Road cycling round trip in the Auvergne

Ready for departure

Les Camélias is the starting point for a cycling round trip in the sparsely populated Auvergne region. The other nights are you will stay in variety of different – but always nice – accommodations.

Round trip through 3 middle mountain ranges

The Auvergne is a thinly populated region in France. The large number of quiet roads guarantee many hours of happy cycling. Les Camélias has compiled the routes in such a way that you will come across many different aspects of this very diverse area.

During this cycling holiday you will be cycling through 3 different middle mountain ranges; the Massif du Sancy, the Livradois-Forez and the Cantal. The climbs will go up to 1.589 meter. On average the climbs will bridge between 300 and 400 meters but this can go up to 800 meters on a few occasions. This might not seem too strenuous, but it should be taken into account that you will not encounter many flat stretches of road during this cycling trip.

Surroundings

The Auvergne is a region in the centre of France, in the Massif Central. This mountain range consists out of ancient volcanic mountains. The Auvergne offers a very varied landscape. From rugged plains via volcanic landscapes to forests with rapidly flowing streams.

About 53 people per km2 live in the Auvergne. This in contrast to almost the 260 inhabitants per km2 in the UK. Despite the low population density, there are many low-traffic roads.

The Auvergne consists out of 4 departments: the Allier, the Cantal, thg Haute-Loire and the Puy de Dôme. This six-day cycling round trip will take you through 3 of these 4 departments, the Puy de Dôme, the Haute-Loire and the Cantal.

Itineraries of varying difficulty

To allow everyone to cycle on his / her own level, we have (at least) five routes of different levels per stage. The summary below shows the minimum and maximum distances and meters of climbing of the various options.

It is possible to change your level each day and, if necessary, you might even be able to switch levels during the stage itself. Mountain stages and less intense stages alternate.

  • Level 1 covers about 60 to 75 km with between 700 and 1.500 meters of climbing each day.
  • Level 2 will let you bike 60 to 90 km with between 1.400 and 1.900 meters of climbing.
  • 75 to 110 km each day for level 3 and about 1.600 to 2.500 meters of climbing.
  • Level 4 will have you cycle 90 to 130 km with     1.800 up to 2.800 meters of climbing.
  • And last but not least our level 5 with 100 to 150 km and 2.100 to 3.300 meters of climbing on a daily basis.

Program of our 6-Day Auvergne cycling round trip

Your cycling trip will start and end at Les Camélias in Le Mont-Dore. The area has a volcanic origin and is for cyclists surprisingly challenging and varied. Open peaks with fantastic views alternate with forested river valleys.

During the 1st stage you will stay in the Puy de Dôme department. You will bike through the impressive volcano landscape of the Chaîne des Puys. The second stage goes via the Allier river valley to the Parc Naturel Régional de Livradois Forez area.

You will mainly cycle through the Livradois Forez area during the third stage while you will arrive in the Cantal during the fourth stage. In this department you will cycle up the challenging Pas de Peyrol. With its 1.589 meters the highest point of your cycling round trip. You will remain in the Cantal during your fifth stage while you will cycle back to Les Camélias in Le Mont-Dore during the sixth stage.

The day by day program

Day 1: Arrival in Le Mont-Dore.
Day 2: Stage 1 – To the Chaîne des Puys
Day 3: Stage 2 – Through the Allier River valley to the Livradois-Forez
Day 4: Stage 3 – A day in the Livradois-Forez
Day 5: Stage 4 – To the Cantal
Day 6: Stage 5 – To the highest point of the trip
Day 7: Stage 6 – Return to Le Mont-Dore
Day 8: Departure

5 day version

It is also possible to do this tour in five stages. In this version the first stage does not go through the Chaîne des Puys area, instead it goes directly via the Allier river valley to the Parc Naturel Régional Livradois Forez. Please note that the first stage will be at least 80 km.

Accommodation & services

During your trip you will stay in different types of accommodations. These accommodations include an apartment, a hotel and a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast). The accommodations are managed by owners of different nationalities. Our trip is based on two persons per room. Availability of 1-person rooms are limited and subject to availability and on an additional charge. Bedding and towels are obviously supplied by the accommodations.

In the morning there will be breakfast and in the evenings a 3 course dinner. With the exception of 2 evenings where you – on your own expense – will eat in a restaurant close to (of even in) your accommodation. Drinks are generally on your own account. All accommodations will provide a packed lunch.

Support

On arrival day in Le Mont-Dore you will be given all necessary information, including the (rented) GPS with maps, height profiles etc. If necessary we will also get you familiarised with the GPS. We know the area really well and are cyclists ourselves and are hence able to give you all required information. The owners of the different accommodations will take care of transporting your luggage. It normally should arrive at your next accommodation before you do.

We will take care of the itineraries, the accommodations and will give you all required information. Your luggage will be transported. This way you will have optimal freedom; you can take a break whenever you feel like it and can set the pace yourself. You still will have all comforts of an organized trip. When you encounter an unforeseen breakdown, assistance will be offered. Depending on the situation, a rate will be agreed on the spot.

Extension

Arriving before the start of this round trip or staying a bit longer after the trip is possible. You will stay in one of our comfortable apartments.

Price indication 2018

  • 2 persons: € 695 per person (based on 2 persons sharing a room).
  • 4 persons: € 600 per person (based on 2 persons sharing a room).
  • 6 persons: € 570 per person (based on 2 persons sharing a room).
  • 8 persons: € 525 per person (based on 2 persons sharing a room).
  • 10 persons: € 510 per person (based on 2 persons sharing a room).

This price includes: 7 nights with breakfast and packed lunch, 5 dinners, luggage transport, bedding, towels & tourist taxes.
Not included: GPS rental, travel and cancellation insurance, 2 dinners, drinks.

This trip can be organised as of 2 persons and up to 10 persons. A of 10 persons we kindly refer you to our guided road cycling round trip.

Col de la Croix Morand
Col de la Croix Morand
Descent towards the Chaîne des Puys
Descent towards the Chaîne des Puys
Cooling down in a parc
One of many castles
The Allier river valley
Bridge over the Allier river
The less mountainous landscape of the Livradois-Forez
Looking for refreshment
The less mountainous landscape of the Livradois-Forez
The less mountainous landscape of the Livradois-Forez
Village with castle
Cola-stop
View on the Sancy massif
At one of the possible accommodations
At one of the possible accommodations
Old Michelin roadsign
Old Michelin roadsign
View on the Sancy Massif
In the valley below Salers
Typical mountain village
View from one of the possible accommodations
French village
Great climbs
Roads without traffic
Great views
Col de la Croix de Baptiste
View on the still snowcapped Sancy massif
View on the still snowcapped Sancy massif
View on the still snowcapped Sancy massif
Great views
With Salers cows
This road was part of the Tour de France in 2011
Col de Prat de Bouc
Col de Pertus
One of the possible accommodations
View from one of the possible accommodations
Village close to one of the possible accommodations
Departure from one of the possible accommodations
Castle
Rural roads
Build into a rock
Breakfast with a view
Rural roads
Along a river
And now... descent!
The final climb: Col de la Croix Saint Robert