Great Travel Destinations: Auvergne, France’s Wild Child; Dominic Bliss; France Today

France – Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France

Auvergne is untamed and rugged – a region of forests, mountains, remote farmland and dormant volcanoes, but it also has urban sophistication and culture. Dominic Bliss provides a fascinating perspective on this unique place

Sooner or later, in Auvergne, you’re going to stumble across a volcano. Don’t worry, though. They’re all dormant – well, for the moment, anyway.

There are scores of them in this region, sprouting up above the skyline, huge, green, gorgeous pustules. They lie in what’s known as the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans, a 1,500-square-mile natural park that forms the backbone of Auvergne. Some rise so high above the Massif Central, they could compete with mountains. Others have that classic conical shape with craters gouged out of the top – like something out of the movies, while many are little more than hillocks. Hike across the region and you’ll regularly find solidified lava or black volcanic soil beneath your boots. Fortunately none of the volcanoes has erupted in the past 5,000 years.


There are three ranges altogether.

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