Auvergne is one of the 27 administrative regions of France. It should not be confused with the smaller historical province of Auvergne, which is only a part of the region. Auvergne, the greater area, is comprised of four departments, including Allier, Puy de Dome, Cantal, and Haute Loire.
The region contains many volcanoes, although the last confirmed eruption was around 6,000 years ago. They began forming 70,000 years ago, and most have eroded away leaving plugs of un-erupted hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys.
What to see & do
Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral – The Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral and a French national monument, located in the town of Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne. It is the seat of the Archbishops of Clermont. It is built entirely in black lava stone, which makes it highly distinctive and visible from a great distance. Its twin spires are 108 metres tall, and tower above the town's rooftops. The current site, along with reconstructions, restructured roofs, and all improvements, where completed in 1884.
Basilica of Notre-Dame du Port – Another magnificent cathedral located in Auvergne, the Basilica of Notre-Dame du port is a Romanesque Basilica in the Port quarter of Clermont-Ferrand, between Place Delille and the cathedral. From the first centuries upon its commissioning, it was served by a community of canons-regular, until the 13th century when the secular took over. The basilica is one of the five structured Romanesque churches in Auvergne, known as the “major” or majeures church. It was built of arkose, a sort of sandstone, with an almost perfect harmony supposedly resulting from the application of the ratio of the Golden number.
Vulcania – Known as the “European Park of Volcanism”, the Vulcania is an educational amusement park and museum with a volcano theme. It is situated in Saint-Ours-les-Roches in Auvergne, 15 kilometres northwest of Clermont-Ferrand. The architect, Hans Hollein, designed the whole of the museum and park with three-quarters of the foundations sunk underground. This aided in the rehabilitation of the land. Visitors to the park approach a metaphorical volcano by descending down a ramp towards a cone shaped structure clad in dark stone and lined on the inside with gold metal. The design incorporates research and conference facilities, large IMAX theatres, green houses, and a restaurant with views out of the whole nature park. The site is secluded, and is also used for recreation and hiking apart from the research.
How to get around within Auvergne
There are trains from Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse to Aurillac, which pass through the small towns and villages of the Auvergne. There are also car rental companies in here where travellers can rent their choice of car for a price.
How to get there
The Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is an airport serving the French city of Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne region. It is located 6.7 kilometres east of the city, and is considered as the main airport of the Auvergne region. Airlines that serve the airport include Air Corsica, Air France, Air Malta, Hex'Air, HOP!, and Ryanair.