Chaine des puys Overview

Three hours from the Roman city of Lyon, you’ll be transported to a landscape like no other. 

France’s Chaîne des Puys’ is a beautiful landscape filled with cone-shaped volcanic hills and 50 shades of green as far and the eye can see. Here’s your guide on the whys’, whats’, and hows’ to help plan your trip!

Puy du dome

Why Visit Chaîne des Puys?

Chaîne des Puys truly embodies the spirit of the great outdoors’! Glittering lakes and lush forests amid cinder cones, lava domes and craters sum up the idyllic scenes here, painting a picture of a nature enthusiast’s paradise.

A world away from the hustle and bustle of Paris, and a rugged treasure-trove totally distinct from the typical French countryside of Provence, a visit here will truly open your eyes to opportunities of adventure at every turn.

But don’t just take our word for it! The pearl of the Massif Central was unveiled as one of UNESCO’s newest heritage sites in 2018!

Kayaking chaine des puys

What To Do In Chaîne des Puys

Take on Puy de Dôme! The highest amid a range of 80 ancient volcanos – don’t worry, they’ve been dormant for over 6,000 years – it peaks at 1.465m to offer jaw-dropping vistas across the entire Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d’Auvergne. You can even see across to Mont Blanc on a clear day!

Hike, cycle or walk a variety of trails which extend beyond Chaîne des Puys into the wider national park at Auvergne. Here, visitors can choose to go kayaking or swimming in the various lakes, or horseback riding, paragliding and even flying in hot air balloons across the countryside. And for when the snow drops, there’s plenty of skiing and snowshoeing opportunities.

The wider region of Auvergne is also great for cultural travellers looking to explore the rich Romanesque heritage of the region. There are various of churches sprinkled across the scenic villages and hamlet’s in area, with a staggering 37 stained-glass windows to see in the commune of Brioude alone!

The most famous church to explore for its artwork is Notre Dame des Miracles Basilica in Mauriac. It’s decorated with the 12 signs of the zodiac, images depicting the ascension of Christ, and even houses a mystic statue which miraculously unchained the shackles of two local men who had been held in the church as prisoners during a Spanish invasion.


How to Get To Chaîne des Puys

Clermont-Ferrand is the gateway to Chaîne des Puys. The capital of the Auvergne region, it’s a two-hour drive from the gastronomic mecca, Lyon. 

Keen to keep the holiday going? Plan your trip to Lyon and its surrounding areas with our travel guides.

Choice Hotels in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes