4 days in Auvergne volcanoes with a donkey

Self guided trip 4 days / 3 nights
Hiking with a donkey in a self guided trip and the confort of hotel nights. 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.

  • Hiking in Auvergne with friends or familly with Aluna Voyages
  • self guided trip in Auvergne with Aluna Voyages
  • familly hiking in France with Aluna voyages
  • Easy hike in Auvergne with Aluna Voyages
  • Day 1:

    Pessade - Pessade

    2 to 2h30 walking - Kota or trailer / 8 km / Elevation : + 190 m / - 190 m

    We must meet you at 2 p.m. in Pessade (follow the “hike-donkey” signs in the village from the large car park where you can leave your vehicle at the entrance to the village).
    It is in this small village that your donkey awaits you.
    Loop hike departing from your accommodation, to familiarize yourself with your new companion.

    For the first half day, you can hire the services of a mountain guide who will train you in map reading in a few hours (essential for following a route). The guide will also be able to make you aware of the donkey's good behavior... all this in order to make the most of your stay (see the prices in the "Price information" section for this accompanied option).

  • Day 2:

    Pessade - Orcival

    3h30 walking - Overnight in hotel or guest house / 9 km / Elevation : + 100 m / - 400 m

    Hike to reach Lake Servières, a pretty little crater lake a few thousand years old, followed by a gentle descent with superb landscapes to reach the village of Orcival.

    Dinner and overnight at the hotel or in a B&B.

  • Day 3:

    Orcival - Aydat lake

    4 h walking - Overnight in hotel or guest house / 14,7 km / Elevation : + 300 m / - 337 m

    Bucolic stopover between pastures and small mountain hamlets. This stage takes you south of the Chaîne des Puys to Lake Aydat where your accommodation is located.

    Night (hotel or hotel room).

  • Day 4:

    Aydat lake - Pessade

    4 h walking - 11,5 km / Elevation : + 395 m / - 75 m

    Your last day of hiking with your big-eared travel companion will take you back to the village of Pessade via the Narse d'Espinasse, a real little gem and relic of the ice age.
    For groups of 4 people or more, remember to leave your luggage where you did spent the night, before setting off on your hike. You will have to collect them at the end of the hike.


The journey can be changed for reasons of safety, weather or unforeseen circumstances. Events beyond our control may change the course: change of accommodation (if the chosen accommodation is full at time of booking), cut roads, rivers in flood, strikes, local festivals ... "Aluna Travel" will always make every effort to provide the best solution, even changing the course.


Running time or activity

Days offer 3 to 5 hours per day.

Consecutive days of hiking

4 days  of activities, suitable for families with children.

Elevation / Altitude / Terrain

Little vertical drop on easy terrain

Carrying during your hike

From 1 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 want more comfort, we can transport your luggage by taxi : luggage transport package Day 2 and Day 3 by taxi : 120 €.

For families or groups of friends of more than 3 people, your travel bags (or suitcases) will be transported by taxi on D2 and D3. On the last day, you will have to collect your luggage yourself at the end of the hike. Before going hiking this last day, remember to leave your luggage in the accommodation where you spent this last night.
The donkey will carry your small backpacks with your personal belongings for the day as well as your picnics.

Donkey (s)

The donkey will carry your small backpacks with personal belongings of the day as well as your picnics (max 40 kg).
For any additional donkey on the stay :  290 €.

A donkey is not a programmed machine and can therefore have unpredictable reactions. We must therefore remain vigilant at all times. During the hike, the animal is your responsibility. In case of fatigue, the possible carrying of a child (pay attention to the total load of the donkey which must not exceed 30 kg in total) is done under the entire responsibility of an adult accompanying and/or holding the animal by the bridle. You must therefore have personal accident and general liability insurance.

During your trip, you will hold the donkey on its lead and you will walk in front of it. It will accompany you without difficulty but you should not let it glean all along the way otherwise the hike could be longer than expected! On average, a donkey walks at a speed of 4 km/h.
The donkey is cooperative but clever, your gentle but firm authority, from the start, will make him a good companion and not a spoiled brat who does as he pleases...

Climatic environment

Mountain climate pleasant to interseason and hot in summer. Evenings can be cool.


Easy trip accessible to anyone in good health.

Experience required

No specific experience, walk regularly and have the pleasure of the effort.

Dates & prices

Mai to October

Price for adults and teenagers from 12 years old :
  • 1 person in the group :  1030 €/pers
  • 2 people in the group :  655 €/pers
  • 3 people in the group :  540 €/pers
  • 4 people in the group :  495 €/pers
  • 5 people in the group :  470 €/pers
  • 6 people in the group :  445 €/pers
  • 7 people in the group :  440 €/pers
  • 8 people in the group :  430 €/pers

  • Child under 12 years old : Reduction of 80 € on the price above.
  • Single room with a supplement of 120 €/pers.

1 donkey is provided in this price.
If additional donkey during the stay : 290 €. 

1 taxi for luggage is provided on Day 2 and Day 3, for families or groups of friends from 4 people at no extra charge.

If taxi needed for the transport of luggage Day 2 and Day 3, for group of less than 4 people, taxi package = 120 €. 

Option first day with a mountain tour leader : 225 €. 
Option first half day with a mountain tour leader : 150 €.
For single-parent families, if you have no previous experience of staying with a donkey, you must do this trip with a guide for the first 1/2 day or day, because we will not let a single parent leave with his or her children.

If you arrive the day before we can reserve a hotel for you the day before departure in Orcival :
  • Half-board adult or teenager from 12 years old in a double or family room = 87 €/pers
  • Half-board child under 12 years old in parents' room = 42 €/child
  • Half board for single-parent family = €118/adult
PS: At these prices, add €15/person for a picnic basket.

Our price includes


Full board from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4.


For 1 to 3 people, the donkey will carry all your belongings during your trip.
For families or groups of friends - 4 people or more - your bags will be transported by taxi Day 2 and Day 3, 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/pers will be transported by taxi. 

Donkey (s) 

1 donkey provided. Additional donkey during the stay : 290 €. 


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


First night in a kota or caravan (3 to 5 beds per accommodation). The next 2 nights are in hotels or guest houses in family rooms.

Our price does not include 


Drinks and personal extras. Meals not mentioned above.

Transport and donkey (s)

Travel to the meeting place.
Package luggage transport by taxi for families under 4 people Day 2 and Day 3 : 120 €.
No luggage transport on day 4. On the last day, before the hike, you leave your luggage at the hotel or guesthouse; you will collect them at the end of your hike.
Extra donkey for the stay : 290 €.

Tour leader option

Option first day with a mountain tour leader : 225 €. 
Option first half day with a mountain tour leader : 150 €. 


Paying entries in the parks, sites and museums not included in the program.


Insurance Cancellation, Luggage, Interruption and Repatriation : 4.90% of the price of your trip. 

Registration fee

  • 30 days or more before departure : 12 €/pers.
  • Less than 30 days before departure : 20 €/pers
  • For any tailor-made trip : 30 € + 12 €/pers

Practical info

Date of departure

Departures at your convenience and depending on the availability of accommodation from May to October.
Please indicate on the reservation form the other dates that would also suit you. Ex: possibility of postponing the hike by 1 or 2 days before or after…; this in case accommodation is not available on the chosen dates.
Remember to book as early as possible. We do not have places reserved in advance in accommodation, and these can be full several months in advance.

Meeting place

You have an appointment at 2 p.m. on the first day in the small village of Pessade.

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 Clermonttrain or bus station to Pessade, about € 70/taxi ride on weekdays and about € 100/taxi ride on Sundays and public holidays. 

For information, transport to/from Clermont-Fd - Pessade (60 km A/R). 

By car : 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.


First night in a kota or caravan (3 to 5 beds per accommodation). The next 2 nights are in hotels or guest houses in family rooms.
Your room will be accessible from 5 p.m. and must be vacated before 10 a.m.


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

  • Hat or cap
  • Pair of sunglasses
  • Rain cape or a K-Way windbreaker or better a Gore-Tex jacket
  • Toilet paper
  • Small personal first aid kit (aspirin, plaster, elastoplast, ...)
  • Tupperware with cutlery for picnics and a gourd
  • Plastic bags to wrap business in bad weather

For your evening luggage

For donkey transportation : only soft bags (no suitcase) and maximum weight 12 kg/pers.
For the taxi (group of 4 people or more) : only 1 bag/pers (max weight 12 kg/pers). 
  • Canvas or jogging pants
  • Pair of tennis or other for the evening
  • Polar fur
  • Spare clothing and underwear
  • Swiming suit
  • Toilet kit with a bath towel 


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