Puy de Dome travel guide

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Visit Puy de Dome (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)

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Puy-de-Dome is found just west of Clermont-Ferrand, in the Orcines commune and in the department of the same name, and towards the north of the Chaine-des-Puys chain of volcanoes in the Parc des Volcans.

An extraordinary site, Puy-de-Dome is an extinct volcano that has been listed as one of the 'Grand Sites of France'.

Exploring the Puy-de-Dome

The Puy-de-Dome rises to 1464 metres above sea level, significantly higher than the other peaks in the immediate area, and therefore has views in all directions across mountains and volcanoes for as far as the eye can see.

approach road to the volcano

Reaching the summit of Puy-de-Dome

There are two ways to reach the top of Puy-de-Dome:

1) Park at the Col de Ceyssat and walk up the winding path, allow at least an hour and lots of water if its hot. There is a level change of about 350 metres and although the path isn't very steep it is consistently uphill! There is also a six kilometres path to the summit from the visitor centre that will take about 1 1/2 hours.

2) Take the train that climbs the mountain from the visitor centre and takes about 15 minutes to reach the summit.

Cars are not allowed to drive up the mountain, and cycles are not allowed on the road that climbs the hill except when special events are organised.


The summit of Puy-de-Dome

Whichever way you reach the top of the Puy-de-Dome, there is then a footpath that follows around the top of the hill so you can enjoy the views in all directions. Close to the summit is an unexpected site, the remains of a Roman Temple called the 'Temple of Mercury'. They chose a great location for it, but the challenge of getting the temple built must have been substantial!

Unfortunately there is also now a large observatory and the crumbling ruins of a 19th century building on top of the hill, but these matter less than you would think because your eyes are always turned away from the hill to look at the view, not at the eyesore behind your back!

The weather and time of year of your visit will make a big impact on what you see - there was snow on the ground at the end of May when we visited Puy-de-Dome, and the surrounding forests were mostly not yet in leaf. To best appreciate the views wait for a very clear day if possible.

Temple of Mercury on the Puy-de-Dome

There are also various visitor facilities such as a cafe at the top of the Puy-de-Dome.

Attractions nearby

The natural environment is the main highlight in the Parc des Volcans and around Puy-de-Dome but you still have the opportunity to visit various towns and villages. In particular there is a very distinctive style of religious architecture as you can see in the church and basilica of Clermont-Ferrand, the church at Orcival and the Abbey at Mozac.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Puy-de-Dome guide and the Auvergne guide.

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Map of Puy de Dome and places nearby


Visit near Puy de Dome with France This Way reviews



The Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption, in sombre black lava stone, dominates the historic centre of Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont-Ferrand guide
Clermont-Ferrand basilica

Clermont-Ferrand basilica

The basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Port in Clermont-Ferrand is one of the most important romanesque churches in the Auvergne

Clermont-Ferrand basilica guide


One of the most famous bottled waters in the world is from Volvic, which is also a pleasant town in the 'Volcano' region of the Auvergne

Volvic guide


Orcival is home to one of the most important roman style churches in Auvergne and has several natural scenic highlights nearby

Orcival guide


The interesting Abbey of Saint-Pierre in Mozac combines early roman elements and later gothic elements

Mozac guide


With ancient narrow streets, an imposing church and its position on the side of a steep valley Saint-Saturnin is among our favourite Auvergne villages

Saint-Saturnin guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Puy-de-Dome

Address: Orcines, Royat, Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, 63870, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.7723, longitude 2.9658

Plan your visit to Puy de Dome, Puy-de-Dome

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Eglise de Saint Léger (Royat): religious monument (7 km)
  • Clermont-Ferrand: secteur sauvegarde (9 km)
  • Clermont-Ferrand église Notre-Dame-du-Port (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (10 km)
  • Parc du château de Blanzat: remarkable garden (11 km)
  • Jardins du château d'Opme: remarkable garden (11 km)
  • Cathédrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Clermont-ferrand): religious monument (12 km)
  • Eglise de Notre Dame (Orcival): religious monument (12 km)
  • Jardins du château de la Batisse: remarkable garden (13 km)
  • Jardins de Cordès: remarkable garden (14 km)
  • Mozac: town of art and history (14 km)
  • Marsat: town of art and history (14 km)
  • Eglise Notre Dame (Saint-Saturnin): religious monument (16 km)

The French version of this page is at Puy de Dome (Francais)