In the heart of Auvergne, the sumptuous landscapes of the Puy-de-Dôme hikes are available to lovers of walking and wild nature. From the famous chain of Puys, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the Forez mountains, to the Dore mountains and its famous Puy de Sancy… The chains of dormant volcanoes draw a territory of great beauty.
Lhe department of Puy-de-Dôme is a French geological and ecological treasure. Hills, domes, volcanoes and granite plateaus rub shoulders with green plains and valleys. The Sancy and the Cézallier are often watered by rain and snow, while a drier but stormy climate reigns over the Limagnes. From this climatic diversity emerges a biodiversity of great richness. Meadows, lawns, woods, high altitude moors, peat bogs and natural lakes welcome an abundant fauna and lush flora. A natural setting awaits lovers of hiking in the Puy de Dôme.
In the Puy-de-Dôme, 3 kilometers of Small Hikes listed in the Departmental Plan of Walking and Hiking Routes, await athletes and families. In a spirit of openness and preservation, the Departmental Council has structured and developed paths. These trails allow visitors to explore the territory in complete safety. The color code of the markings indicates to everyone whether the chosen hike corresponds to their level and their desire for the day. The yellow butterfly symbolizes a family walk "Lea and Tino" lasting 716 minutes to 45 hours. the blue markings correspond to hikes of less than 2 hours. And yellow, to those of 2 to 2 hours. Green indicates a hike of more than 4 hours.
Léa and Tino family walk: The Gergovie plateau
To start with the family, this 3,5 km loop around the Gergovie plateau. In the footsteps of Vercingétorix, you will discover the oppidum. It is the site of the famous Gallic victory against the Roman legions.
Blue classified Puy-de-Dôme hike: The ascension from the Puy de Dome
Departing from Col de Ceyssat, the laces of the Muleteers trail will take you to the summit in less than an hour. This path would have been taken by pilgrims going to the temple of Mercury, god of travelers, merchants and thieves. This large temple was an important place of worship for the Gallo-Romans. Its remains were discovered in 1872, during the construction of the Observatory.
Yellow classified Puy-de-Dôme hike: Round from the Puy de Dome
From the Col de Ceyssat car park, allow a good two hours to complete this hike. You will cover 7,5 kilometers and nearly 400 meters of elevation gain. Throughout your walk, you will progress under a canopy of beech and hazelnut trees, then in pastures. You will contemplate the Puy de Côme, the Grand Suchet and the Petit Suchet, as well as the volcanoes and the Sancy massif.
Green classified Puy-de-Dôme hike: The stonemason's hut, between basalt and granite
Departing from Saint-Babel, this 10-kilometer hike with nearly 300 meters of elevation gain can be completed in less than 4 hours. It will finally lead you between the old volcanoes of the County. You will therefore walk to the crystalline base cut by the Saint-Yvoine horst. Exceptional panoramas await you. After having made this beautiful hike, do not forget to go through the nearby County Forest. It is recognized as one of the richest forest areas in Auvergne. It is also classified “Natura 2000” for its ecological, faunistic and floristic interest.
For great athletes: The domes loop
To end this overview, the loop of the domes is a hiking route over 2 or 3 days. You will then walk through the Chaîne des Puys, along the 49 kilometers of marked paths that cross landscapes and sumptuous panoramas. At the bend of the trails, hikers will discover dragonflies, agrions, butterflies, lichens, mosses, hymenoptera, vipers, and bats. The lucky ones might cross paths with the little tengmalm owl. This mountain owl is only 25 centimeters.