Auvergne

Welcome to one of the largest national parks of Europe:
Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d’Auvergne.

Auvergne is one of the 27 administrative regions of France. It consists of the four departments Allier, Puy de Dome, Cantal and Haute Loire.

Auvergne is known for its mountain ranges and dormant volcanoes. Although the last confirmed eruption was around 6,000 years ago. They began forming some 70,000 years ago, and most have eroded away leaving plugs of unerupted hardened magma that form rounded hilltops known as puys.
Together the Monts Dore and the Chaîne des Puys include 80 volcanoes. The Puy de Dôme is the tallest volcano in the region with an altitude of 1,465 m. The Sancy Massif in the Monts Dore is the highest point in Auvergne (1,886 m).

The northern region is covered in hills while the southern portion is mountainous and dotted with pastures. The Domanial Forest of Tronçais covers nearly 11,000 hectares (27,170 acres) and is the largest oak forest in Europe.

There are two major rivers in Auvergne. The Loire, which runs through the southeast and borders the northeast, and the Allier which runs from north to south down the center of Auvergne with branches going east and west. Over many years the Allier river has created what are known as the Allier gorges. Auvergne has about 50 freshwater ponds and lakes. Some are high in the mountains and have volcanic origins. Guéry Lake is the highest lake in Auvergne.

Auvergne is bordered to the east by the Rhône-Alpes region, to the south by the Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees regions, to the north by the Centre and Burgundy regions, and to the west by the Limousin region.