Enjoy spring, summer and autumn

Medieval towns, rivers, lakes and natural beauty
Foto: © David HENROT (https://www.davidhenrot.com) 

Spring, summer or autumn: it is always enjoyable at Le Pont du Roy!

Located in south-central France, Auvergne is without doubt one of the most beautiful areas of this country, with pristine nature and clean air! You will be impressed by its beautiful flora and fauna, volcanoes, lakes, mountains and forests.

From Besse, these beautiful areas are easy to explore. Whether in spring, summer or autumn, it is always enjoyable here!

So book your stay at Le Pont du Roy now!

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With its many natural springs (including that of Volvic), nearly 100 volcanoes and more than 20,000 kilometres of streams, Auvergne is one of Europe’s largest and best preserved natural areas.

The Parc Régional des Volcans d’Auvergne in the Puy-de-Dôme department is the largest regional park in Europe. It includes the “Chaines des Puys” with the Puy de Dôme as the highest volcano (1465 m) and the Massif du Sancy.

The volcanic region of the Chaîne des Puys – faille de Limagne was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List at the meeting of the 42nd World Heritage Committee in Bahrain in July 2018. This makes Auvergne France’s first natural world heritage site.

Rivers, lakes and waterfalls

Le Pont du Roy - rivieren, water en watervallen

In the Puy de Dome is the origin of the Dordogne (at Le Mont-Dore) and many other streams and rivers also spring here, such as the Couze Pavin, which flows past our garden and, as its name suggests, has its origins partly in Lac Pavin.

Located at an altitude of 1197 metres, Lac Pavin has an almost perfectly round shape with a diameter between 700 and 800 metres, a surface area of 44 hectares and a depth of 92 metres, making it the deepest crater lake in Auvergne.

Lac Chambon was formed by the Tartaret volcano that blocked the bed of the Couze Chambon river. The lake is shallow (4 m), but quite large (60 ha) and it lies at 875 m altitude. The banks are very steep, except in the east and north-west where there are two beaches for water activities, including pedalos. A lovely place for swimming! And, because the water is shallow, it is soon of a good temperature. A trail makes it possible to walk around the lake in about an hour.

Other lakes include: Lac Aydat (you can have a great swim there), Lac Guerie, the Lac at la Tour d’Auvergne (also a great place to swim) and le Lac de Bourdouze.

Everywhere in the Puy de Dôme you will find signs pointing to waterfalls. There are several waterfalls near Besse: Les Cascades de Chiloza and Cascade de Vaucoux. Of course we have hiking books with descriptions of walks!

Volcanoes

The Parc Regional des Vulcans d’Auvergne, or Auvergne Regional Natural Park of Volcanoes, extends from north of Clermont-Ferrand to north of Aurillac. It covers 395,000 hectares, divided into five nature reserves.

The Puy de Dome, a famous volcano in Auvergne, is 1465 metres high. From this volcano, you have unparalleled views of the Chaîne des Puys and the surrounding landscapes.

The volcanoes lend themselves perfectly to unforgettable walks. Fans of fauna and flora will enjoy the rare and wild plant and animal species.

On the southern borders of the nature reserve, you will again see volcanic peaks, the mountains of Cantal, valleys surrounded by ‘basalt plateaus’. These typical landscapes are also home to remarkable fauna and flora, including the red kite, ermine and fario trout. The Plomb du Cantal is Europe’s largest volcano thanks to its large diameter. The Puy Mary (1758m) is also one of the highlights of French nature.

Hiking and biking

The Puy-de-Dôme is the department for hikers!

Majestic and varied landscapes, family outings or long walks lasting several days … in the Puy-de-Dôme, hiking is a real art of living.

Discover breathtaking panoramas on your hikes and explore the volcanoes, such as those of the Chaîne des Puys or the Sancy massif or walk along volcanic lakes, for instance Lac Guéry or Lac Pavin! A total of more than 3,900 km of marked trails guide you through the rich and varied nature.

Of course, we have hiking maps and hiking booklets you can use and: the first walks already start on the doorstep of le Pont du Roy!

Mountain biking

Everywhere in Auvergne you can go on mountain bike tours. Freeride, enduro, downhill: there are no limits to your mountain bike rides. In Super Besse or La Bourboule, holiday resorts have bike parks.

The highest mountains in this part of the Auvergne are almost 1900 metres high. The difference in altitude to overcome is about 300 to 400 metres on average and can go up to about 700m. There is an extensive network of trails on which mountain biking is fantastic.

You can hire mountain bikes (VVT=Velo Tout Terrain) in Besse and Super Besse, among other places. (see the link)

(Road)Cycling

Near Le Pont du Roy, you will find all the elements for a varied road cycling holiday. Within about ten kilometres, you will find, among others, the climbs to the Col de la Croix Morand, the Col de Guéry, the Col de Croix Saint Robert and the climb to La Stèle.

All this in a very varied landscape. From rugged open plains, volcanic landscapes to forests with fast-flowing streams. Short and long cycle tours, many or fewer altimeters, it’s all possible.

We will be happy to help you plan a great route!

Other sports

Le Pont du Roy Kajakken - Dordogne

Motorcycling

Winding roads, a dream of a road surface, overwhelming landscapes, a warm welcome: the Auvergne is truly something for motorcyclists!

Swimming

  • Lac des Hermines, Super Besse
  • Lac Chambon
  • Lac Aydat
  • Lac of La Tour d’Auvergne
  • Swimming Pool: Super Besse
  • Swimming Pool: St Nectaire (Thermadore centre)
  • Zwembad: La Bourboule (Sancy’O Pôle Aqualudique)

Canoeing

  • Lac Chambon
  • Lac des Hermines
  • Lac Aydat
  • Le retenu de Bort Les Orgues (a little further away but a nice trip)

Canyoning

From Le Mont Dore Adventures

Pedalos

  • Lac des Hermines, Super Besse
  • Lac Chambon
  • Lac Aydat
  • Le retenu de Bort les Orgues

Mountaineering and tree climbing

  • Royat (Escalade Gorges de Ceyrat)
  • Le Mont Dore (Le Mont-Dore Adventures)

Tyrolienne from Super Besse

A fantastic long descent! This giant 1600-metre-long zipline provides a dizzying flight This “Fantasticable” offers an altitude difference of 240 metres.

This extraordinary descent, either solo or duo, can be booked in all seasons!