In the upper Dordogne valley, the Auvergne VolcanSancy Tourist Office offers you a gold panning session to put you in the shoes of a gold digger for an afternoon.

Burande gold panning

Gold panning in Auvergne: a whole story

Charlie Chaplin… When you think of gold panning in Auvergne, you probably have this first image in mind: that of a famous figure from silent cinema and an excellent dramatic comedy: The Gold Rush. Far from the American West, in the bed of some French rivers, minerals and gold flakes slumber. They are concentrated in the "placers", in other words gravel beaches. In Auvergne, the upper valley of the Dordogne has been home to gold deposits since Antiquity, as evidenced by distant writings. The miners were already digging the ground in search of gold nuggets. To preserve operations in the natural environment, gold panning has been a practice regulated by the mining code since the 19th century. Only traditional tools are accepted for leisure.

Gold panning in Auvergne

Gold panning: an ecological vocation

Better known under the name of "gold digger", the profession of gold washer has been a vocation since the dawn of time. More than an ecological adventure, it's an environmentally friendly gold hunt. It is certainly for this reason that gold panning is once again becoming an attractive profession. Today, this mining technique is costly and the production unprofitable. Despite everything, the gold riches fascinate and delight families looking for an original vacation. What to come home with glitter in your eyes!

Feet in the water of Burande, an animator will introduce you to gold panning. You will have to follow his advice when panning. You can find gold flakes, precious stones and minerals (sapphires, garnets, olivines...).

At the end of the session, the facilitator will have you observe the structure of the minerals you have found using a binocular magnifying glass.

Good to know

  • Gold panning equipment provided.
  • Provide shoes going in the water.
  • Registration required close to reception desks from the Tourist Office of La Tour d'Auvergne, Orcival, Tauves and Center Montagnard Cap Guéry or online. Payment will be made on site with the facilitator.

Practical details

Gold digger in the Burande at Singles

Recommendations for children

Although this activity is suitable for both adults and children, here are some recommendations for children:

  • be at least 7 years old
  • Must be accompanied by an adult (whether or not participating in the activity)
  • provide shoes going in the water


The activity takes place in the town of Singles, at a place called Moulin de Serre. Go to the car park located after the bridge opposite the campsite.

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