Auvergne is one of the most beautiful regions of France, not well known among foreign tourists. This year I decided to spend the 14th of July over there, and climb the picturesque summit of Massif Central – Puy Pariou (1209 m).
I’ ve already visited Auvergne, and more particularly Le Mont Dore at least 6 times. But this time I decided to stop in Clermont Ferrand. Above all that from Paris you can get there easily and at a low price thanks to BlaBlaCar (65€ A/R). On Friday night the city center (Place de Jaude) was full of people. It was a good opportunity to chill out and party. And on Saturday morning, we were ready for some walking on the volcanoes of Auvergne.
Our starting point was Panoramique des Dômes, accessible from the center of Clermont-Ferrand by a shuttle at 1.50€ (see here). The goal was to reach the summit of Puy Pariou. The first stage led us through a huge forest. The crowns of the trees had protected us well from the sun. 2nd part of the road were fields and meadows with cows and sheep. And then the last route led us by wooden stairs to the top. At the place, we could admire the breathtaking landscapes with a breathtaking view of the crater 80 m deep where normally we can climb down.
Those huge green fields have charged all our batteries. We were full of energy but due to lack of time, we decided to take the train to Puy de Dôme. We were totally tempted by parachutists and wanted to see them up close. The summit of Puy de Dôme, offered us the view on exceptional and surely unforgettable panoramas. To enjoy the last moments in the nature we walked down the volcano.
The return to Paris was scheduled for Sunday. But before leaving, we went to explore part of the Chemin des Crêtes. From Clermont-Ferrand, we walked to its starting point in Royat. This trail is not high but it is tiring because of the very irregular route. The Chemin des Crêtes leads through the forest, the fields, and the town. I won’t even tell you how many times we got lost despite the fact that we were well equipped in maps and GPS.
It wasn’t my first time exploring Auvergne, but once again, I let myself be enchanted by its beautiful landscapes. If you need to take a break and want to move, discover La chaîne des Puys. You won’t regret it!