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The Cantal range

If it hadn't finally burst millions of years ago, this would be Europe's largest volcano, one even larger than Etna, with a surface area of over 2,700 m2 (8,860 sq. ft). The Cantal range offers six outstanding sites with a rich and attractive natural environment and a cultural heritage which is as preciously protected as its natural resources. Discover fascinating localities including the Carladès, Cézallier, Lioran, Gentiane, Murat and Le Puy Mary areas, as you explore a huge variety of impressive landscapes and activities

A diverse mountain landscape

The Cantal range exists thanks to the presence of Le Puy Mary (1,787 m or 5,862 ft), which came into being as a result of massive erosion, this leading to the creation of the glacial valleys surrounding it. Listed as a "Grand Site de France", the history and the countless natural treasures of the mountain range are presented in the Peyrol Discovery Centre. And there are so many of them it’s hard to know where to begin!

The diversity of these landscapes comprised of lakes, pools, peat bogs, waterfalls and streams reminds us of the powerful and constant presence of water here. The woods and forests provide a marvellous leafy green environment. You can discover a remarkable range of flora and fauna at all times of year via the hiking trails. During the autumn you can hear the belling of the stags while in the winter you can cross the snow-covered mountain forests or ski on the slopes at the Lioran resort. In the spring, take the time to admire the rebirth of the area's colourful plants and flowers while in the summer you can see marmots and mouflons at first hand


Cantal traditions

Up on the high grasslands, (where we find the flower of the summer pastures, the gentian), the cow reigns supreme. Our high-quality cheeses, Cantal and Salers, are a source of local pride, not forgetting the delicious Saint-Nectaire, the Bleu d'Auvergne and the Fourme d'Ambert, a cheesemaking tradition perpetuated by a number of dairies dotted throughout the area.

Truffade made with Cantal cheese
Truffade made with Cantal cheese
This age-old know-how is passed on just like the region’s other rich and varied craft traditions, from pottery to artistic ironwork, which we invite you to discover as you visit these attractive mountain villages brimming with character.

They also include a remarkable architectural heritage with Romanesque churches, castles, mediaeval villages and unusual traditional baking ovens or wayside crosses.


For those seeking originality, take a trip back in time on the Gentiane Express rail service at an altitude of more than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).
When you get back, why not sample some of the Cantal’s culinary delights such as: truffade, pounti, cheese, a cornet de Murat or a carré de Salers not forgetting a modest glass of gentian as an aperitif.

As the Cantal range is synonymous with fun, friendliness and good living, we encourage you to share in the festive atmospheres to be enjoyed during local events, enabling you to discover the area's heritage and people all year round, and to fully benefit from the friendly and welcoming nature of locals sharing a genuine enthusiasm for this region.

See also

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Tourisme en Auvergne

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