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Admire the incredible views from the summit of the Puy de Dôme, part of the Chaîne des Puys, a mountain chain comprising no less than 80 volcanoes which stretch from Clermont-Ferrand towards the south-west. This area is Europe’s largest regional natural park: the Parc des Volcans d’Auvergne. France alone boasts 47 such parks.
Much of the surroundings and scenery in Auvergne are linked to volcanoes, such as the region’s caldera lakes and “perched” villages like Le Puy-en-Velay.
Feed your curiosity with a visit to Vulcania or Volcan de Lemptégy, two theme parks close to one another and just a 20-minute drive from Clermont-Ferrand. Vulcania offers a fun yet “scientific” exploration of volcanic activity in Auvergne and around the world, while Volcan de Lemptégy gives you a chance to “take a stroll in a volcano”!
To the north, the mountain chain opens up with the Puy de Dôme (1,465 m) and to the south, in the Cantal department, you’ll find the Puy Mary (1,758 m) and the remnants of what was once Europe’s largest volcano. This is where most of Auvergne’s volcanoes and mountains are situated. Together it has formed a natural landscape that is unmatched in beauty.
Another area of interest is the Puy de Sancy (1,885 m). Surrounding this highest point in the region and in the whole of the Massif Central (a geographic area in the centre of France that represents 1/6 of the country’s total surface), you will find peaceful villages and lakes of unrivalled purity. And those looking for tranquillity and unique locations simply cannot miss the Plateau du Cézallier and Artense. A must for lovers of nature unspoilt!