I have been to Auvergne several times on a road trip: in 2014 to reach the South of France with my 3-door Golf, in 2016 to go to Spain and in 2021 with my motorhome to reach Limoges. I must say that the region has, each time, transcended me. It is planned that I will go back this year. I would like to discover more during a road trip in Auvergne and that’s why I prepared this new article. You’ll find my itinerary so as not to miss anything, my budget, but also a lot of advices to prepare this trip.

The volcanoes of Auvergne

When to go on a road trip in Auvergne?

Auvergne is a region with many volcanoes. So it is hilly and very humid. I don’t advise you to go there in winter unless you like hiking under the snow. Indeed, it is very likely that you will not be able to do half of the places indicated in my itinerary.

Spring is quite mild and autumn is rather wet. This is why many travelers come to the Auvergne in the summer. However, having done it twice, I must warn you that you will not be the only one in the region. So, I would rather advise you to do a road trip in Auvergne in May and June, just before the high season.

Rent a car for a road trip in Auvergne

If you don’t have a vehicle to do a road trip in Auvergne, don’t panic! We advise you to rent a van with the agency Black Sheep Van located in Clermont-Ferrand.

To be honest with you, there are not many van rental agencies in Auvergne. Finding one to rent will be very difficult. Black Sheep Van is the leader in France. You will find comfortable vans, with prices defying all competition (from 79€ per day), and above all, you will be sure of the quality of the rental service.

The best itinerary for a two weeks road trip in Auvergne ?

Here is the itinerary for a road trip in Auvergne:

  1. Clermont-Ferrand (1 day)
  2. Vulcania (1 day)
  3. Puy de Dôme (1 day)
  4. Puy de Pariou (1 day)
  5. Pontgibaud, Rochefort-Montagne and Orcival (1 day)
  6. Roche Sanadoire, Lac de Guéry and la Roche Tuillière (1 day)
  7. Murat-le-Quaire and Mont-Dore (1 day)
  8. Puy de Sancy (1 day)
  9. Lake Chambon and Saint-Nectaire (1 day)
  10. Cotteuge, Jonas and Lake Pavin (1 day)
  11. Lake of Lastioulles (1 day)
  12. Puy-en-Velay (1 day)
  13. Bois des Seigneurs, Pinatelle du Zouave, Usson and Montpeyroux (1 day)
  14. Back to Clermont-Ferrand (1 day)

The map of our road trip in Corsica :

Day 1: Arrival in Auvergne and visit of the city of Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont-Ferrand and its Cathedral

You start your trip in Auvergne by the city of Clermont-Ferrand. I recommend you to buy the Clermont Pass at 23€ in order to enjoy incredible discounts in the city! The 48h Pass should be enough for you. With this one, you can visit the Michelin Adventure for free, but also benefit from discounts on certain rates including the ASM Experience museum.

Among the incredible places to visit in Clermont Ferrand, I noted the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption Cathedral, the Basilithat Notre-Dame du Port and the Medieval Quarter where you can discover the incredible architecture of this city, but also taste the truffade!

After discovering the city, get your converted vehicle to start your road trip in Auvergne! Install the Park4Night application to find places to park your van for free.

Note that in the surroundings of Clermont-Ferrand, you can do many outdoor activities: paragliding, mountain biking, quad…

Day 2 : Day at Vulcania park

At Vulcania park

Spend this second day of road trip in Auvergne at Vulcania. With your Clermont Pass, you will benefit from an advantageous rate. It is the opportunity to learn more (and in a playful way) about the region and its volcanoes. There are so many things to discover in the park, that you should count on at least 6 hours of visit.

In the evening, take the road towards the Puy de Dôme for the next day’s hike.

Day 3 : Hiking in Puy de Dôme

The Puy de Dôme in Auvergne

It is now time to discover, in real, the famous volcanoes that you discovered the day before at Vulcania! This first day of hiking brings you to the Puy de Dôme. You will climb from the parking lot to the summit. Count about 2 hours to climb. It’s not only the view that is incredible when you get to the top. You will also appreciate the Temple of Mercury.

Plan your lunch because your walk will not end up there. Continue your discovery by joining the Petit Puy de Dôme by the Chemin des Chèvres. From this second summit, you can reach the Nid de la Poule and form a nice loop between three volcanoes.

On the way back down, don’t miss the discovery of the Killian Crater transformed into a small pond, not far from the parking.

To help you in your hike and the next ones of this road trip, install the MapsMe application and the maps of the following departments in Auvergne: Cantal, Puy de Dôme and Haute-Loire.

Day 4 : Hiking to the Puy de Pariou

The Puy de Pariou in Auvergne

Once again, you will take the height to discover a volcano of Auvergne. This time, you go to the Puy de Pariou, on the other side of the Puy de Dôme. To get there, park your vehicle along the D941(Route de Limoges). You will find a parking lot just after the village of Orcines on your right.

Start by climbing to the Puy de Pariou at 1209m of altitude. To cover 9km, it will take you a good hour. From this summit, you will be able to see the Puy de Dôme from far. Then, continue your walk to the Cliersou volcano. Again, it will take you a good hour to reach it. There are some nice caves on your way to discover. Then go back on your steps to reach the Puy des Goules. Not far from this volcano is the Grotte du Sarcouy.

It will finally be time to go back down to your vehicle.

Once again, plan your lunch because it will be a day in the open air and without passing in front of a restaurant.

Day 5 : Pontgibaud, Rochefort-Montagne and Orcival

The village of Orcival

If there is an incredible place to discover in Auvergne, it is the Dauphin Castle of Pontgibaud. Whether it is the interior, the gardens or its museum, you will love what you discover.

At the end of the morning, it will be time to eat. Continue your road trip in Auvergne to Rorchefort-Montagne. There is a very tasty local restaurant in this village, the Table des Druides. The menu of the day is displayed during the week at 13,50€.

Once you have eaten, you can go to the village of Orcival. In addition to visiting the Maison de la Confiserie et du Chocolat, you will appreciate the calm of this place.

Day 6: Hike to the Sanadoire Rock, to the Guéry Lake and to the Tuillière Rock

The Tiullière and Sanadoire Rocks

Here is a day in the middle of nature that will please you. You will explore two emblematic rocks of the region: the Roche Sanadoire (where you will go to the top) and the Roche Tuillière that you will see from a viewpoint not far from the Lac de Guéry.

By the way, don’t just park your car at this lake. It is possible to walk around it and to discover a waterfall, in addition to approaching the Roche Tuillière.

Day 7: Murat-le-Quaire and Mont-Dore

Auvergne goat farm

Your day will be full of incredible discoveries. I advise you to get up early to take full advantage of it and not to shorten each visit. Take the direction of Murat-le-Caire. On your way, you can make some stops to discover the Cascade du saut du Loup, the Queureuilh and the Rossignolet.

After a nice hour of visit, you should be able to enjoy the village. Start by discovering the Toinette scenomuseum and Julien’s barn which will allow you to understand how the Auvergnats lived in the past. Then, stop at the Chèvrerie des Monts Dore for a visit and a tasting. This should whet your appetite for lunch. After your meal, take advantage of the thermal water of the region by spending a few beneficial hours at the aqualudic pool of La Bourboule. I guarantee you that it will do you good after all the hiking you have done.

It will then be time, at the end of the afternoon, to go to Mont-Dore for a last visit: the historical site of the thermal baths of Mont-Dore.

Day 8 : Hiking to the Puy de Sancy

The Puy de Sancy in Auvergne

After a good night’s sleep in the area, you’ll go hiking again. This time, take the cable car of Sancy to reach the Puy de Sancy. From there, you can hike in the Natural Reserve due Chastreix-Sancy. There are beautiful panoramas to discover, such as the Aiguilles du Moine, waterfalls (Cascade de l’Aigle and Cascade du Moine), and other volcanoes (Puy du Paillaret, Puy Gros and Puy Ferrand).

If you are motivated and the weather is hot, extend your hike to the Hermines lake in Super Besse at the foot of the ski slopes, where you can swim and eat.

If the weather is rather cloudy, prefer a walk on the heights to appreciate the mysterious landscapes of the mist. Take the direction of the Natural Reserve of the Valley of Chaudefour. On your way, you can see the Cascade de la Biche, but also the Dent de la Rancune and other volcanoes.

Day 9 : The Chambon Lake and the village of Saint-Nectaire

The cheese from Auvergne, the Saint-Nectaire

Start your day with a walk to the

followed by a swim at Lac Chambon.

You will then spend the rest of the day in Saint-Nectaire where there is a multitude of things to do in addition to tasting and visiting the Maison du Fromage. There is the discovery of the Grottes du Cornadore which are really worth it. But also the Petrifying Fountains which are incredible.

As you can see, you will spend your day mostly underground. I therefore recommend you to sunbathe on the terrace in a brewery of the city before relaxing in Thermadore in hot baths at 32°C.

Day 10: Cotteuge, Jonas and Lake

PavinLake PavinThis

will be a day with lots of interesting little stops concerning geology and local history. Your first stop is in Cotteuge. While walking a few meters from your vehicle, you will see a fairy chimney lost in the forest. A surprising discovery considering its location!

Then, you will take the road again in direction of Besse. You will stop at the Caves of Jonas to visit them. It is an incredible historical and troglodyte site to discover. You should then find a place to eat in Besse. You should then find a place to eat in Besse, and take the time to stroll through the medieval streets before leaving.

You will arrive in the afternoon at the Lac Pavin which is an ancient volcano crater with a perfect diameter! This region is home to many other lakes of the same style: Lac Montcineyre and Lac de Bourdouze. You can spend a few hours hiking to discover them or simply enjoy…

Continue reading: https://www.instinct-voyageur.fr/road-trip-auvergne/