The 11 Most Beautiful Hikes in Auvergne (Hiking Trails)


Last Updated on 16/06/2022 by Alfred

Hiking in Auvergne? Obviously! There are 11 most beautiful hikes in Auvergne that you should go for a hike or walk.

The region lends itself particularly well, reaches out to you, and opens its trails to the volcanoes!

Auvergne is an ancient region with an important history linked mainly to France. It is also a preserved region with dozens of volcanoes that punctuate the landscape and its large green expanses, typical of the Auvergne territory.

Nature thus occupies a large part of the region, which is ideal for hiking. Discovering the volcanoes, the mountains of the Massif Central, or the lake heritage, Auvergne has so much to offer that you should not deprive yourself of anything!

In addition, after the effort of a good hike, the Auvergne gastronomy will have something to comfort you …

Here is the list of the 11 most beautiful hikes in Auvergne:

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The 11 Most Beautiful Hikes in Auvergne (Hiking Trails)

1. The Puy de Pariou

Most Beautiful Hikes in Auvergne (Hiking Trails)

Photo credit: Alltrails

La Fontaine du Berger is less than 15 kilometers from Clermont-Ferrand, a small village with few houses. It is the starting point of the ascent to the Puy de Pariou.

It is one of the many volcanoes that fill the Auvergne, and its crater has the particularity of allowing hikers to descend there.

Culminating at nearly 1,200 meters above sea level, the puy offers an excellent panorama of the surroundings and Clermont-Ferrand, which you can see in the distance.

Because of this proximity to the great Auvergne metropolis, the place is rather crowded. This is particularly the case in the hollow of the crater, where hikers like to pause before descending.

2. The Puy de Dôme via the Col de Ceyssat

Photo credit: Alltrails

There are many hikes in Auvergne that are near Clermont-Ferrand. Indeed, this city is very close to the chain of Puys Auvergnats.

Thus, we invite you to discover the Puy de Dôme, which gave its name to the department. It is the highest puy in the chain, with 1,465 meters.

So, from the Col de Ceyssat at 1,078 meters above sea level, start the zig-zag ascent to the Puy de Dôme. Once at the top, you will be able to observe several things.

The first is the historical remains of the Temple of Mercury, dating from the beginnings of the first millennium. Then you can see the TDF pylon (broadcast antenna) dating from the 1950s and today become the symbol of the puy.

Finally, it is the view that should impress you the most. Panoramic allows you to discover Clermont-Ferrand from a different point of view and the chain of Puys.

In case of exceptional visibility, the lucky ones will even be able to see Mont Blanc, 315 kilometers away! The Puy de Dôme is one of the most beautiful hikes in Auvergne.

3. The Banne d’Ordanche by the Plateau du Guéry

Photo credit: Alltrails

Start this hike along the pretty Lake Guéry, where many walkers come to stroll. Then, you will start the ascent to the Banne d’Ordanche, at 1,513 meters above sea level.

The Banne d’Ordanche is an Auvergne summit that dominates the city of La Bourboule but also Mont-Dore.

To access it, you will cross the Plateau de Guéry, characterized by its large expanses, which are not necessarily flat, be careful!

We will have to continue to climb! On the way back, you will approach the Chantauzet, another puy at 1,385 meters above sea level.

4. Puy de Montchal and Lake Pavin

Photo credit: Alltrails

Like many hikes in Auvergne, this one takes place in the volcanoes’ Regional Natural Park. His departure is at Lake Pavin, a beautiful body of water bordered by dense vegetation and mountains.

The lake itself is an ancient crater that has filled up. It has a peculiarity: it is said to be meromictic. Its banks are too steep to allow the wind to mix surface and depth waters. But that doesn’t take away from the magic of the place!

Then you will reach the Puy de Montchal, at 1,407 meters above sea level. This hike is almost entirely in the undergrowth, allowing you to admire the lake and the surroundings.

5. The Puy des Goules and the Grotte du Sarcoui

Photo credit: Alltrails

The Puy des Goules and the Grand Sarcoui are two puys very close, not to say glued. The route of this hike is a round trip, and you may see things on the return that you did not have time to see on the way out.

Two points of interest are to be seen on the way: the cave of Sarcoui (formerly exploited by the Merovingians) and the Puy des Goules. You can quite see the cave before the puy and vice versa.

Arrived at the top of the puy, you can go around, have lunch in the shade of the many hazelnut trees, and admire the view of other puys, such as the Puy-de-Dôme!

6. Saint-Nicolas-des-Biefs, the Bietterie and the Verrerie

Photo credit: Flickr – Count Rushmore

This small trail through woods of about 8 kilometers will delight nature lovers. In addition to having the opportunity to marvel at breathtaking views, you will discover a nice walk in the woods.

Less than 40 kilometers from Vichy, on the Allier and the Loire border, alternate between walking and climbing. On the way, you can also see a (modern) calvary maintained, and the most spiritual will be able to meditate there.

7. The Guards and the Lead of Cantal

Photo credit: Alltrails

Here is one of the hikes in Auvergne, which is a little tougher than the others. It is located a little more than thirty kilometers from Aurillac, in the Regional Natural Park of volcanoes, and not far from the ski resort of Lioran. (There are lots of best outdoor activities to do in Lioran)

You will make a great tour of 10 kilometers, discovering in passing the Puy Brunet, the Plomb du Cantal, and the Buron des Gardes, real natural nuggets. The views are incredible as a comfort after the efforts made to reach them.

Note that the Plomb du Cantal is the highest point of the Monts du Cantal, with its 1,855 meters above sea level!

8. Le Puy Mary

Photo credit: Alltrails

The discovery of Puy Mary from the Pas de Peyrol takes place on the trail of fewer than 2 kilometers. What is not very long and yet, beautiful views await you on arrival!

Indeed, at 1,780 meters above sea level, you will be amazed. Overall, the valley is open to you! If it is true that the outward journey and its constant elevation gain can require some effort, you will only be delighted once at the top!

Le Puy Mary is one of the best and most beautiful hikes in Auvergne.

9. The Cros and the Cascade de la Louade

Photo credit: Alltrails

South of Le Puy-en-Velay, the Cascade de la Louade is formed by a stream that goes to join the Gazeille, a river passing a little lower. From the village of Le Cros, you will start slowly by joining Courmarcès on a wooded path.

Then you will begin the ascent to the waterfall along pretty pastures, sometimes occupied by donkeys or cows. It’s a small loop that is done quite easily and rewards you with points of view. Especially the one on the waterfall before accessing it. A kind of appetizer…

Note, however, that if the hikes in Auvergne listed are mostly natural, it has a portion on the road in bitumen. So double your attention, cars could pass!

10. The Beaume Waterfall

Photo credit: Alltrails

This hike can just as easily be like an excellent digestive walk. A few difficulties are noted on this round-trip trail of barely 2 kilometers.

You go there to admire the waterfall. The waterfall that also let’s flow a stream, La Beaume, is old enough to have managed to make a place. He worked so much on the rock that volcanic organs now dominate the cliffs.

The result is breathtaking, and it is a natural painting composed of lush vegetation, fast water, and black rocks…

11. The Pic du Lizieux

Photo credit: Alltrails

About thirty kilometers from Le Puy-en-Velay, the Pic du Lizieux overlooks the surroundings from the top of its 1,388 meters above sea level. Paragliders in the area love to fly from this peak, as the view is incredible.

At 360°, a striking panorama awaits you, with an orientation table to recognize what you see in front. This hike is rather easy despite some more difficult places.

You will evolve among the trees, touch some high rocks and cross an undergrowth. If the difference in altitude is felt in some places, do not be afraid, the game is worth the candle!

So, have you chosen among these most beautiful hikes in Auvergne?

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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