The city of Clermont-Ferrand has a lot to offer, from ancient roman streets to majestic gothic cathedral and excellent cuisine. But don’t restrict your visit and make sure to explore the Auvergne region as well. With so many things to see in Auvergne, it’s challenging to narrow it to one particular itinerary, but if you have a couple of days, here is our recommended Auvergne road trip itinerary that will provide you with a glimpse of what the central French region can provide. Some outdoor activities around lacs and peaks, some sightseeing of old monuments and cities, and of course, food!

Bruno being from Auvergne, we have had countless opportunities to explore the region, and we still discover new places every time. So we will definitely add to this post with more Auvergne travel tips and itineraries suggestions!

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Auvergne Road Trip Itinerary: 5 days

Day 1: Chaîne des Puys Exploration

A visit to the Puy de Dôme is a must-see attraction, and you can reach the peak either by hiking along the Sentier des Muletiers or taking the Panoramic Train. From the top of the Puy de Dôme at 4,806 feet (1,465 m), enjoy the incredible views of Clermont-Ferrand as well as the Chaîne des Puys.

Auvergne Road Trip From Clermont Ferrand // Puy de Dome

Puy de Dome

If you feel like hiking, you can easily add the Puy de Pariou to your day hike and enjoy the views of the Puy de Dôme.

Drive from Clermont-Ferrand to Puy de Dome: 16km / 20 min

Day 2: Orcival, Roches Tuiliere et Sanadoire, Lac de Guery

The Orcival church is a gem from the time past. Indeed, the Orcival Notre Dame Basilica, built in the 11th century, is a fantastic example of the Auvergne Roman style.

Auvergne Road Trip From Clermont Ferrand // Stained Glass Windows Orcival Basilica

Stained Glass Windows Orcival Basilica

Stop by the Tuiliere et Sanadoire Rocks, remains of ancient volcanos featuring unique structures.

The Guery Lac is a naturally-created lake, thanks to ancient lava flows. The gentle slopes make for leisurely walks around.

Drive from Ouy de Dome to Orcival (22 km / 20 min), Lac de Guery (26 km / 25 min), Mont Dore (40 km / 40 min)

Day 3: Mont Dore Hiking

The Mont Dore is nestled within the Sancy mountain ranges, with the Puy du Sancy the highest peak. A ski resort in winter, a paradise for endless hikes in the summer, the local thermal waters also offer spa opportunities.

Board the Mont Dore Telepherique to reach the peak of the ski resort. Indeed, one of the key attractions of the Mont Dore is the cable car that takes you high in the mountains. Whether you want to hike or not, the ride is a fantastic way to enjoy amazing views of the Auvergne region.

If hiking is your thing, push up to the 6.188 feet (1,886 meters) of the Puy de Sancy, Massif Central’s highest volcano. Longer hikes are possible around the area (as described in our post on top Auvergne hikes)

Auvergne Road Trip From Clermont Ferrand // Puy de Sancy from top Mont Dore Ski Resort cable car

Puy de Sancy from the top Mont Dore Ski Resort cable car

In winter, you can also go skiing or snowshoeing – endless fun!

Day 4: Murol Castle, Grottes du Cornadore

While there are several castles to visit in Auvergne, the Murol Castle is definitely a must-see. The 12th-century castle is partially restored and features some well-preserved clothing and gear from the Middle Age. In summer, medieval martial displays take place in the lower courtyard.

Auvergne Road Trip From Clermont Ferrand // Lower Yard Murol Castle

Lower Yard Murol Castle

The Grottes du Cornadore were some of the first thermal spas in the Saint-Nectaire area, dating back to the Roman era.

Drive to Murol Castle: 20 km / 25 min, to Grottes 24 km / 30 min, St Nectaire

Day 5: Saint Nectaire Cheese Tasting, and Salliant Waterfall

Explore the city of Saint Nectaire, and enjoy some of the cheese that took its name from that village and made it famous.

The Cascade de Saillant is a 7-m high waterfall close to Saint-Nectaire and can be reached via an easy hike.

Before returning to Clermont-Ferrand, make the last stop of your Auvergne visit at the Gergovia Plateau, where you can enjoy a 360° view of the Auvergne region, including the nearby Clermont-Ferrand. The plateau is one of the top things to do in Clermont-Ferrand and holds a special meaning to the local folk as the place where the local hero Vercingetorix won against the Roman army of Julius Caesar.

Auvergne Road Trip From Clermont Ferrand // Vercingetorix Monument

Vercingetorix Monument

As mentioned, you could add many more stops to your itinerary: La Bourboule, Salers, Saint-Flour, Aurillac… Enough to make for longer itineraries! 

Auvergne Tours

This post is mostly for road trips but you can certainly explore Auvergne on a multi-day guided tours, or as day trips from Clermont-Ferrand.

And if you have visited the region already, we would like to hear from any other Auvergne destinations you think we should add. Please comment below!

For other France travel ideas, check out our Paris blog posts: Quartier St. MartinParis Catacombs, and the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Or head to Provence and the French Riviera: hiking in Mercantour, kayaking the Gorge du Verdon, and visiting Provence lavender fields from the French Riviera.

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