The Puy de Dôme - a lunar landscape of craters and cones
Puy de Dôme hit the headlines on 12 July 1964 when its ascent was the scene of an epic cycling duel between Poulidor and Anquetil during the Tour de France of that year. Incidentally, Poulidor won the climb and finished the stage in 3rd place behind Bahamontes and Jimenez.
A landmark site of the department, symbol of Auvergne and its wide open spaces, the Puy de Dôme is at the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne, between the Plaine de Limagne and the Plateau de Combrailles. It is 1,465m high and its landscape is best described as lunar with golden brown or green craters and cones, followed by large stretches of wild moorland peppered with forests. It offers a unique 360° panorama of the 80 volcanoes which make up the Chaîne des Puys, the finest volcanic formation in Europe.
At the top of Puy de Dôme
The Temple of Mercury, a mountain temple of Roman Gaul
At the foot of the emblematic transmission mast is a wonderful archaeological surprise offering a window on the past. Dating from the 2nd century A. D., the Temple of Mercury is the largest mountain temple of Roman Gaul ! Principally dedicated to Mercury, the large, terraced sanctuary was a major centre of pilgrimage and its construction at the top of the Puy de Dôme was no mere accident.
Benefitting from an ideal viewpoint over the capital city of Augustonemetum – today Clermont-Ferrand – the sanctuary is open to all. For many years it has been the object of a restoration project and is a wonderful additional asset for the Grand Site de France. Finally, if you are feeling brave, you can fly over the huge Dôme on a paraglider : a truly thrilling experience !
Discover Puy de Dôme with Gites de France Puy de Dôme : Chaîne des Puys, Vulcania Theme Park"