Visit Auvergne

Winter in Auvergne: Dog-Sledding Adventures

In Auvergne, winter frequently arrives without warning. One minute the sun is shining and the weather is mild enough for a jean jacket, and the next the wind descends like a screaming chorus of banshees, frantically dumping snow onto everything in sight. When this happens, the tramontane dells of Sancy and Cantal — with their […]

What to See in Beast of Gévaudan Territory

It was in Gévaudan that this wild beast had established his everyday encampment…Nevertheless, this monster repeatedly made incursions into Auvergne, especially in the region of Saint-Flour, where it devoured numerous victims. And to save themselves, the parishes of Auvergne joined forceswith those of the Gévaudan… -François Fabre The isolated highlands of pre-Revolution Gévaudan and Auvergne […]

Occult Auvergne: Witches and Fatsillères

I fancied that Auvergne was a country far, very far off, where strange things were to be seen, and where one could not travel but with great danger and under the safeguard of the Mother of God. -François René de Chateaubriand In many ways, Old Auvergne was the “Transylvania of France”, a realm that — […]

What to See: The Strange Chapel Built Inside a Volcanic Monolith

Deep in the heart of the Cantal mountains lies a quiet, out-of-the-way village called Fontanges. Overshadowed by the larger, more far-famed towns of Aurillac and Salers, it’s the sort of place that doesn’t appear on most trip itineraries. In fact, most tourists have never heard of it. Yet Fontanges possesses a one-of-a-kind treasure: the Monolithic […]

The Legacy of the Lord of the Rings in Auvergne

The crag, the precipice, the perilous pass, the castle-crowned hill, the arched bridge, the untutored mountaineer, the ravaging baron, the robber chief, the ugly legendary tale of death, the pretty tale of love and fairyland luck — all these come into the story of Auvergne.

Country Living: Eating Well in 1900s Auvergne

Given astronomical rises in food prices, temperatures, and the overall cost of living, finding more sustainable ways of eating is increasingly becoming more important. To hedge against these and future challenges, many have opted to live “off-the-grid” and return to traditional methods of cooking. Doing so, they argue, helps to empower families and communities by […]

Lake Treasures: The Underwater Wine of Lac des Graves

Auvergne’s millennia-old lakes are natural vaults, full of — to paraphrase Shakespeare — ooze and sumless treasure. Many secrets lie hidden beneath their waves. In former times, some lakes — like the volcanic Lac Pavin — were believed to be the watery lairs of phantoms and monsters. Today, some lakes have become the resting places […]

A Werewolf in Auvergne: A Poem

Auvergne has a long tradition of loups-garous (werewolves). In fact, one of the most famous loup-garou legends first appeared in Discours execrable des Sorciers (1602), a book by the French magistrate Henri Boguet. In Boguet’s tale — which is set in 1588 — a man hunting near the village of Apchon (in modern-day Cantal) is trapped by a […]