Have a digital detox at this mountain retreat in Auvergne

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AuvergneNature and Outdoor ActivitiesNatural Parks

Buron de la Chambe vue sur le Cantal
© DR - Buron de la Chambe vue sur le Cantal

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 5 March 2024, updated on 22 April 2024

Until we can travel again, let’s dream a little. High up in the green pastures at the heart of Auvergne’s volcanic National Park, ancestral little shepherds’ huts known as burons are places where today, you can get back to basics without neglecting comfort or company. The Buron de la Chambe is one of these refuges, authentic yet refined, where time stands still but life seems richer. Fancy a peek?

Travel back in time

It was on a whim that Nancy and Martin restored their buron, a small stone construction dating from the 19th century, over almost 10 years. Back in the day, during summer, shepherds made cheese here with the milk from their grazing herds. Sitting at an altitude of 1,300m, it’s now a haven of peace, intimate and warm but absorbing – as it always has – the immense wildness of the Cantal mountains.

Rethink the meaning of effort

Accessing the Buron de la Chambe is a mini adventure in itself. For the climb, unless expressly requested (and this is always accepted!), only luggage and supplies get to use the provided 4x4. Be aware that this off-beaten-track retreat starts with a half-hour walk up a stony track... but it’s a joy to be flung out in the elements, escorted by the sound of cow bells.

Recharge your batteries as a couple or a group

The Buron de la Chambe invites you to get away from the world – but nothing’s stopping you from doing it in good company! With its two independent bedrooms, this extraordinary shepherd’s hut can accommodate up to 8-10 people between May and October, for a minimum of two nights. Couples adore the intimacy of this love nest in Auvergne, where you feel as though you’re on the roof of the world – while families or groups of friends can enjoy the comfort of being together, but far removed from the monotony of normal daily life.

Get back to basics

You only need set foot in the Buron de la Chambe to change your entire environment: the wood, stone, roaring fire and candlelight strip things right back to basics. It’s a simplicity that doesn’t exclude sophistication. The large living room has cosy creature comforts; the vaulted bedroom is like a protective cave with its huge bed enveloped in warm sheepskin; the wood-burning stove radiates heat even into the bathroom and the large stone hot tub. And the kitchen, equipped with every last detail, is enough to accommodate any great chef. Punti or truffade? Now’s the time to try the culinary specialties of Auvergne.

Enjoy simple pleasures

Dreaming of the Great Outdoors? You’ve arrived. From the Buron de la Chambe, the wild and verdant plateaux of Puy Gros and Plomb du Cantal – the highest peak in Auvergne’s volcanic park – are within walking distance. There’s also trout fishing in the surrounding rivers and lakes. And Cantal itself is better than a spa, known as the ‘land of a thousand sources’, so renowned it is for its waterfalls. The water might be a bit on the cool side, but back in the buron, the hot outdoor shower overlooking the volcanoes will put you right again.

Disconnect to reconnect with nature

You’ve been warned: there’s no Wifi here, although phone signal and 3G work fine. Two electric outlets powered by a solar panel ensure charging ability – but it seems a shame to abuse it. Put away your laptops and tablets. In this breathtaking landscape where your gaze is only interrupted by the line of Auvergne volcanoes, you quickly learn to forget technology stress. And that becomes addictive.

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…