Orcival (pop 210) is a quaint, hilly village that is located a few kilometres southwest of Clermont-Ferrand. This fantastic day-trippers’ destination is situated beside the River Sioulet and it makes for a great hiking base or a simple strolling location, thanks to its many slate-roofed houses.

Orcival’s centre-piece is its stunning Auvergne-Romanesque Basilique Église Notre-Dame. This 12th century building is carved from the local black volcanic stone and was once a prominent parish in this area. Inside, you will find the statue of the Virgin of Orcival – a gilded silver and wood figure that also dates back to the 12th century. It is believed that the Virgin was used as the object of a cult that existed since the Middle Ages and it still holds a special place in the villagers’ hearts, as it is paraded on the streets during Ascension Day.



FRANCE AUVERGNE PUY DE DOME Orcival Château de Cordès

The superb Château de Cordès [+33 471504520, www.chateau-cordes-orcival.com, ad/ch€3/2.50] a few kilometres north of Orcival is worth popping by as well. The current turreted structure is a modified version of an older 13th century castle. Its highlights include the 18th century furnishings inside and the well-maintained formal gardens, which were designed by Le Nôtre, famous for creating the Versailles gardens.






ORCIVAL STREET MAP:   1. Tourism Office  2. Basilique Église Notre-Dame  3. Château de Cordès (north of map limits; zoom out 5 clicks)

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