An introduction to the region of Auvergne

Some of the most spectacular and dramatic scenery in France are to be seen from the gites in Auvergne, whose lofty peaks rise out of southern central France. The Auvergne region is one of the most mountainous, and least populated parts of France - its hills rise to nearly 2000m in the centre of the Massif Central. This area of outstanding natural beauty is bordered to the south by Midi-Pyrenees and Languedoc-Roussillon, to the west by Limousin, and to the east by the Rhone valley region of Rhone-Alpes.

The only major city in this unspoilt area of mountains, forests and gorges is Clermont-Ferrand. This town is surrounded by volcanic stumps, and well-known in France as the home of the famous Gallic resistor to Roman occupation, Vercingetorix. Outdoor pursuits are the main attractions for visitors, with ample opportunity to see the wilder and more dramatic side of French culture. Visitors are welcome any time of year - it's simply a matter of deciding which activity is best suited to the season.

Things to do and places to see

If your gites in Auvergne are close to the capital of the region, Clermont-Ferrand, then a day wandering around its environs is definitely in order. It is this part of the region that has the most recent volcanic edifices - the Chaîne des Puys. These are the remains of volcanic eruptions between 70,000 and 6,000 years ago, and form a striking line of cones running to the west of the city; but some older and smaller cones are within the city itself.

Surprising to some, but well enjoyed by those in the know, are the winter sports in this region. The high elevation makes much of the Auvergne very snow-prone - and so ideal for skiing. There are two fantastic ski resorts, on the flanks of The Puy de Sancy volcano - Mont Dore and Super Besse. Although not as well developed as the French Alpine resorts, securing a gite close by offers the ultimate 'get-away-from-it-all' skiing holiday; away from the queues and crowds.

Hiking, walking and caving are all popular, from the spring through to the autumn. There are numerous gites in Auvergne seeking to cater to those looking for a cosy base, for each day's exciting activity. A great scenic route to check out is the Allier gorges, whose sheer cliffs have been carved out by the Allier river.

Making the most of your holiday in Auvergne

Winter is a great time for skiers, at the main resorts, but not a good time for general travel. Snow blocks many of the routes across the region. Summer is definitely the best time for those tempted to hike, climb or cycle around the area.
Another thing to look out for is shop closing times - in the Auvergne, as in many rural parts of France, many shops, and even public services, close for a long lunch, and may not re-open for a couple of hours. Also, shops often close on Mondays.

Travel to Auvergne France

The easiest way to get to this relatively remote part of France is by rail. The French SCNF rail service has a fast line down to Clermont-Ferrand from Paris, which takes a little over 3 hours. Eurostar also does a package from London St. Pancras that can get you to Limoges in six hours. From there it is probably best to get a rental car, as the gites in Auvergne are often rural and far flung.

Holiday Gites Auvergne, Self Catering Accommodation in Auvergne France
Holiday Gites > France > Auvergne
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6 Holiday rentals in Auvergne


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 Murat, Auvergne
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3094
 Murat - Auvergne
7-room house 280 m2 on 2 levels: living room 55 m2 with TV and DVD. Kitchen 25 m2 (4 hot plates, oven, dishwasher, microwave, freezer) with dining table. Shower/WC. Upper floor: 1 room with 2 beds (90 cm, length 140 cm). 2 rooms, each room with 1 dou ...more details available
Sleeps 10
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Prices From: £1437.00

 Mourjou, Auvergne
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3096
 Mourjou - Auvergne
4-room house 130 m2 on 2 levels: living/dining room with 1 double sofabed and TV. 1 room with 1 double bed (1 x 160 cm, length 190 cm). Kitchen (4 hot plates, oven, dishwasher, microwave, freezer). Sep. WC. Upper floor: 2 rooms, each room with 1 doub ...more details available
Sleeps 8
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Prices From: £1503.00

 Cunlhat, Auvergne
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3086
 Cunlhat - Auvergne
4-room house 120 m2 on 2 levels, simple furnishings: dining room with open-hearth fireplace and TV. Open kitchen (4 hot plates, oven, dishwasher, microwave). Shower, sep. WC. Upper floor: 2 rooms, each room with 1 double bed (130 cm). 1 room with 1 d ...more details available
Sleeps 6
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Prices From: £312.00

 Maurs La Jolie, Auvergne
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3097
 Maurs La Jolie - Auvergne
4-room house 100 m2 on 2 levels: living/dining room with TV and video. 1 room with 1 double bed. 1 room with 2 beds. Kitchen (4 hot plates, oven, microwave) with dining table. Shower, sep. WC. Upper floor: 1 room with 1 double bed. Balcony, south fac ...more details available
Sleeps 6
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Prices From: £343.00

 St Martin Valmeroux, Auvergne
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3095
 St Martin Valmeroux - Auvergne
4-room house 90 m2 on 2 levels, rustic furnishings: living/dining room 45 m2 with open-hearth fireplace and TV. Kitchen (4 hot plates, oven, dishwasher, microwave). Upper floor: 1 room with 1 bed (120 cm). 2 rooms, each room with 1 double bed. Shower ...more details available
Sleeps 5
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Prices From: £369.00

 Puy En Velay, Auvergne
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3099
 Puy En Velay - Auvergne
4-room house 135 m2 on 2 levels: living/dining room with open-hearth fireplace and TV. Gallery with 1 double sofabed. Open kitchen (4 hot plates, oven, dishwasher, microwave, freezer, electric coffee machine). Shower/WC. Upper floor: 2 rooms, each ro ...more details available
Sleeps 8
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Prices From: £416.00


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