What to see in France

The Puy de Dôme, go camping in the middle of the Auvergne volcanoes

Vue aérienne du Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne
Vue aérienne du Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne

The Puy de Dôme is a department of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in central France. It owes its name to the dormant volcano of the Chaîne des Puys, which belongs to the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne, and which constitutes, among other things, the richness of this place of exceptional natural heritage. Added to this, the diversity of its spaces as well as its five nature reserves... These are all ingredients that make it an exceptional place for campers, lovers of nature and grandiose landscapes.

Campsites in Puy de Dôme

There is nothing better than camping accommodation to discover the immense natural diversity of Puy-de-Dôme. We invite you to visit the campsite Le Panoramique**** located in the heart of the Sancy park, at an altitude of 1000 metres, and offering a magnificent view of the Monts Dore massif. Chalets, mobile homes or Coco Sweet are available for rent for your comfort. Open in summer and winter to take advantage of the activities offered by the mountains in all seasons. You will also benefit from a heated swimming pool in summer and a snack bar. Camping de Tauves **** is located in Tauves, at the foot of the Sancy massif, in a park with trees and flowers. It is a family establishment where you can breathe the fresh air while enjoying the activities of the place as well as the heated swimming pool. Finally, the campsite Le Clos Auroy**** is located in the village of Orcet, near Clermont-Ferrand and about twenty kilometres from the Parc des Volcans to discover the Puy de Dôme and the Sancy massif. It has a water park, an outdoor swimming pool heated in low season, a slide, a paddling pool and a jacuzzi.

Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Park

You can walk around 400,000 hectares, so there's plenty to do! And even if you stay for several weeks, you won't risk doing the same hike twice. It is indeed the most important Regional Natural Park in mainland France as well as the largest volcanic complex in Europe and the diversity of its landscapes is without doubt its particularity.

The Parc Régional des Volcans is five natural regions with the Monts Dôme and the famous Chaîne des Puys (an alignment of 80 young volcanoes). The Monts Dore with the famous puy de Sancy and several glacial cirques. The Cézallier, a volcanic massif forming high altitude plateaus. The Monts du Cantal, with its deep glacial valleys and high plateaus. And finally the Artense, a granite plateau characterised by wet and particularly vegetated areas, forests and rocky meadows.

The Parc des Volcans also has four nature reserves, including the Vallée de Chaudefour, which is one of the three glacier valleys of the Massif du Sancy. It is one of the most beautiful valleys in the trough, with its steep rocks, needles and walls.

The great biological wealth of the park is due to the immense geological diversity and the mid-mountain climate, the perfect recipe for an extremely varied natural landscape, made up of high altitude meadows and lawns, peat bogs and natural lakes, forests, cliffs and rocks. As you can see, it is an ideal site for hikers of all levels and ages. It is so vast and varied that there is something for everyone!image

Aerial view of the Puy de Dôme volcano in Auvergne
Aerial view of the Puy de Dôme volcano in Auvergne© Adobe stock


Located in the heart of the Chaîne des Puys and in a listed site, the Vulcania park created strong opposition from nature conservationists at the time of its construction... In the end, the centre is partly buried, so it is discreet and not very visible to suit everyone. Today, with more than 6 million visitors, the animation park allows visitors to learn and understand the workings of volcanoes and, more broadly, of the entire earth. Here, young and old alike can meet up with informative attractions and workshops.

Beyond the volcanoes, Vulcania informs the whole family about the workings of our earth and raises awareness of natural phenomena, harmony and the vulnerability of our planet thanks to interactive activities, thrilling shows and screen projections.

Discover the eruption of Mount St. Helens through real images of this American volcano that woke up in 1980 after 123 years, as if you were there. You'll be taken on a journey through a molten lava flow that destroys everything in its path. You will also delve into the bowels of the earth and watch a family demonstration of an erupting volcano and the unleashing of the forces of nature with La Terre en Colère. Finally, you will experience the awakening of the Auvergne volcanoes... an eventful experience!

Vulcania also offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Chaîne des Puys from a balloon as well as an exhibition of relief photos explaining the application of the Chaîne des Puys and the Limagne Fault to the Unesco World Heritage. There are more than thirty campsites in the vicinity of Vulcania.

The Vulcania park in the Puy de Dôme in Auvergne
The Vulcania park in the Puy de Dôme in Auvergne© Adobe Stock

Peaceful holidays at Lake Chambon

Created 8000 years ago with the eruption of the Tartaret volcano, Lake Chambon is a dam lake, which has obtained the Blue Flag label. It is located in the heart of the Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne in the middle of a green landscape. An exceptional area to enjoy the beach in the mountains. It is also a peaceful lake, for those who like to rest or take a quiet swim, but it also allows a large number of more or less sporting activities such as fishing, pedal boats, canoeing, kayaking or windsurfing. In the summer you can enjoy two beaches, the Murol beach and the Chambon beach, as the lake has the particularity of belonging to the two communes Chambon sur Lac and Murol. To enjoy the beach without stress, you should know that swimming is supervised on both beaches between 29 June and 29 August. Picnic tables, toilets, a water point and even a corner for changing babies are available, as well as a car park nearby and access for pushchairs... You will have no more excuses not to enjoy the place! For sportsmen, the Voie Verte (Green Way) allows you to go around the Chambon lake in about an hour, this hike is also possible by bike.


To make the most of Lake Chambon, we have selected a few campsites for you.

In the commune of Murol, we offer six campsites including La Ribeyre***** located in the heart of the Parc Naturel des Volcans and on the AOC cheese route. The campsite has the largest water park in the Auvergne with slides, a river with currents, a jacuzzi and a paddling pool, as well as daytime entertainment and themed evenings during the summer. Situated 4 kilometres away, you can enjoy the Chambon lake as much as you like.

Still in the commune of Murol and in the heart of the Sancy massif, L'Europe campsite**** is also very close to the Chambon lake (15 minutes on foot). It offers mobile-home rentals, large pitches, a 28° pool with slide and paddling pool, as well as a children's club and sports activities.

Camping Le Pré Bas***** is located less than 2 kilometres from the lake. It offers peace and quiet on the banks of Lake Chambon and at the foot of the volcanoes, as well as a whole host of activities for enthusiasts. Located at an altitude of 870 metres, it allows everyone to take a deep breath of air. The establishment also has heated pools, an indoor swimming pool and a water slide.

Sunset on the Chambon lake in the Puy de Dôme in Auvergne
Sunset on the Chambon lake in the Puy de Dôme in Auvergne© Adobe Stock


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