The Auvergne region of France is located just to the south of the centre of the country, and is around 10,000 square miles in size. Tourism in Auvergne is scarce, but is becoming more popular as time moves on, and hiring a car in this region is a great way to get out and about to see what is around.
Auvergne is home to some very large companies, with Volvic water produced in the region, and Michelin tyres also based there. Dunlop also have a factory in the region at Montlucon.
Capital of the region is the city of Clermont-Ferrand, an industrial area made famous by a number of volcanoes. Puy-de-Dome, now a dormant volcano is the largest of these and is recognisable from its huge masts located on the top. The corporate headquarters of Michelin are located here.
Things to see when hiring a car in Auvergne
Notre-Dame du Port
A world heritage site, this 11th century church is one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the region. It’s located in Clermont-Ferrand and features a range of mosaics on the outside of its bell tower.
The Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral should not be difficult to find, as it towers above the rest of the relatively flat city. With twin spires which are almost 100 metres tall, this cathedral is one of the main attractions of the city.
Aurillac is the home of the umbrella, and produces around quarter of a million umbrellas each year. The town itself has some stunning churches and a park, with a pond and fountain which is lovely on a summers day for a picnic.
Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a beatuirful little chapel located on the top of a volcanic rock just outside the town of Le Puy-en-Valey and is 85 metres up. Visitors must climb the 268 steps up the rock face to reach the chapel, where the mother of Joan of Arc is rumoured to have come to pray in the 1400s.
Notre Dame de France
A huge bronze statue overlooking the town of Le Puy-en-Valey, which was created from the metal of 213 Russian cannons which were commandeered during the siege of Sevastopol in the1850s. Designed by Jean Marie Bonnassieux, the huge sculpture was presented to the town in 1860, with 120,000 people turning up for its unveiling.