Auvergne Volcanoes

Auvergne France: (IT-FRABR08)

Auvergne France
In the heart of Auvergne and Puy de Dôme, the Massif du Sancy was born 5 million years ago. Highest point of the Massif Central, the Puy de Sancy (1886 m) is the highest volcano in metropolitan France.

Land of water, the Sancy massif has several crater lakes (maar) such as lakes Pavin and Chauvet and the so-called dam lakes formed by lava flows, oh which Lake Chambon and Lake du Guéry qre great examples.

The Sancy is full of streams and rivers like the Dordogne River, with wetlands and peat bogs as well as many waterfalls.

It is also a territory with reliefs sometimes soft and round, sometimes abrupt and wild. The Massif du Sancy is a preserved natural land where flora and fauna mingle with harmony and beauty.


This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations.

Accommodation is in B&B or hotels. Double or Twin room, possibility of single but with supplement.

Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Day 1:  Hotel in Nébouzat
Day 2:  Hotel in Saint Sauves d'Auvergne
Day 3:  Lodge near Sancy Mountain
Day 4:  B&B in Egliseneuve d'Entraigues
Day 5:  B&B in Besse en Chandesse
Day 6:  Hotel in Murol
Day 7:  Hotel in Nébouzat

Room Occupancy
We try our best to match you with a roommate, but if this is not possible you may be placed in single room with a supplement to be paid.

All meals are included.

Continental breakfasts served at your accommodation.
The lunches are buffets with a wide choice (adapted to particular diets) with wine.
Dinner in the bed and breakfast, restaurant or hotel (wine not included for dinner, and other extras).

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with prior notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.


Riding Ability
This ride is open to riders who are comfortable and in control at all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter and gallop in a forward seat) on varied terrain, in open spaces and practice a regular habit of riding. There are certain sections of the trail where we need to lead the horses. It is recommended that you be in good physical condition in order to participate. Previous experience of trail rides over a number of days would be beneficial but is not required.

The pace is varied depending on the terrain, with long periods of walk and plenty of opportunities to canter and gallop.

Most of our horses were born on the farm. They live in herds in a 70 acre field and this is what makes them strong. This social lifestyle is very close to their ideal living conditions, which is a natural environment.
Every horse has its own character, but all are gentle, balanced, and multi-talented.
The horses are a mixture of purebred Arabian and Paint horses as well as Arabian/Paint crossbreds and Thoroughbreds.
The relationship with the riders and our horses is crucial. Above all, we place attention on the welfare and education of our horses.

Our saddles are a French trail saddle (JMS brands), which blend the best of English and western styles to make the perfect trail saddle. Horses will work in bridles with Myler bits. Helmets are not mandatory but are strongly recommended.
Our team will take care of tacking up the horses during this ride.

There is a support van for the transport of luggage and riders. It is possible for a rider or a non-riding companion to follow along the horse riders in the van.
We ask the riders to have only one suitcase (size 69x47x27) and one handbag.

Group Size & Staff
Riding groups have a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 riders, plus the Guide and the Translator.
David (GTE/ BPJEPS TE) is a certified Equestrian Tour Guide. He creates the routes and leads all the riding tours. He is also a trainer of apprentice instructors in Equestrian Tourism.
Britta is your riding companion and translator (English, Dutch, German, and Spanish). She is always available to facilitate any language concerns.


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

The itinerary may be modified at any time for security reasons, meteorological or other events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes, and local holidays. We will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.

Important note: The specific level required is the "confirmed rider level".
As a qualified professional of equestrian tourism in France, it is important for the safety of the groups of riders we receive that everyone has the required riding level (see description below).
A person, who doesn't have the required level, causes difficulties for the staff and other participants, with consequences on the good progress of the stay for everyone.
Therefore, if from the first day we judge that a rider doesn't have the required level for horseback riding, he/she will not continue on horseback. He/she will be able to continue with the logistic team. This decision will be made without any refund on the stay.

Our rides are for the experienced rider who has mastered all 4 paces (walk, rising trot, canter/gallop in a forward seat) on varied terrains and in open spaces. The experienced rider rides regularly, has good physical fitness, has good soft hands, a good attitude, and self-confidence. He controls the speed and direction of the horse in all circumstances. He can ride long distances including gallops of several minutes in open terrain.

Day 1: Arrival
Riders with vehicles may arrive in the late afternoon to the first night accommodation. Riders arriving by train will be collected in the late afternoon at the SNCF train station of Clermont-Ferrand.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at a Hotel in Nébouzat

Day 2: Ride to Saint Sauves d'Auvergne
In the morning, presentation and allocation of horses. We start our riding adventure by riding through a pine forest and summer pastures, to reach the village of Orcival, where we stop for our picnic. Orcival is a small village located in a cool valley watered by the Sioule River. The village keeps a magnificent Romanesque church, founded by the monks of Chaise-Dieu.
After our break, we leave for Lake Guéry (1268 m), the highest lake in Auvergne. We arrive at the end of the afternoon in Saint Sauves d'Auvergne which overlooks the Dordogne valley.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Saint Sauves d'Auvergne to Sancy Mountain
After breakfast, we get back in the saddle and head to the village of La Bourboule. City of Waters (it owes its name to Borvo, Celtic god of water springs) it is renown for its thermal treatment of asthma, respiratory and skin allergies. We enjoy our picnic nearby. Them, we continue our route via the Col de la Stèle and we stop at the foot of the Sancy Mountain for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Sancy Mountain to Egliseneuve d'Entraigues
We ride to large estives (mountain pastures) to join the lake of Chauvet where we take our midday break. Located at an altitude of 1176 m, Lake Chauvet is a maar - a volcano formed in the crater of an ancient volcano.
We then continue our journey through meadows and forests to reach the small village of Egliseneuve d'Entraigues, and its lovely Romanesque church of Saint-Austremoine (12th century). The village name comes from surrounding water bodies (five lakes, waterfalls and many rivers), Entraigues meaning: between the waters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Egliseneuve d'Entraigues to Besse en Chandesse
This morning, we head towards the lake of Montcineyre, riding through pastures where Salers cows graze peacefully. The lake is nestled between beech groves and pastures where it sits at the foothills of a volcano of the same name. On our way, we will have an impressive view of Lake Pavin. Due to a strong volcanic explosion, Lake Pavin is a crater lake carved out of the North flank of Puy de Montchal (1411m).
At the end of the afternoon, we reach Besse en Chandesse, an old medieval village, built at 1050 m altitude, with well-preserved old residences and fortifications. Most of the village houses are made with volcanic rocks (black lava, basalt).
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6: Besse en Chandesse to Murol
Today, we make our way to the castle of Murol, built on a basaltic promontory during the 12th century. The castle, built at the strategic intersection of three large roads, forms an irregular polygon. Great canters bring us to our picnic place, on the shores of Lake Chambon (877 m alt.). This lake was formed by the volcano Tartaret.
We overnight at the village of Murol, at an altitude of 850 meters, in the Couze Chambon valley, on the eastern slope of the Massif de Sancy.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Murol to Nébouzat
For our last riding day in Auvergne, we ride to Aydat Lake, the largest natural lake in Auvergne. It is a volcanic dam lake. Its lava flow (the cheyre), covers 6km, from the puy de la vache and the puy de Lassolas blocking the Veyre River and thus creating a natural dam.
After our picnic break, we reach the crater of Puy de la vache, that we descend on horseback. The puy de la Vache volcano displays beautiful lava flows and red rocks.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: Departure
After enjoying a hearty breakfast, riders may depart by car or will be transferred to the train station.
Meals included: Breakfast

Non Riders
Non-riding companions are welcome to join this trip. It is best to have a car in order to do some sightseeing while the rest of the group explores on horseback.

Rates and Dates for Auvergne Volcanoes

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Wine with lunch & 6 riding days
Saddlebags, ponchos and water are provided during this trip.

Packages and Options

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2021 Transfer from/to Clermont-Ferrand train station, roundtrip, pp
- to be paid locally
20 $25
2021 Single supplement 460 $550
2021 Non-rider rate 1,340 $1,595

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Beverages in hotels and restaurants, Transfers, Entrance fees & Gratuities


Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Auvergne Volcanoes (IT-FRABR08):

If your booking is affected by the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible to postpone your trip to a later date in 2021 (depending on availability). It is also possible to postpone your trip to 2022, but you will need to pay the price difference.

With regards to accommodations and restaurants, the French government has imposed strict health rules for all establishments receiving guests so we trust our yearlong partners to apply them correctly for our clients.
Regarding horse riding, the equipment is cleaned and disinfected between each stay. In addition, it is only our team that prepares the horses and manipulates the tack and clients team up with the same horse for the whole week .
Our lunches are served as a buffet but instead of it being self-service, it is our team who will provide the service.
Hydro alcoholic gel will be available freely throughout the horse trail .
We don't impose wearing a mask on the trail (the French riding federation and the French government don't require wearing one while horse riding) but of course, riders can bring their own mask for hotels, restaurants & sightseeing visits if they feel the need of wearing one .
We ask that you follow the hygienic measures below during your stay:
  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water (access to which must be facilitated by providing disposable towels) or by hydro-alcoholic friction;
  • systematically cover your nose and mouth by coughing or sneezing into your elbow;
  • blow your nose in a disposable handkerchief and dispose of it immediately in a trash can;
  • avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • masks must be worn systematically by everyone when the rules of physical distance cannot be guaranteed.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at

Other Info
Meeting: Clermont-Ferrand or Nébouzat
Airport: Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport
Transfer: Clermont-Ferrand train sttaion

                                            Clermont-Ferrand area














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Source: NOAA

The Auvergne region benefits from a typical mountain climate with cold winters and mild summers. Nights can get chilly at any time of the year.

Winter (December-March)
During Winter, snow falls and covers the mountains allowing for winter sport activities. January usually sees the greatest snowfalls and temperatures are usually cold with some sunny days.

Spring (April-May)
Slowly, the temperatures start to become milder and the days longer. The snow starts to melt and the weather if often a mix of rain and sun. Towards the end of the season we start seeing more and more sunny days.

Summer (June-September)
This is one of the best times of the year to visit the region thanks to ideal weather. Storms can sometimes occur in August, especially in the mountains.

Fall (October-November)
With Fall comes the beautiful fall colors and October still sees a fair share of sunny days. The weather usually starts to change in November, becoming grey, windy and rainy. It can sometime snow on the mountains.

What To Bring:
The luggage is transported in vehicle and transferred to each accommodation. We ask that riders only bring one suitcase (69x47x27 cm) and one handbag.

…  this list is only a guideline for you
Hidden Trails Travel Documents and Trip Voucher (contains important local tour contact info.)
Flight tickets
Visa (check with your consulate)

Riding pants or Jodhpurs
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat
A riding helmet is not provided by us, but is is recommended for adults and mandatory for minors during the horse ride. 

Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes

Personal Toiletries
Insect protection - mosquitos may be around in the evenings and early mornings.
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Torch/ Flashlight
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and extra film or batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun protection lotion and lip balm