What to see in France

Volcanoes of Auvergne, camping in eruption

Volcan du Puy Mary en Auvergne
Volcan du Puy Mary en Auvergne


Born from the alignment of these geological structures created by the rise and then eruption of magma on the surface of the earth's crust, the Auvergne volcanoes stretch from the Puys chain in the Puy-de-Dôme to the northern Aubrac plateau in the south of the Massif Central. Created in 1977, the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park covers the volcanic massifs and plateaus of the Auvergne. A grandiose natural heritage, breathtaking landscapes and a territory appreciated by tourists and campers who will find a wide range of accommodation on site.

Camping around the volcanoes

A large number of campsites will be happy to welcome you, sometimes very close to the Auvergne volcanoes. The campsite remains the perfect accommodation to enjoy the exploration of the volcanoes and will please the children thanks to the animations and services proposed. Three campsites have been selected for you: L'Ombrage *** campsite in Saint-Pierre-Colamine is located at the entrance to the Parc des Volcans d'Auvergne and has a heated swimming pool. Le Pré Bas campsite ***** in Chambon-sur-Lac, on the banks of Lake Chambon, is also located at the foot of the Auvergne volcanoes and has a magnificent swimming pool. At the foot of the Sancy massif, the Europe campsite **** in Murol has a swimming pool with slides and a paddling pool, a children's club, a tennis court, a basketball court, a football pitch...

Which volcanoes are worth visiting?

A protected site with the Grand Site de France label since 2012, Puy Mary is a representative summit of the Cantal mountains, nestled in the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne. To reach it, 1783 metres high, you have to go through the Pas de Peyrol pass, the highest in the Massif Central. From June to October, the Maison du Site teaches you about the formation of volcanoes on video and through a show that you can watch before or after the climb. A 30-minute climb (with a good difference in altitude) takes you to an orientation table and above all allows you to admire the breathtaking panorama of its stony puys, plateaux and valleys, sometimes even as far as Mont Blanc. Once at the top, it is possible to practice activities such as mountain biking or paragliding and donkey rides for the youngest.

Located in the Monts Dore massif and in the Puy-de-Dôme department, the Puy du Sancy is the highest volcano in mainland France. At an altitude of 1886 metres, it is accessible by cable car during the summer and by a path made up of 864 steps for the more athletic... During the winter, it puts on its mountain clothes and its snowy slopes are a delight for lovers of snow sports! The puy du Sancy is in fact a slow formation of several volcanoes, 5 million years old. It therefore forms a superb and diverse landscape made up of pointed peaks, other round peaks and large plains, all in a variety of rock corresponding to the age of each eruption.

The Cantal lead is the second highest summit in the Massif Central after the puy du Sancy. Classified Natura 2000, the site is accessible to mountain bikes and paragliders. There is an important fauna and flora here which will delight nature lovers. The ascent is made by cable car from the Lioran station but also on foot for the last few metres to the summit. Once at the top, an exceptional landscape of the Forez mountains, the Dore mountains, the Puys chain and the Cantal mountains, the Aubrac... will not make you regret the efforts made to reach the crest.

The highest volcano in the Puys chain, the Puy de Dôme, which has been dormant for 12,000 years, is classified as a Grand Site de France and is located next to the town of Clermont-Ferrand. It can be reached on foot or by cogwheel train. Very popular with hang-gliding and paragliding enthusiasts, its 1,465-metre-high summit allows us to admire, in good weather, the Limagne and Forez mountains, the Dore mountains and the Puys chain, a majestic panorama that comes as a reward for the effort made.

Don't hesitate to visit the scientific theme park Vulcania, located in the heart of the Chaîne des Puys.


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