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Orcival travel guide

Photo of Orcival in Massif Central (Auvergne region)
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Visit Orcival (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)

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Orcival is a village in a pretty location in the Sioulot Valley about 25 kilometres to the west of Clermont-Ferrand and within the Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne.

Exploring Orcival

The village itself is pleasant and worth an explore - the church in the centre of the village is by far the most important monument in Orcival and the reason visitors are attracted here.

Detail of apse of Orcival church

The 12th century Basilica of Notre-Dame is renowned as being one of the five important roman style churches in the Auvergne (the others are at Clermont-Ferrand, Issoire, Saint-Nectaire and Saint-Saturnin).

The exterior of the church has received almost no alterations over the centuries. It is perfectly proportioned, with decorative highlights including the belltower and the ironwork on the Porte Saint-Jean. Inside the church you can see numerous columns, arches and arcades and some decorative carved capital stones.

There is also an early wooden and painted carving of the Virgin, held in very high esteem and said to have been carved by Saint Luke.

It was the presence of this statue that made the church became a popular pilgrimage destination, the pilgrims including ex-prisoners in particular, and various old handcuffs and balls and chains can be seen at the church. Each Ascension Day Orcival is still an important pilgrimage destination.

Back outside the church and strolling around the village there are some grand houses with towers built in the walls and other features that will catch your attention, and a few small shops, bars and cafes.

Medieval tower in centre of Orcival

Close to Orcival

The nearby Lake of Guéry is pleasant to visit in the summer, and in the winter I am told it is the only place in France where ice-fishing is possible. The Sioulet Valley and the Lake de Servieres are other local attractions.

Another highlight close to Orcival is the Chateau de Cordès, dating from the 12th - 17th centuries and also featuring impressive French-style gardens designed by the renowned La Nôtre in 1695 (limited opening, May-September certain days and times only).

You can find more travel ideas in the Puy-de-Dome guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also: 

Photos of Orcival

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • apse-detail
  • church-and-rooftops
  • derelict-house
  • orcival-church
  • stone-tower
  • tower-detail

Map of Orcival and places nearby

Visit near Orcival with France This Way reviews

Mont-Dore

Mont-Dore

Mont-Dore is well placed to explore the scenic splendours of the area such as the Vallee de Chaudefour, and is also a small ski resort

Mont-Dore guide
La Bourboule

La Bourboule

La Bourboule is one of the most impressive of the belle-epoque spa towns in France

La Bourboule guide
Puy de Dome

Puy de Dome

Puy-de-Dome is the most famous, and most accessible of the Auvergne volcanoes and has lovely views across the rest of the chain of volcanoes

Puy de Dome guide
Murol

Murol

The highlight of a visit to Murol is the Chateau de Murol that stands high on a rocky mass above the village

Murol guide
Saint-Nectaire

Saint-Nectaire

It is the impressive roman architecture of the Church of St-Nectaire-le-Haut that attracts visitors to Saint-Nectaire

Saint-Nectaire guide
Saint-Saturnin

Saint-Saturnin

With ancient narrow streets, an imposing church and its position on the side of a steep valley Saint-Saturnin is among our favourite Auvergne villages

Saint-Saturnin guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Puy-de-Dome

Address: Orcival, Rochefort-Montagne, Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, 63210, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.6842, longitude 2.8425

Plan your visit to Orcival, Puy-de-Dome

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardins de Cordès: remarkable garden
  • Eglise de Notre Dame (Orcival): religious monument (2 km)
  • Lac du Guery: site of natural beauty (8 km)
  • Banne d'Ordanche: site of natural beauty (10 km)
  • Eglise de Notre Dame (Saint-Nectaire): religious monument (14 km)
  • Puy de Dome: grand site of france (14 km)
  • Puy de Sancy: site of natural beauty (17 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Léger (Royat): religious monument (18 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame (Saint-Saturnin): religious monument (19 km)
  • Saint-Saturnin: most beautiful village (20 km)
  • Jardins du château de la Batisse: remarkable garden (20 km)
  • Jardins du château d'Opme: remarkable garden (21 km)

The French version of this page is at Orcival (Francais)

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