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Tourist attractions Auvergne Rhone Valley

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  • 1 Le Puy-en-Velay Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Towns and villages

    Le Puy-en-Velay's setting is unforgettable. From a fertile plain enormous spikes of volcanic origin rise up, sometimes crowned by a chapel - Saint-Michel-d'Aiguilhe on the top of the Saint-Michel rock is delightful -, sometimes by a monumental statue..

  • 2 Cantal mountains Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 15000 Aurillac

    From the top of the Puy Mary the view takes in the Cantal mountains, Europe's biggest volcanic range. Originally a gigantic volcano, it has been worn down by millennia of erosion. The puys have taken on various shapes: Puy Griou appears like a peak; ..

  • 3 Puy Mary Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Pas de Peyrol F - 15140 Salers

    The horn-like shape of this puy is due to glacial erosion during the Quaternary Era. The path on the northwest side takes you to the summit (1 787m). A signboard explains the grandiose landscapes, with the gigantic fan of the range's glacial valleys ..

  • 4 Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 15400 Riom-ès-Montagnes

    The biggest regional park in mainland France is located in the heart of the Auvergne, extending across close to 400 000ha around Riom-ès-Montagnes. The park is made up of five separate regions: the Puys de Dôme chain; the Dore mountains in the Massif..

  • 5 Gorges de l'Ardèche Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 07150 Vallon-Pont-d'Arc

    The famous Pont d'Arc requires no introduction. This monumental natural arch ushers you into one of the most imposing natural phenomena in the southern region of France in a most grandiose fashion. Most of the gorges were declared a protected nature ..

  • 6 Combe Laval Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D76 F - 26420 La Chapelle-en-Vercors

    After the Col de la Machine, the road, which is carved into the extraordinary limestone rock face, begins to curve vertiginously over the upper valley of Cholet, which you ultimately tower over from a height of 600m. At the far end of the cirque is t..

  • 7 Croisière Blanche Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 38860 Les Deux-Alpes

    Once you have taken the Jandri Express cable car, you have to take a tracked minibus to the Dôme de la Lauze. This trip, whose means of transport makes it the only one of its kind in France, will give the uninitiated quite an introduction to high-mou..

  • 8 Glacier du Mont-de-Lans Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 38860 Mont-de-Lans

    You can reach this glacier by taking the Jandri Express cable car from the centre of the Deux Alpes resort. At 2 600m, you have to take a different cable car up to 3 200m. Then you take the lift and the funicular railway up to the Dôme du Puy Salié (..

  • 9 Crêt de l'OEillon Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D 63 F - 42660 Le Bessat

    At the Col de l'OEillon, climb as far as the television relay station. At the summit, walk around the station's surrounding wall until you get to the viewpoint indicator. The panorama is one of the most grandiose in the Rhône Valley. In the foregroun..

  • 10 Gallo-Roman city of St-Romain-en-Gal Recommended Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    rte départementale 502 F - 69560 St-Romain-en-Gal

    Excavations since 1967 on the west bank of the Rhône have unearthed a 5 acre-site comprised of a Gallo-Roman city complete with lavish villas, shops, workshops and baths. The finest discoveries, mainly mosaics, are displayed in the museum. Look out f..

  • 11 L'Aventure Michelin Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    32 r. du Clos-Four F - 63000 Clermont-Ferrand

    In the spring of 2009, Michelin opened an exhibition highlighting the company's past, present and future in a restored workshop on its Cataroux industrial site. This 2 000m2 space depicts more than 120 years of history: mobility in the late 19C, the ..

  • 12 Lavaudieu Abbey cloisters Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Musée A.T.P F - 63100 Lavaudieu

    All that remains of the old abbey founded in the 11C by St Robert is the fine (restored) cloister, the only one in Auvergne to have escaped destruction. Admire its small columns, either single or twinned, wreathed, cylindrical or polygonal, their cap..

  • 13 Basilique Notre-Dame-des-Fers Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    F - 63210 Orcival

    Built in grey volcanic stone, this basilica has a remarkable unity of style. Outside, admire the beautiful but simple chevet, with its four radiant apsidioles. The ironwork on the leaves of the three doors has been preserved. Like many other major Au..

  • 14 Musée Anne-de-Beaujeu Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. du Col.-Laussedat F - 03000 Moulins

    This museum, housed in the Anne de Beaujeu pavilion, contains collections of sculptures and medieval paintings (superb altarpiece panels by the Master of Uttenheim, the Master of Frankfurt and Michael Pacher), as well as archaeological exhibits. It a..

  • 15 Centre National du Costume de Scène et de la Scénographie Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Caserne Villars F - 03000 Moulins

    The only one of its kind in the world, this late-18C centre, located in the Villars quarter, was designed to preserve and showcase the costumes and scenery of the Opéra National de Paris, the performing arts department of the Bibliothèque Nationale d..

  • 16 Château de La Palice Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Château de la Palice F - 03120 Lapalisse

    This château, built in 1527, was designed by Florentines brought from Italy by Jacques II de Chabannes, lord of La Palice. The upper terrace of the château, over the entrance, commands fine views of the Besbre and the surrounding valley. Inside, a ma..

  • 17 Pont-d'Arc Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D290 F - 07150 Vallon-Pont-d'Arc

    This impressive natural arch, 34m high and 59m wide, spans the Ardèche river, which once flowed around this promontory. In former times, only a narrow underground water course flowed beneath the arch. It is supposed that as a result of high river lev..

  • 18 Gaud viewpoints Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D290 F - 07700 Saint-Remèze

    These viewpoints overlook the upper part of the meandering River Gaud, in a deep, narrow valley, and the towers of a small 19C château.

  • 19 Gournier Viewpoints Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D290 F - 07700 Saint-Remèze

    The Gournier viewpoints, 200m above the river, offer a spectacular view over the Ardèche. A ruined farm of the same name is visible down below.

  • 20 Cathedral Viewpoint Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D290 F - 07700 Saint-Remèze

    A particularly appropriate name for this magnificent view of one of the most outstanding Ardèche gorges. A rock, known as the «cathedral» has stone spires reaching to the heavens.

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