 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 Lake in Besse-et-St-Anastaise

Lac Pavin

This midnight-blue crater lake, enclosed by a fuzz of pine trees, lies 6km southwest of Besse. Blasted out of the earth by a volcanic explosion nearly seven millennia ago, today it attracts trout fishers and walkers…
Top Choice French in Le Mont-Dore

La Golmotte

This farm-style inn is well worth the 3km trek up the main road towards Col de Guéry. Regional classics like cheesy truffade and pounti (a prune-studded savoury cake) are offered beneath its wooden rafters, but so a…
Top Choice Crêpes in Salers

Le Drac

Named for a hairy, mischievous gnome, this cellar restaurant is a winning address thanks to well-executed regional cuisine and faultless service. Top billing goes to juicy Salers beef served with cheesy truffade, bu…
Top Choice Teahouse in Salers

Maison de la Ronade

The same family has owned the Maison de la Ronade for more than 500 years. Behind this Renaissance-era mansion's stone walls you'll find a salon de thé awash in old-fashioned hospitality. Ask the distinguished hosts…
Top Choice Showroom in St-Nectaire

Fontaines Pétrifiantes

The Papon family put St-Nectaire's hot springs to creative use at the 'Petrifying Fountains', channelling the mineral-rich waters to make art. Calcium-heavy water lashing against an object gradually causes a mineral…
Top Choice Viewpoint in Col de Guéry

Roches Tuilière et Sanadoire

One kilometre north of the turn-off to Lac de Guéry is a lookout that gazes towards two of the Sancy region's most noteworthy geological features. The formidable Roche Tuillière (1288m) and Roche Sanadoire (1286m) a…
French in Murol

Aux 500 Diables

The devil has all the best food at this infernally named restaurant, a 6km drive west of Chambon-sur-Lac. The dining room is arranged around a large open fire, but the menu is more sophisticated than the chalet bric…
Church in Orcival

Basilique Notre-Dame

The Romanesque basilica towering over Orcival is one of the most impressive churches in the Auvergne. With its octagonal tower and broad stone arches, 12th-century Notre-Dame is as imposing as a castle. It was built…