5 days with a donkey in Auvergne

Self guided trip 5 days/4 nights
Hiking with a donkey in a self guided trip. In the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne, take time to share with your family or with your friends, real authentic moments. Go and discover this fabulous area, at the slow pace of your valiant companion who will carry your food for lunch and your bags. Your walking days will be both easy and fun, in harmony with this preserved nature. Great to fill-up your energy in this land of contrasts.
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Itinerary
  • Day 1:

    Pessade-Orcival

    3:30 walking - Hotel / 8 km/ + 100 m / - 400 m

    Meeting around 10 o'clock in Pessade (follow the signs "rando- âne" in the village from the large parking lot, where you can leave your vehicle at the entrance of the village). For those who cannot begin the journey in the morning, contact us for an early afternoon arrival. It is in this small village that your donkey is waiting for you. Hike to reach Servières Lake, a lovely little crater lake a few thousand years old, followed by a gentle descent with beautiful landscapes to reach the village of Orcival.

    For groups less than 4 people, the donkey who will carry all your luggages (be careful, donkeys cannot carry more than 40 kilos, you will be limited in weight.

    For groups - 4 people or more - before your hike, remember to leave your luggages at the hotel Orcival this first day because this trasfert is not included in the price (wayback by car, 15 minutes). On Days 2, 3 and 4, a taxi will carry your luggages. On Day 5, you will have to come back to the hotel at the end of your hike to get your luggage yourself because, on the last day, luggage transportation is not included in the price.

    Possibility for this first day, to hire the services of a mountain tour leader who will help you for few hours to read the map (essential to follow a route). He will also explain how to deal with the donkey ... all this in order to make the best of your stay (More information further for these extra costs).

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

  • Day 2:

    Orcival - Farm of the violets - Montlosier

    4 hours walking - Lodge /12 km / + 450 m / - 510 m

    In the morning, the Chain of the Puys is showing itself. Your feets lead you to the "Ferme des violettes" for the pleasure of a family visit (Attention no visit if passing there on Sundays). You will then continue your walk to the castle of Montlosier, home of Maison du Parc Naturel Regional des Volcans d'Auvergne. Possible visit of the exhibition on the Chaine des Puys.
    Dinner and overnight stay at the lodging of Montlosier.

  • Day 3:

    Montlosier - Puy de la Vache - Laschamps

    3 hours walking - Lodge /7,65 km /+147 m / - 149 m

    Today, hike on the chain of Puys. between sheep grazing and forest ..
    Possibility of climbing the Puy de la Vache and Lassolas without your donkey.

  • Day 4:

    Laschamps - Aydat

    3:30 walking - Hotel / 111.6km /+100 m / - 220m

    Departure from your guesthouse to join by the lava flow the lake of Aydat ; swimming opportunity (in the protected bathing area).

  • Day 5:

    Aydat - Pessade

    4:00 walking /11.4 km /+395 m / - 75 m

    Your last day of hiking with your friendly travel companion, you will go up to the farm Pessade through the Narse d'Espinasse, a real jewel and relic of the ice age.

Disclaimer

The route can be modified for reasons of safety, meteorology or unforeseen events linked to events beyond our control: cut roads, local festivals ... "Aluna Voyages" and its team will always strive to provide the best solution.

Level

Walking or Activity Time 

The days offer 4 to 5 hours of activity per day.

Consecutive Days of Activities

5 days of activities suitable for families with children. 

Elevation / Elevation / Terrain

Low elevation on easy trail. 

Transportation

For groups of 2 to 3 people, the donkey will carry all your belongings, so plan travel bags and not suitcases, with a weight not exceeding 12 kg per person.
If you desire more comfort, we can transport your luggage by taxi Day 2, 3 and 4 : 180 €).

For families or groups of friends over 3 people, your travel bags (or suitcases) will be transported by taxi Days 2, 3 and 4. In this case, the donkey can carry your small backpacks with personal belongings of the day as well as your picnics.

Donkey (s)

There is 1 donkey for 6 people. Beyond 6 people, there will be an additional donkey.
For any additional donkey during the trip : 230 €.

Weather Conditions

Pleasant mountain climate in the inter-season and hot in summer. The evenings can be cool.

Experience Required

No specific experience. Walk regularly and have the pleasure of effort. Easy journey and accessible to anyone in good health. 
Dates & prices
May to September

  • Adult price (from 16) :                              560 €
  • Teenage price from 12 to 15 years : 510 €
  • Child under 12 years :                               460 €

For families or groups of friends, from 2 people.

Possibility of leaving with only 1 participant with a supplement of 150 €.

1 donkey for 6 people. Additional donkey during the stay = 230 €. 
For families or groups of friends - 4 people or more - 1 taxi for luggages is provided Days 2, 3 and 4, with no extra charge.
If taxi needed for the transport of luggages, for group under 4 people Day 2, 3 and 4, taxi package = 180 €. 

Option first day with a mountain tour leader : 215 €. 
Option first half day with a mountain tour leader : 140 €.

Our price includes

Meal

Full board from dinner on D1 to lunch on D5.

Transport

For group of 2 to 3 people, the donkey will carry all your belongings during your trip. For families or groups of friends of 4 or more people, your bags will be transported by taxi Days 2, 3 and 4, while the donkey will carry your small backpacks with personal belongings of the day as well as your lunch. 
Only 1 bag max weight 12 kg/personn will be transported by taxi. 

Donkey (s) 

There is 1 donkey for 6 people. Beyond 6 people, there will be an additional donkey. 

Equipment

Maps and road book for logistical information but also for naturalist and cultural information. 

Accommodation 

Hotel and lodging

Our price does not include

Meal

Drinks and personal extras. Meals not mentioned above.

Transport and donkey (s)

Luggage transport by taxi Days 2, 3 and 4 for group less than 4 persons : 180 €. 
For groups of more than 4 people, the transport of luggage by taxi Days 1 and 5 is not included.
Transportation to get to the starting point Day 1.
Additional donkey during your stay : 230 €. 

Tour leader option

Option first day with a mountain tour leader : 215 €. 
Option first half day with a mountain tour leader : 140 €.
Various
Paying entries in the parks, sites and museums not included in the program.
Insurance Cancellation, Luggage, Interruption and Repatriation : 3.95% of the price of your trip. 
Compulsory registration fee : 15 € per file
Practical info

Your meeting 

Public transportation : In order to limit your CO2 emissions, we encourage you to use public transport to get to Clermont-Fd train or bus station.
From Clermont station to Pessade, about € 60 / taxi ride on weekdays and about € 90 / taxi ride on Sundays and public holidays.
For information, transport to / from Clermont-Fd - Pessade (60 km A / R). 
By road : 30 km (40 mn) from Clermont-ferrand. Take the N89 in the direction of Mont Dore, then at the Ventouse pass, turn left (dir Besse) then 500 m further on the right on the D5. At Zanière, turn right until Pessade.

Accommodation 

2 nights in hotel ** and 2 nights in Lodge ("gite d'étape") in small dorm. 

If you arrive the day before, you can spend the night in Finnish kota or caravan in Pessade.
  • Night in kota for adult  : 20 €/night
  • Night in kota for Child under 12 years  : 15 €/night

Possibility to order catering meals : You must add to these costs, a package of 24 €/delivery.
  • Evening meal + breakfast : 25 €/adult and 17 €/child under 12
  • Dinner / Breakfast / Lunch box, delivered to kota : 38 €/adult and 25 €/child under 12
  • Overnight Half board with dinner and breakfast : 45 €/adult and 32 €/child under 12 years
  • Night in full board with 3 meals : 58 €/adult and 40 €/child under 12 years

Food

You will have breakfast at the hotel and at the lodge. The pack lunch will be transported by your donkey. Evening meals are served in the hotel's restaurant and at the lodge. 

Recommended equipment

 A small backpack containing 

• a hat or cap
• a pair of sunglasses
• a rain cape or a windbreaker or better a Gore-Tex jacket
• toilet paper
• a small personal first aid kit (aspirin, plaster, elastoplast, ...)
• Tupperware with cutlery for picnics and a gourd
• Plastic bags to wrap business in bad weather
• a camera / pair of binoculars 

For your evening luggage

For donkey transportation : only soft bags (no suitcase). A donkey can carry 40 kg altogether.
For taxi transportation : only 1 bag/pers (max weight 12 kg/pers).
• a silk or cotton sheet for the 2 nights at the cottage (blankets are provided)
• canvas or jogging pants
• a pair of tennis or other for the evening
• a polar fur
• spare clothing and underwear
• swimsuit
• toilet bag with a bath towel 

Shoes

• a pair of lightweight walking shoes, preferably already used, or, for sensitive feet, a good pair of reinforced tennis shoes
• socks