Bet you didn’t know there were volcanoes in France! I didn’t realize either until I travelled eastward through the Dordogne which is a beautiful region in the southwest of France and known for its prehistoric caves (ie. Les Eyzies de Tayac), medieval towns and villages (Sarlat and La Roque-Gageac), numerous outdoor activities, and fois gras.
I arrived in Clermont Ferrand, which is in the Auvergne region. It is also the headquarters for the Michelin tire company. The town is surrounded by a chain of volcanoes, Chaine des Puys with the most famous dormant volcano named Puy de Dome. After checking into my hotel, I headed off about 10 kilometers to the base of the volcano and paid about 10 Euros to take the train to the top. You can hike up if you want to but the train is a nice way to go.
So, one would have expected the weather to be nice in September. It was nice at the base of the volcano; however, when we got to the top, it was incredibly windy. I don’t know if it’s always windy, but I was freezing. I was only wearing shorts and a light jacket. I swear it was 0 degrees…..in September! All the other tourists were bundled up and I’m sure they looked at me with shock. Fortunately, there was a café and I got a hot chocolate.
It was worth the trip because the views are wonderful and you can see many of the volcanoes on the horizon. You can also see Clermont-Ferrant in the distance.
If you think volcanoes in France are unique, be sure to check out the other unique experiences I’ve had or encountered: Top 100 Experiences In France.