L’Auvergne côté soleil levant
(Auvergne on the side where the sun rises)
Auvergne is the ideal destination for relaxing holidays offering maximum well-being and plenty to see and do. Allow yourself to be carried away by its monumental volcanoes, the natural quality of its products, the purity of its springs and the sheer vastness of its landscapes. Not to mention the charming villages, impressive castles and preserved churches. In fact, everything for the sporty and/or epicurean. Taste the real France here!
Puy de Dome
The Auvergne is divided into 4 departments, namely: Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Puy de Dôme. Together they offer a very varied countryside with woods, rivers, hills, lakes, volcanoes, mountains, which offer beautiful views. Our B&B is situated in the department Puy de Dôme.
The Puy de Dôme has two regional nature parks. To the west
To the east you will find Park Livradois-Forez.This is a low mountain range (max. 1634 m high) with a variety of beautiful natural landscapes and a profusion of various animals and plants. In order to enjoy all this beauty there are hundreds of kilometres of hiking and bicycle tracks for you to use.
La Paresse en Douce is situated in the natural park Livradois Forez but also in the sloping landscape of the area that is called Tuscany d’Auvergne. It is the region between Clermont-Ferrand, Thiers, Ambert and Issoire. It got its name from two ladies of Tuscan origin: Catherine de Medicis and Queen Margot (prisoner in Auvergne, in Usson, in the 17th century). The hilly area, green, calm and wooded, is indeed reminiscent of Italian Tuscany.
Located between the Livradois Forez and the Volcanoes, you have a lot of choice in terms of landscapes and activities.
In our library you will find all kinds of information about the surrounding area, attractions, walking and cycling maps. We are happy to advise you and share our tips and favourites.
The huge variety of landscapes is striking. In the front, the valley of the Dore, the mountains of Le Forez and those of Le Livradois. And in the background the chain of volcanoes, the top of the Sancy and the Alps. You can discover all this beauty in different ways. Here are a few.
Hiking and cyclingThere are hundreds of kilometres of hiking and biking paths (mountain biking/cycling). Of which 3 beautiful walks start (and end) from our village! The cycling routes are especially suitable for cyclists with a good physical condition and/or e-bikes.
Motor and car There are beautiful, exciting winding roads with fantastic panoramas!
Funcross Get on your step and discover the beautiful Tuscan Auvergne around the village of Billom. A nice route of about 30 km through the beautiful landscape on a sturdy electric step with all-terrain tyres, just have fun!
Golf The Auvergne’s golf courses stand out for the marvellous natural settings which surround them. Whether at the foot of the Puy de Dôme (Les Volcans in Orcine) or in a spa town like Vichy (Sporting Club de Vichy). Or just around the corner on the 9-hole course in Cunlhat.
The Chaine des PuysThis famous Chaîne is a volcanic area stretching out for more than 30 km and located in the centre of Europe’s largest regional nature park: the Parc Naturel des Volcans d’Auvergne One of Auvergne’s most famous volcanoes, the Puy de Dôme, reaches up to an altitude of 1,465 m. It offers an unbeatable view across the Chaîne des Puys and the surrounding landscapes.
Swimming and playing In the Puy de Dôme are many lakes and rivers. Close to our place you can swim and sunbathe in the ‘Plan d’eau of Cunlhat’ and in Lake d’Aubusson d’Auvergne.
Fishing In the rivers and lakes of the Puy de Dôme there are many kinds of fish. The king of which is the trout.
Canoeing In the Allier river is an ideal setting for family excursions by canoe.
The Auvergne’s cultural heritage is both simple yet generous. The Auvergne has around 250 religious buildings, erected between the 11th and 13th centuries. The Romanesque style can be admired in, for exemple, Notre Dame du Port in Clermont-Ferrand (listed as UNESCO world heritage) and Saint-Austremoine in Issoire.
Markets and antique markets There are many local markets where farmers sell their vegetables, meat and cheese. You will find one every day somewhere nearby. In the summer season, there are also brocante – and vide-grenier markets.
La Route des Métiers (Trades Road) Along this route you will find castles, monuments, but also workshops where old trades are demonstrated. Find among others: potters, organic farmers, a pencil manufacturer and a soap workshop.
MuseumsThere are many possibilities, for example Richard-de-Bas mill in Ambert, an ecomuseum that brings the history of the paper industry back to life (handmade paper production), The Cutlery Museum: a tribute to 700 years of cutlery making heritage in Thiers, the Adventure Michelin and the museum of contemporary art, both in Clermont-Ferrand.
Castles History lovers will be delighted by the numerous castles built in the Middle Ages. For example, Chateau d’Aulteribe, fully furnished with beautiful restored furniture and decoration, and a beautiful castle garden.
Villages and towns Nice villages with an authentic character are for exemple the medieval village Billom known for his garlic, Ambert with a nice weekly market where you can buy the cheese Fourme d’Ambert, Thiers (cutlery), Issoire (Romanesque abbey), Usson and Montpeyroux, both have been ranked among France’s Most Beautiful Villages. Fashionable Vichy is also worth visiting; it is one of the health resorts of the Auvergne. La Chaise Dieu has a famous abbey and in august the Festival of Classical Music is held. Clermond-Ferrand – the capital of the Auvergne – has a beautiful basilica (which is on the list of the world heritage) and picturesque streets with antique shops and galleries.
French people like to go to the market and do so often. In the countryside, these markets are still authentic. People go there to do their weekly shopping (and of course to maintain their social contacts). You will find local farmers selling their fresh and delicious vegetables, meat and cheese.
Cheese With 5 AOC-cheeses – Saint Nectair, Cantal, Bleu d’Auvergne, Salers and Fourme d’Ambert – and other local cheeses the cheese lover can really let himself go.
Beef en chacuterie The Auvergne has 3 cattle breed – the Charolais, the Salers and the Aubrac – which are famous for their tender, tasty meat.
The quality of the sausages and ham is very high and have a hallmark.
Wine Till the 19th century a large quantity of excellent wines were made here. Unfortunately the phylloxera epidemic put an end to this. However, after the epidemic they started to make wine again. Highly flavoured wines are produced in the Côtes d’Auvergne and in Saint-Pourcain.
Water 109 grand crus! The Auvergne is home to more than 100 spring and mineral waters. The volcanic past of the region provides an exceptional environment for filtering and mineralising water. Take the time to sample them all during your holidays in France! (for exemple, Volvic, Vichy Celestins, Rozana and Chateldon).
These activities are not always suitable for all ages. Sometimes you need a certain height or a certain age. We are happy to advise you on which trips are fun and attractive for your family.
Parc d’Aventure in Lezoux. Adventure park in the trees in Lezoux.
Dancing on a volcano! Nice climb to the top of the Puy Pariou or by panorama train to the top of the Puy de Dome.
Make your own knife In Thiers, town of cutlery, children can participate in a workshop to assemble their own knife.
Prabouré Activity Park Numerous sporting activities for children (and adults), including a climbing and clambering course through the forest and over rocks, a giant tyrolean, a netting course in the trees, a descent on a step, and a mini tyrolean course.
Golf Just around the corner on the 9-hole golf course in Cunlhat. Or pitch and putt together. There is also Footgolf: you do the same course but with a football (and bigger holes…)
Vulcania An interesting outing with the children would be to the amusement park ‘Vulcania’. This theme park is 15 km. west of Clermont Ferrand in Saint Ours Les Roches. Scientific mysteries around volcanoes are unravelled here. It is an instructive park about all aspects of volcanoes. Through fun attractions such as rides and 5D films, you will experience the incredible forces of the Earth. At Vulcania, science becomes an exciting adventure…!
Parc Animalier d’Auvergne The Auvergne Animal Park covers 25 hectares in the Cézallier Massif. During your visit, you’ll have a close-up view of more than 300 animals from 5 continents. You’ll experience a superb panorama that enhances your visit. A total immersion in nature and the animal world.
In winter when there’s snow, you can enjoy different winter activities like cross-country skiing and raquetten. When you come back to our B&B, after a day in the cold outdoors, you can warm up and relax by the fireplace and join us at our table d'hote!
Cross-country skiing In the Auvergne are many hundreds of km cross-country skiing tracks. In the short distance of the property (as of 20 minutes by car), Les Crêtes du Forez offers 122 km of pistes for cross-country skiing: green 16 km, bleu 32 km, red 41 km en black 33 km. This area is divided in 4 sections. The area le Brugeron/Camelot is about 20 minutes by car and has 14 km of pistes. Le Brugeron/Camelot is connected with Col de la Loge and has 48 km of pistes.
Raquetten Or: snowshoe tracking. Experience the nature in a whole new way. In the above Les Cretes du Forez, there are 20 km of marked routes especially for raquettes. Explore the white landscape in a unique way!
Skiing The 2 larger ski resorts in the Auvergne are located around the 2 highest mountains. Massif du Sancy (Super Besse with crossing over to Le Mont-Dore; total 85 km of pistes) and Massif du Cantalien (Super Lioran; 60 km of pistes). Both areas are about a 1 ½ hours drive away from our property, so a good opportunity for one or more days of skiing! Closer (40 km from the property),in the Haute Forez you’ll find skistation Chalmazel. A smaller skiing area (12 km of pistes) wich is open from December till April. There are also snow cannons. Perfect for some runs with your kids.