Visit Auvergne

Where to Stay: The Grand Hotel Mont-Dore

The alpine town of Mont-Dore has been a “wellness paradise” for over a century. Yet, many of its original Belle Époque-era resorts have either disappeared completely or been sectioned into private apartments. The Grand Hotel Mont-Dore, fortunately, has not. Originally constructed in 1855, the Grand Hotel is a châteauesque work of art that would not […]

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 […]

Where to Stay: Clos Beaumont

Tucked away on the periphery of Clermont-Ferrand, Clos Beaumont is a stately hotel that once belonged to a family of winemakers.

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 […]

What to Do: Visit The Gergovie Museum

Today the object of our excursion was the hill of Gergovie, interesting from its geological phenomena, as well as from being the scene of Caesar’s repulse by Vercingetorix and the Arverni, the only serious military check ever sustained by the great Julius. – Sir David Wedderburn, 3rd Baronet No visit to Auvergne would be complete […]

Spend a Night in an Auvergne Hogwarts: The Chateau de Val

The first Harry Potter film wowed viewers with its portrayal of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the fictional British boarding school where Harry, Ron, and Hermione came of age while foiling a multitude of evil plots. With its soaring turrets, deep dungeons, and geographic situation in the midst of here-be-dragons landscapes (e.g. the Forbidden Forest and the mermaid-haunted Great Lake), Warner Brothers’ Hogwarts is a fine example of escapism done right.