How to make a successful trip to Cantal?
Are you looking for new regions in France for your next vacation? Why not set your sights on the magnificent department of Cantal? At the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Cantal offers a rich historical, cultural and architectural heritage. Whether you’re a summer or winter sports and leisure enthusiast, you’ll find a multitude of activities to suit all tastes. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with friends or family, we’ve got all the answers you need!
What to do in Cantal?
The Cantal département in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is an ideal destination for nature lovers. The Cantal mountains and Auvergne volcanoes offer an exceptional setting for all kinds of leisure activities. Hikers and mountain bikers can criss-cross the trails of the Cantal Mountains and Massif Central, following signposted itineraries to discover magnificent landscapes between valleys and mountains.
The Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d’Auvergne, with its volcanoes and volcanic domes, also offers many opportunities for hiking and walking. Puy Mary, Cantal’s highest peak at 1787 meters, is a must for hikers and lovers of breathtaking scenery. Snowshoeing, downhill skiing and cross-country skiing are also very popular in the region, especially in the resorts of Super Lioran and Prat de Bouc.
France’s most beautiful villages, such as Salers, Tournemire and Marcolès, offer an opportunity to discover the region’s cultural and architectural heritage: medieval buildings, castles and Romanesque churches. The Cantalien terroir is also worth discovering, with cheeses such as Saint Nectaire and gentian, a local brandy.
The Cantal is also renowned for its campsites, gîtes and chambres d’hôtes, as well as for its villages and vacation centers offering wilderness breaks. Unusual accommodations, such as burons and chalets, are also very popular with tourists in search of authenticity.
Wildlife lovers can admire cows in summer pastures, or eagles and chamois on the massif’s ridges. Water sports, such as fishing and rafting in the Alagnon and Maronne gorges, are also very popular in the region.
Last but not least, for those who like something new, a visit to the basalt organs of Pompidou or the Garabit viaduct, a masterpiece of late 19th-century engineering, is a must.
A veritable jewel of nature, Cantal offers activities for all tastes and all seasons. With its great natural sites, architectural heritage, terroir and varied activities, the Cantal is a unique destination in France.
When to go in Cantal?
Cantal is a department in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, famous for its varied landscapes, volcanoes and mountains. The region is rich in natural and cultural sites, making it an ideal place to spend a vacation in the heart of nature.
The best time to visit Cantal is from June to September, when the days are longer and the temperatures warmer. The region is pleasant at this time of year, with verdant valleys and mountain plateaus where you can stroll and admire the views.
Downhill and Nordic skiing are very popular in the region, and Cantal boasts several ski resorts, including Super Lioran. Winter sports are also practiced in the Sancy massif, where there are ski slopes and snowshoe trails.
Cantal is an ideal destination for nature lovers, hikers, skiers and all those who wish to relax in peaceful, rural surroundings. The region’s many natural sites offer a multitude of activities to enjoy all year round.
Top 10 sites not to be missed in Cantal!
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park
The Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park offers spectacular volcanic landscapes, rich flora and fauna, and a rich cultural and historical heritage.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and discover the region’s natural beauty. Sustainable management ensures the preservation of this unique environment, making the park a must-see destination for nature lovers and history buffs alike.
Learn more about the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park
The Castle of Val
On the shores of Lake Bort-les-Orgues, with panoramic views over the Cère valley, the Castle of Val offers a unique experience. Guided and self-guided tours are also available, allowing visitors to discover this 13th-century three-storey fortified castle.
Learn more about the Castle of Val
Puy Mary is a majestic peak in the heart of the Massif Central. Classified as a Grand Site National, it attracts almost 500,000 visitors every year. With exceptional views as far as Mont Blanc and easy access by car, Puy Mary is a must-see for nature lovers and escape seekers alike.
Learn more about Puy Mary
The Gorges de la Jordanne
The Sentier de découverte of the Gorges de la Jordanne is a unique 4 km trail through the heart of the gorges formed over the centuries by the flow of water through volcanic breccias. An ideal nature activity for families and friends.
Learn more about the Gorges de la Jordanne
The Garabit Viaduct
The Garabit Viaduct, located in the Cantal region of France, is an exceptional site in an equally exceptional setting. This architectural marvel, designed by Gustave Eiffel, rises majestically above the Truyère gorges, offering a breathtaking view of picturesque surroundings.
A true technical feat of its time, the viaduct is a jewel of French heritage. A visit to the viaduct is an unforgettable experience for the whole family, where young and old alike can marvel at the grandeur of the structure and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds it.
Learn more about the Garabit Viaduct
The Castle of Anjony
Situated in the heart of the Monts du Cantal, the Castle of Anjony is a fortress of typical medieval architecture, whose keep houses remarkable frescoes.
Learn more about the Castle of Anjony
The Castle of Pesteils
Listed as a historic monument, the Castle of Pesteils, formerly known as the Fortress of Polminhac, is a medieval castle located in Polminhac in the Cantal region of France. You can visit the château on your own or with a guide.
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Chaudes Aigues thermal baths
Chaudes-Aigues is Cantal’s only spa, with 32 hot springs, including the famous Par spring, Europe’s hottest at 82°C.
The resort is home to renowned thermal baths offering wellness cures in a region renowned for the quality of its thermal water. An ideal setting for a relaxing and rejuvenating stay.
Learn more about the Chaudes Aigues thermal baths
The Castle of Alleuze
Overlooking the Truyère valley, the Castle of Alleuze is an ancient medieval fortified castle listed as a historic monument. The historic site is open to the public.
Learn more about the Castle of Alleuze
Salers Cheese and Cow Museum
In the heart of the Cantal region, the Salers Cheese and Cow Museum pays tribute to the emblematic cattle breed of the same name. Housed in an authentic 17th-century barn, the museum, open since 2010, offers a captivating journey through the history and evolution of the Salers cattle breed.
Part of an estate comprising the Salers Herd-Book and the Salers Evolution group, the Salers Cheese and Cow Museum is located on a picturesque plateau in Saint-Bonnet-de-Salers.
A must-see for all lovers of rural heritage and French traditions.
Learn more about the Salers Cheese and Cow Museum