Chambres et Table d'Hôtes
The Auvergne is eminently suitable for outdoors sports. Whether you want to hike, climb, go (mountain)biking, fishing, canoeing, rafting, waterskiing, surfing, sailing, or play Tarzan in the trees: you will find it. Lovers of air sports can hire an ultralight, go parasailing from the Puy de Dôme or book a ride in a hot-air balloon. There are several golf courses, and horse riding is a very popular sport here. And your children will love to go on a hike accompanied by a donkey.
The north-west area of the
bordering on the departments
Allier and Creuse, halfway
between the cities of
Clermont-Ferrand and Montluçon,
is known as the Combrailles.
Its most important feature is
the meandering gorge of the
Sioule river, which cuts hundreds
of metres deep through
the hilly plateau.
Nature dominates the Combrailles, with its hedgerows, woods, fast streams, small lakes and ponds and the deep gorge of the Sioule. It is a protected bird habitat where many species of predatory birds can be observed. Lovers of piece and quiet, hiking and cycling will be enthralled. You can rent a canoe or go fishing in the river or one of the many lakes. The reservoir lake of Fades-Besserve offers beaches and water sports.
The Vulcania theme park is worth a visit - it's fun and educational.
If you want to visit a city, you won't be disappointed either. There is of course Clermont-Ferrand, the capital of the Auvergne and of the department Puy-de-Dôme, with its unique cathedral of black volcanic rock and its view towards the Puy de Dôme, the largest of the chain of sleeping volcanoes the department was named after. This is 'Michelin City', the seat of the famous tyre manufacturer whose history is depicted in the museum "l'aventure Michelin". And the tramway in Clermont runs silently on rubber wheels. Of course!
Montluçon to the north has a historic centre surrounding its castle, with many cozy restaurants and shops.
The old centre of Riom, close to Clermont-Ferrand, is compact enough to discover on foot and has several interesting museums.
In Néris-les-Bains you'll find a historic health spa and casino.
For those who want to discover farmer's markets, the one on Saturday morning in Saint-Eloy-les-Mines draws a considerable crowd.
From spring to autumn, there are village feasts and flea markets somewhere in the area every weekend. This is where the locals meet, where local products are sold, artisans demonstrate their
craft and where you find the traditional meals and drinks.
You can even go skiing in winter! France's third winter sports area, the Massif de Sancy/Mont-Dore, is just an hour's drive away. The Puy de Sancy is the highest peak of the Central Massif, at 1886 metres. The ski areas of Mont-Dore and Super Besse are connected and Le Grand Sancy offers 85 kilometres of ski tracks. There are steep (black) slopes for the experts and accessible, gentle tracks. Mont-Dore was one of the first classified winter sports towns in Europe. Today it is an ideal place for a healthy family holiday.
28, Rue General de Gaulle