Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, Clermont-Ferrand is a city that dons many hats – home of global tyre giant Michelin, an international hub for short films and, at its core, a lively university city teeming with students.
Clermont-Ferrand is bordered by Chaîne des Puys, a 40-kilometre-long range of volcanoes, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its dormant peaks and lush craters offer plenty of opportunities to get active. For stunning views, you can try hiking Puy de Dôme, the highest point at 1,465 metres. If you prefer a more relaxed journey, there’s also a panoramic train that will take you to the summit. For views of the city framed by the mountains, head to the hillside Parc de Montjuzet, home to tall pines and cypresses, a Mediterranean garden and a playground. Another verdant spot worth visiting is Jardin Lecoq – an English-style garden with a pond, fountains, sculptures and thousands of plants.
One of the oldest cities in France, Clermont-Ferrand boasts some of the most impressive landmarks in the country. Dominating the skyline are the striking black spires of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption – a national monument constructed entirely with lava stone. Offering a stark contrast to it is the warm, sandstone facade of the Basilique Notre-Dame-du-Port, a UNESCO-listed Romanesque basilica adorned with carvings and mosaics.