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A land of sleeping volcanoes that provides a fantastic scenic landscape for outdoor pursuits all year round, as well as healing spa waters, the Auvergne is full of spa resorts, outdoor trails and local villages that really come to life in the summer with lots of quaint traditional festivals.

Known as one of France's hidden treasures, the volcanic land of the Auvergne is in the very heart of France and perhaps best known for supplying many varieties of mineral water.

This region of spectacular hills, mountains and forests is ideal for outdoor pursuits with some of the best walking and cycling country in France, along with many watersports on the numerous lakes and rivers.

You will also find some of the most magnificent medieval castles and Romanesque churches to visit here, or if you are simply looking to relax there are as many as 10 spa resorts offering a variety of treatments to soothe away any niggling aches and pains.

During the summer months local villages come alive with colourful festivals where flowers adorn the streets and houses and the main activity is folk dancing.

Top places to visit

Le Puy-en-Velay in Auvergne is a peaceful and religious haven in an ancient volcanic landscape that is famous for its statue of Our Lady of France who looks down over the city.

Moulins in Auvergne is the former head of the duchy of Bourbon and has a well-preserved cultural heritage.

Vichy in Auvergne is a popular spa resort town that experienced its heyday during the Belle Epoque.

Famous since the Roman times, Vichy waters are renowned for their therapeutic benefits. In the 18th century luxurious baths were built to replace those in existence by Louis XVI and the benefits of taking the waters in Vichy...

Sitting on top of a 2,500ft high hill of volcanic rock, the statue of Notre Dame de France, the Virgin Mary, looms over the town of Le Puy-en-Velay.

Uncover the mysteries of our planet's creation and the world that exists beneath the Earth's crust, at Vulcania, the volcano theme park in Auvergne.

The highest point of the city of Le Puy-en-Velay, the cathedral contains architectural styles from every period between the 5th and 15th centuries.