The Cantal department is situated in the Auvergne region of south-central France and within the Massif Central. The centre and north of the department are an area of ‘medium’ mountains within the Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne and the Monts du Cantal, while the rest of the region is mostly still quite hilly.
While it is the higher regions that attract the most visitors, in particular outdoor enthusiasts, there is a great deal to discover and enjoy throughout Cantal.
The nature of the department means that outdoor activities are the key pursuit among visitors, and there are many opportunities within Cantal for hiking (both long-distance paths and short local trails, cycling (on road and off road), horse-riding, fishing, canoeing etc.
Hills and mountains, this part of the Cantal department falls within the designated Natural Regional park of the Auvergne mountains.
Not surprisingly given the natural environment the most visited destination in Cantal is a scenic highlight – the Puy Mary which is a mountain (altitude 1783 metres) in the Parc des Volcans which has very far-reaching views and is also one of a handful of sites listed as ‘Grand sites of France’.
Also within the peaks of the ‘Monts du Cantal’ the Plomb du Cantal (altitude 1855 metres) can be reached by cable-car (or on foot!) and offers fantastic views. Many other slightly lower peaks and passes between the hills also offer great scenery.
The town of Murat is in the heart of the Monts du Cantal region and as well as some historic buildings it also has some very impressive views across the surrounding hills.
During the winter skiing is available at the higher altitudes (usually around Puy Mary) and Super Lioran (situated at Le Lioran below the Plomb du Cantal) is the most important winter resort.