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Puy de Dôme volcano

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Puy-de-Dôme

Puy de Dôme volcano - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Puy-de-Dôme
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The 1,465-metre-high Puy de Dôme is the symbol of the département and the highest volcano in the Chaîne des Puys mountain range. Part of the Monts Dôme range in the heart of the Massif Central mountain region, around 15km from the city of Clermont-Ferrand, this high peak is a designated "Great Site of France" and can be reached by foot via a Roman path from Col de Ceyssat pass or by cog railway. At the summit are ruins of a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Mercury, a meteorological observatory and a visitor information centre that includes a room devoted to volcanology. However, this natural site that has been dormant for around 12,000 years is above all worth visiting for its wonderful panoramic view, on a clear day, of the Chaîne des Puys, Monts Dore and Monts du Forez mountains, Clermont-Ferrand and its suburbs, and the Limagne plain. A footpath around the top with several viewpoint indicators is the perfect way for visitors to fully appreciate the beauty of the place.

The Puy de Dôme is also a favourite launching point for paragliding and hang-gliding enthusiasts.

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Puy de Dôme volcano

Above the heights clermontoises, once crossed the edge of the fault that dominates the Limagne, unfolds the panorama of the chain of Puys, a barrier of volcanoes that extends for 80 km. Arranged from north to south, they are one of the favorite destinations in Auvergne. The 80 volcanoes of the volcanos, set on a plateau formed by crystalline rocks form in an amazing alignment, a strange escort to the most famous of them, the Puy de Dome.

Volcanologists say that some prominent volcanoes in this chain could again spit lava and they project their slag. Their revival would be likely but when? Under his meek airs, the Puy de Dome would even be an explosive character, comparable in this to Mount Pelee in Martinique or Mount St. Helens. But for now, these kettles asleep offer a great adventure and discovery field to the delight of hikers, horseback ride enthusiasts and mountain bike enthusiasts.

Different puys reserve, in their way, surprises, highlights and bring vivid sensations of fullness, when, after their ascension, opens the majestic panorama of the whole or part of the reward shaped chain.

Near the inevitable Puy de Dôme, became one of the first sights of France, other puys also worth a visit, such as the Pariou, a favorite with hikers because of a perfect drawing of its crater. Like its close neighbor, Como puy, this volcano has experienced two successive volcanic eruptions that give see beautiful nested craters. Further north, the Puy Pint is one of the rare examples of volcano type Pelean still has its central hand while the Grand Sarcouy (or cauldron) evokes an overturned pot, hence the other name.

South of the Puy de Dôme, the landscape changes and more are covered in beech or coniferous forests. These dense woods, shimmering happens when the fall season, are the territory raspberries and mushrooms to the delight of collectors. However, the peaks are more rare and therefore engage less panoramic perspectives. This is so for puys Mercœur and especially the Cow and Lassolas, however renowned for their égueulés craters where the sides are opened to release the lava flows.

The paths of the chain of Puys park lead us to the discovery of a living museum and scale to meet these slumbering giants where it is not necessarily useful to scale the heights to become familiar with geology local. Here dominates the "cheire" chaotic andesite, lava rocks, basalt and some pieces of lava-like crust.

The chain of Puys, formerly eruptive, effervescent... terrifying, today became serene, open and conducive to the escape.

Antenna of the summit, view of the summit esplanade (© J.E)
Antenna of the summit, view of the summit esplanade (© J.E)
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Panoramic path of the north and west cornices (© J.E)
Panoramic path of the north and west cornices (© J.E)
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Present aspect of the ruins of the temple of Mercury (© J.E)
Present aspect of the ruins of the temple of Mercury (© J.E)
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Clermont-Ferrand, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
Clermont-Ferrand, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
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The Puy de Dome (© Jean Espirat)
The Puy de Dome (© Jean Espirat)
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North view on the Puy Pariou (© J.E)
North view on the Puy Pariou (© J.E)
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North part of the chain of the puys (© Gérard Charbonnel 2010)
North part of the chain of the puys (© Gérard Charbonnel 2010)
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Chain of the puys (© Gérard Charbonnel 2014)
Chain of the puys (© Gérard Charbonnel 2014)
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Blocks of the temple of Mercury, assembled by metal stapling (© J.E)
Blocks of the temple of Mercury, assembled by metal stapling (© J.E)
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Pedestrian access road to the ultimate summit (© J.E)
Pedestrian access road to the ultimate summit (© J.E)
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Clermont-Ferrand, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
Clermont-Ferrand, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
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Esplanade and ultimate summit of the Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
Esplanade and ultimate summit of the Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
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The great Suchet and the Puy de Como, seen from the summit of the Puy-de-Dome (© J.E)
The great Suchet and the Puy de Como, seen from the summit of the Puy-de-Dome (© J.E)
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The great Suchet (on the right) and the puy of Como (© J.E)
The great Suchet (on the right) and the puy of Como (© J.E)
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Le puy Pariou, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
Le puy Pariou, seen from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
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Le Puy-de-Dôme, seen from the train station of the panoramic train (© J.E)
Le Puy-de-Dôme, seen from the train station of the panoramic train (© J.E)
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The panoramic train enters the station (© J.E)
The panoramic train enters the station (© J.E)
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The panoramic train of the Domes (© J.E)
The panoramic train of the Domes (© J.E)
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Panorama nord, from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
Panorama nord, from the summit of Puy-de-Dôme (© J.E)
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Restoration of the temple of Mercury (© J.E)
Restoration of the temple of Mercury (© J.E)
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Top of the Puy-de-Dôme, seen from the train station of the panoramic train (© J.E)
Top of the Puy-de-Dôme, seen from the train station of the panoramic train (© J.E)
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Leisure activities

Last nameActivity typeRateCity
Maiden paraglider flight from the top of Puy-de-Dôme
Sports sensations80 € Orcines
Aeroparapente, paragliding at the top of Puy de Dôme
Sports sensations80 € to 150 € Orcines
Maiden two-seater paraglider flight from the top of Puy de Dôme
Sports sensations80 € Orcines

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