Famous for its gastronomy, the diversity of its landscapes, the beauty of its villages and the generosity of its inhabitants, Cantal spreads its verdant grasslands across the remnants of Europe's biggest volcano, Puy Mary (classified a "Grand Site de France"). In the hearts of the people of Cantal, Puy Mary is the sacred ancestral mountain. From its peak, take in a magnificent panoramic view of the summits all around, and the 7 valleys stretching away into the deep folds of the surrounding landscape. Still in the southern section of the Volcans D’Auvergne regional park, explore Salers at the foot of the Monts du Cantal, and Tournemire, dominated by the famous Castle of Anjony. These two villages, rated among the most beautiful in France ("Les Plus Beaux Villages de France") are truly worth the trip.
A land of cheeses, with Cantal and Salers (both AOP: appellation d’origine protégée - protected designation of origin); Cantal is also the cradle of superstar cattle: the Aubrac and Salers breeds (the best in France!). It's also a land of delicious cured meats and tasty cuts, which you can find in the markets, direct from the farm, and of course at our delightful inn in Marcolès. Cantal takes tradition seriously, marking every spring as a rebirth (following the hardships of winter) and perpetuating the traditional festivals that combine transhumance with celebrations of food.
Twenty minutes from the Auberge de la Tour, the town of Aurillac is a must-see destination.
The unrivalled home of street theatre (international festival in August), Cantal's capital town is full of hidden treasures. Happy days flow by on the banks of the Jordanne river, and the ochre-painted façades of the buildings give the town a smiling, southern feel. Besides the charm of its winding streets and its wood-balconied houses lining the river, Aurillac is home to superb museums like the Volcano Museum, in one wing of the Château Saint-Etienne, and the town centre's Museum of Art and Archaeology.
Cantal Découverte, our partner, will pick you up from Aurillac airport or station in a luxury vehicle, with a driver-guide to accompany you and provide the best experience of the region.
Auvergne is the land of wide open spaces and volcanic landscapes par excellence. From the banks of the Allier river to the Cantal summits, from the wooded landscapes of the Haute-Loire to the dramatic contours of Puy-de-Dôme, the contrasts are striking.