Why go there?
Europe’s largest regional park covers France’s least populated region – so it makes a perfect place to get away from it all. There’s plenty of room – this amazing National Park covers a million acres. You’ll be surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, including 100 volcanos. But don’t worry: the last eruption was 7,000 years ago.
What to do
Admire the breathtaking views from the easy to reach summits. Explore lakes, valleys, woods, and pretty villages and spa towns. Until late spring there’s snow and skiing, after that try paragliding and mountain biking. Or you can just find a cosy bolthole and hunker down under some of the starriest skies in Europe.
Where to stay and eat
To capture the spirit of this pristine natural environment, stay in a remote wooden eco-lodge with a living grass roof (from 92 euros a night for two). There’s an atmospheric and imaginative restaurant in an old stone barn alongside (set menus from 23 euros).
How to get there
The Auvergne is in central southern France, 260 miles south of Paris. The ‘Parc Naturel Regional des Volcans’ is just to the west of Clermont Ferrand. The Volcalodges are between the A89 and the Puy de Dôme mountain.