Puy Mary, the most popular
A classified “Grand Site de France”, Puy Mary is one of the most visited sites in Auvergne. Located in the south of the volcanic natural park of Auvergne, this iconic pyramid rises 1,787 metres above sea level. From its peak it offers exceptional views over the mountains of Cantal, the dome of Puy Griou and the Plomb du Cantal, mute witnesses to the eruptions which formed the widest volcano in Europe, the stratovolcano of Cantal.
Le Puy Mary
Puy de Dôme, the most mythical
The Puy de Dôme is nicknamed the Giant of the Domes, it’s the highest volcano in the Puys chain and is the symbol of Auvergne. Walk to the summit or ride the electric cog train that winds up to the top in just 15 minutes. From here, you’ll have a birds eye view over the regional natural park and the Auvergne volcanoes with the chain of Puys, the Dore mountains and the mountains of Cantal. On a fine day you can see as far as the city of Clermont-Ferrand, and beyond, the mountains of Forez.
Puy de Dôme
Puy de Sancy, the highest
At 1,885 metres, Puy de Sancy is the highest point of the Massif Central and the tallest volcano in metropolitan France. Its alpine crest, steep slopes and many jagged ridges contrast with the other peaks of the Massif Central. After a dizzying cable car ride carrying you more than 450 metres in four minutes, continue the 20 minute climb to the apex on foot via a wooden staircase.
Puy de Sancy
Puy du Pariou, the most famous
This tiny 8,000-year-old volcano is legendary among the Auvergne volcanoes as its characteristic silhouette reflects the volcanic activity of the region. Close to the Puy de Dome, Puy du Pariou is the star of commercials for the famous water company Volvic. Reaching 1,290 metres above sea level, this volcano has two hiking trails to the top. You can even descend into its centre to explore the bottom of the crater.
Puy du Pariou
Puys de la Vache and de Lassolas, the most exotic
Twin volcanoes, born from the same eruption share key characteristics: their stony slopes are an indication that their craters are not closed. The red earth of these volcanoes is Mars-like and so exotic. On foot, a tour of Puy de la Vache takes about 1h30 (3 km), and Puy de Lassolas takes about 2h30 (5 km). Are you up for a hike on Mars?
Puy de Lassolas
Plomb du Cantal, the most panoramic
The highest peak of the Cantal Mountains, Plomb du Cantal is the second highest peak of the Massif Central. 1,885 metres above sea level, it forms the ridge line between the valleys of Cère, Alagnon and Brezons: from its summit there are fantastic 360° views over the surrounding area. From the resort of Lioran take a ten minute cable car ride and finish with a ten minute walk, or if you’re feeling more active, it’s a two hour hike to the top from Lioran or 1h30 from Prat-de-Bouc.
Plomb du Cantal
Signal du Luquet
The highest point of the Cézallier massif, at 1,551 metres, the Signal du Luquet offers a spectacular panorama over Cantal, the Sancy massif and the Livradois mountains. Rising from ancient lava lakes formed 5 million years ago, it’s not unlike the Cézallier stratovolcano. Below is the Cirque d'Artout, one of the most beautiful glacial valleys of the Massif Central.
Signal du Luquet