Your holiday summary
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Auvergne by rail
This lovely tour, travelling by Eurostar and SNCF trains, is based in the town of Issoire, and visits many of the highlights of the region including Clermont Ferrand, the historic spa town of Vichy, Orcival, St Nectaire, and Puy-en-Velay.
- Return Eurostar and SNCF from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Clermont Ferrand via Paris including transfer in Paris
- Six nights’ accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis at Le Pariou hotel, Issoire
- Transfers and full touring itinerary conducted by tour manager
- Tour manager throughout
- Holiday insurance
- Single room supplement
- Standard Premier/First class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
- Meals other than those stated
- Porterage and gratuities
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras and Paris, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.
Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards by SNCF fast train to Clermont Ferrand. On arrival transfer to Issoire for check in to hotel for six night stay on dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Full day tour to Montpeyroux, Puy-de-Dome and Clermont-Ferrand. One of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, the small village of Montpeyroux perches on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding picturesque valleys. Stroll the old streets and visit the 12th century St Pierre’s church. The summit of Puy-de-Dome gives the most wonderful views of the surrounding region. Take the recently opened Panoramique des Dômes rack railway up to the top, follow the path, formerly a Roman road, and the whole of the Auvergne will open up before you. Clermont-Ferrand, the regional capital, sits in the midst of wooded volcanoes. Once a solely industrial city, today Clermont-Ferrand is a vibrant city with a big café culture and plenty of boutiques and galleries.
Full day to relax and explore Issoire at your leisure. A small, tranquil and attractive town Issoire’s turbulent history stretches back to Roman times. Boasting an outstanding 12th century abbey church - St-Aistremoine, with excellent frescoes, today you can also visit the lively market in the town’s medieval core where you’ll find lots of delicious local produce and plenty of ideas for lunch.
Full day tour to Le Puy-en-Velay and Brioude. Le Puy-en-Velay is one of the most extraordinary towns in France. Set in a broad valley surrounded by ancient volcanoes, the terracotta roofs of the town are watched over by three religious landmarks perched on top of natural volcanic pillars – the Romanesque cathedral, Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel and a state of the Virgin Mary. The starting point of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage, Le Puy is also known for its lace and lentils. A small bustling town situated on a terrace overlooking the lush Allier plain, Brioude is famed for its church, the Basilique St-Julien, the largest Romanesque church in the Auvergne, dating from 1060.
Full day tour to Orcival, Saint-Nectaire, Besseen-Chandesse and Le Mont-Dore. The pretty town of Orcival is dominated by its early 12th century Basilica, said to be one of the best in the region. Also noted for its Romanesque church, as well as its cheese, is Saint-Nectaire. Within the church you will find some wonderful examples of 12th century workmanship - a gold bust of St Baudime and a wooden Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Cornadore. The laidback mountain village of Besse-en-Chandesse is made up of quaint cobbled lanes and lava-stone brick cottages and therefore the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The former spa town of Le Mont-Dore sits close to the source of the Dordogne River at the foot of the region’s highest mountain. The thermal springs here were known to the Romans but were particularly busy in the 19th century.
Full day tour to Vichy and Thiers. The town of Vichy was a well-known spa and resort centre before it became the head of the French state during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The town’s turn of the century spa buildings and parks are now protected as part of France’s architectural heritage. Thiers sits on a steep hillside of the Durolle river valley, splitting it into a high and low town and has a wealth of wonderfully preserved half-timbered houses in the old quarter of the high town. The town is famed as a centre for the manufacture of cutlery.
Transfer back to Clermont-Ferrand station to catch the return SNCF fast train to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
The three star Le Pariou hotel based in the charming town of Issoire offers air-conditioned, comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone, minibar and hairdryer. The hotel also has a restaurant "Le Jardin", bar, lounge area, sun terrace, garden and outdoor swimming pool (seasonally heated).
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6761.
A lovely holiday with a caring informative tour guide. What more could you want?
great holiday, thanks. especially liked the tour manager, who, unusually in my experience, has a lovely restful voice for the commentary, and managed (on the whole) to be relevant and interesting.