One of the most inspiring news my Mum told me last time I went back home on holidays was that the region we live in: Auvergne, France has now joined the UNESCO World Heritage List.
What it means
UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They have established a list of the worlds’ most outstanding and breath-taking sites. They promote tourism and help preserve natural sites. The region I come from joined their list in July 2018.
The scenic alignment of the Chaine de Puys volcanoes is situated in Auvergne, right in the center of France and is (I quote) “an emblematic segment of the West European Rift, created in the aftermath of the formation of the Alps, 35 million years ago”. It includes a range of 80 dormant volcanoes (pretty safe I promise!) stretching over an area of 45 km.
What to do
The highest point is the iconic lava dome Puy de Dome, which stands at 1 465 meters high and is 30 minutes' drive from Clermont-Ferrand where I used to live prior to moving to the UK. Best thing is to hike it before the sunrise, but you can also train it! There is a café at the top and a lush restaurant at the bottom. You can also try paragliding if feeling extra adventurous.
In a nutshell, here are some of my favorite things to do in the area whilst you’re at it...
- Hikes: Le Sancy, Le Puy de Dome,Puy du Pariou
- Lakes: Eydat, Servieres, Chambon, Pavin, Chambon, Gour de Tazenat
- Activities: Go ape, kayaking (Gorge de la Sioule), skiing (Mont Dore, Liorant, Super Besse), horse riding, shopping in Clermont-Ferrand
- Eating: Anything with cheese in it... Love all the wine bars with meat/cheese boards
See link below for more in-depth information if planning your nest getaway...
Where to stay
There are thousands of options but there is a special place to my heart... My friend Nathalie (from the nursing school) took us there one winter, and she had discovered it with her nursing colleagues. It is basically cute wooden cabins in the middle of nowhere, built by architects and nature enthusiasts. You get to light up a fire in your cabin, and they also have a bar and a sauna... enough said!
Funny thing is, I only realized how much there is to do and see after I left. Must be a human trait to always want what we don’t have and not appreciate what we do have... Coming to the UK made me realize how much there is to see in the world. Hope this blog will make some of you plan a little getaway in Auvergne, it really worth it. And if you do, please tag me in the Picts 😃