Follow the Auvergne volcanoes road by motorbike to marvel at the Massif Central
Lovers of green and hilly landscapes, the discovery of the Massif Central is always a special moment. After renting a motorbike from the Yamaha Rent agency in Aubière, it is recommended to take the Auvergne volcanoes road for a dive into an exciting and relaxing world. You will find yourself in the heart of breathtaking landscapes, surrounded by volcanoes that have been extinct for 8,000 years. The Sancy massif, the puys chain, the puy de Pariou and the puy de Dôme are all wonders to be admired from the motorbike and to be seen even closer during beautiful hikes or bike rides. The Massif Central is also about spending time in authentic villages, where inns await gourmets with local specialities. Not forgetting the centuries-old monuments that seem to live in perfect harmony with an exceptional natural environment
Picking up the bike in Aubière is a great opportunity to enjoy the neighbouring city of Clermont-Ferrand for a day. The city is indeed a nice stop for architecture lovers. You will enjoy strolling through its medieval quarter, one of the oldest in France, before visiting the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption and the Romanesque basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Port. After having enjoyed a slice of cantal quiche or shared a platter of charcuterie and local cheeses at the Bistrot du Marché, it is time to go to the FRAC Auvergne to see its contemporary works, or to go to the Montjuzet park to rest in the shade of a cypress tree. In addition, this large green space offers a beautiful view of the volcanoes. At the end of the day, it is time to go to the first destination of the motorcycle trip: Le Mont-Dore.
Once in Le Mont-Dore, it's time to relax in one of the rooms or in a studio at Les Garçonnières du Sancy, which has a spa and is ideally located near the Capucin funicular. The next day, after admiring the mountain architecture of the resort, you take the funicular, the oldest in France, for easy access to the hiking trails. The main hike in the area is the ascent of the Puy de Sancy, the highest volcano in France at 1,800m. The walk offers beautiful panoramas of the area and you should not miss the place where the Dordogne river rises. Around Le Mont-Dore, the landscapes are also perfect for trail riding, mountain biking or via ferrata. During your stay, don't forget to taste the wonderful truffade served in its pan at l'Estavou, a charming restaurant with a wooden chalet feel.
The motorcycle journey continues to Rochefort-Montagne. The peaceful village is set in an exceptional natural environment, which is also ideal for a variety of hikes. There are many options, but the discovery of the Banne d'Ordanche remains a must. This neck-shaped volcanic peak was frozen two million years ago. At its summit, an orientation table allows you to contemplate the Dômes chain, the Dore mountains and in the distance to the south, the Cantalien massif. The trip includes a visit to Murat-le-Quaire, a typical mountain village with its lava stone houses and slate roofs. This is where you can enjoy the traditional cuisine offered by Le Relais de la Toinette, before heading to the Lac du Guéry and enjoying the scenery of the Sancy massif. A nice address for accommodation is the bed and breakfast La Nichée, a late 19th century mansion very well located in the middle of mountain meadows of the Volcans Regional Nature Park. No need to worry about parking your motorbike safely in this haven of peace.
The Auvergne volcanoes route continues towards Pontgibaud, on the bank of the Sioule. The first thing to look for is its architecture, with the gate of the old city wall dating from the 15th century, the very beautiful building located near the city hall, also dating from the 15th century, and the church. It is advisable to put your bags down at the Hotel de la Poste, a former post office converted into comfortable and contemporary rooms. The establishment also has a restaurant with a very interesting menu which varies according to the season. A stopover of a few days in Pontgibaud is the occasion to go and see the superb Château Dauphin, a magnificent medieval fortress made of grey lava stone, and whose keep and numerous towers do not fail to catch the eye. Still inhabited, it houses beautiful murals, furniture and other art objects. Its garden offers a beautiful bucolic stroll. On another day, we put on our trainers again to explore the Puy des Goules. The volcano has a regular crater, and the views of the Grand Sarcoui, the puy de Dôme and the southern part of the puys chain are once again breathtaking.
The last stage of this vibrant journey on the Auvergne volcanoes road leads the bikers to the inevitable Puy de Dôme. The most courageous will make the ascent on foot, while others prefer to board the Panoramique des Dômes, which offers a 360° view on the way up. Once you have reached an altitude of 1,465 m, you can contemplate the ruins of a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Mercury and take in the panorama of the puys chain, the Dore mountains, the Forez mountains, the Limagne region and the Clermont-Ferrand area. For a rest, you can go to Orcival. This charming mountain village was built in a fan shape around the superb 11th century Notre-Dame d'Orcival basilica. It is one of the five major Romanesque churches in Auvergne and houses one of the most famous Black Virgins of Auvergne. In the village, the Hôtel Notre-Dame awaits travellers in an intimate and typical atmosphere. If the place is a restaurant, you can also go to the Café du Lac de Servières for its traditional inn atmosphere and its succulent Auvergne dishes. Moreover, the lake of Servières, formed in the crater of an ancient volcano, awaits the fishermen for a moment of peace and quiet in a green setting. The motorcycle tour on the Auvergne volcanoes route can end, with a return to Aubière to return the motorcycle.
Motorcycle travelers can get information on sightseeing and good deals in the Massif Central by visiting the tourist offices in Clermont Auvergne, Mont-Dore, Auvergne Volcan Sancy in Orcival and the tourist office in Pontgibaud. For more information on motorcycle rental in Aubière, visit the Yamaha Rent website