Scroll down the page to see self catering gites, villas, apartments and holiday accommodation to rent in Auvergne - France. Properties are listed in random order. Please scroll down the page to see all our holiday properties to rent in Auvergne. Accommodation is listed in random order.
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The Auvergne region, in central southern France consists mainly of a large portion of the Massif Central, a dramatic chain of volcanic mountains separated from the Rhone Alps by the Rhone River. The departments that make up Auvergne are Allier, Puy de Dôme, Cantal and Haute Loire. It’s easy to combine a cottage holiday in the beautiful Auvergne with a gite stay in Limousin (cheap flights to Limoges), Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées, Burgundy or Rhône-Alpes (flights to Lyon). Cantal is the most sparsely populated department of France and probably Europe, even in peak season you will have an away from it all holiday without hordes of tourists!
The towering black Puy de Dôme (1450m) is one of approximately 450 extinct volcanoes in the Massif Central, last eruptions were 6000 years ago. It dominates Clermont-Ferrand the capital of the Auvergne, just 10km away. Primarily an industrial (Michelin HQ) and university city Clermont-Ferrand is home to the towering gothic black Cathédrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Clermont-Ferrand. The volcanoes are, however, more recent than the cave paintings at Lascaux in the Dordogne! Volvic mineral water comes from Volvic, a few kilometres to the south. The water has been purified by seeping through the volcanic strata, many varieties from 109 different springs, purists can be as particular over their water as the vignerons are over their wine.
Vulcania theme park is located near Puy de Dôme with volcano and earthquake attractions and experiences, both fun and educational for all ages on their french self-catering holiday. Opening in 2012 is the new 5.2km rack railway to the summit of Puy de Dôme for those that don’t relish the energetic mountain bike ride or walk!
Whilst in the area visit some “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” including Saint- Nectaire, Saint-Floret and Saint-Saturnin, picture postcard especially in spring time. There is a fascinating lacemaking museum at Arlanc, south of Ambert, located in the Town hall. Watch lace being made and learn about the different techniques and distinguish a “Venice point” from “the point of spirit”!
Auvergne is popular for winter sports; La Bourboule is a picturesque ski resort and 19th century spa town close to the bigger resort of Mont Dore at an altitude of 1200m. Connected to Super Besse there are a respectable 30 ski and snow board runs (40km) covering all levels of difficulty. A last minute ski break is far more affordable here than a chalet in the Rhone Alps, especially for beginners or family winter holidays.
Issoire is worth a visit, a station on the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean railway line, most of the town was destroyed in the bleak Reformation years. The 12th century Church of Saint-Austremoine did survive, an attractive example of Romanesque style and is unique due to the high level of decoration. Enjoy a pleasant stroll around the rest of the town, often cited as Tuscan Auvergne, perhaps sampling a cheese plate including Bleu d'Auvergne, Cantal, Fourme d'Ambert and Saint-Nectaire; which consistently gain high ratings amongst gastronomes but are little known outside of France.
Auvergne is the quieter, wilder side of France, but is never boring. Bring your fishing rods, binoculars and bird books, ramble or cycle and drink in the stunning scenery.