Capital of Auvergne, set against a volcanic backdrop, first impressions of Clermont Ferrand are impressive. The local stone is dark, being lava-based and the vertiginous Notre Dame Cathedral, a classified French Historic Monument, shows it off to its best. Add to this the cathedral’s mural paintings and multi-coloured stained glass panels and the result is breath taking. Book a flight for your trip to Clermont Ferrand and visit the 19th Century Notre Dame du Port Basilica, a Romanesque building restored in 2008, with detailed sculptures and light stone walls. Clermont Ferrand’s centre shows off its own, special celebrity – Vercingétorix, the most famous of Gaulish chiefs and thorn in Julius Caesar’s side. You’ll find his statue, sculpted by Bartholdi at Place Jaude, in the heart of the town. Car lovers must, during their holiday in Clermont Ferrand, visit the Aventure Michelin, a museum dedicated to the famous multi-national. Other museums you should visit include Bargoin, Roger-Quilliot and Henri-Lecoq, all providing superb insights into local and national history. Reserve a hotel room in Clermont Ferrand close to these landmarks. If fancy a walk in Auvergne, then follow the ‘Cheese Route’…but not before you’ve tucked in to a serving of aligot or truffade!