Walks in Auvergne - Puy Mary is your chance to discover Europe’s largest volcano, thankfully long dormant. In a nutshell, it’s a veritable hikers’ paradise of broad ridges, flat-bottomed valleys, upland moors and domes; and by the end of your stay, you’ll know each and every peak (or puy) by name, and share the same fondness for each as you do for former school friends in old school photographs.
Walks in Auvergne - Puy Mary brings you a panorama of scenic and lush, verdant moorland, interspersed with conical puy-tops that please the eye and challenge the foot. The landscape is unspoiled; so much so that no pylon or overhead power cables are to be seen – bar those of the cable car. You get to see and walk the essential heights, whilst our meticulous planning enables you personalise two of the three days hiking to suit your requirements.
Measuring more than 40 miles/60 kms in diameter, the volcano would have reached about 9000 feet/3000ms altitude. Subsequent glacial erosion created a classic upland region, with its highest puy being Plomb du Cantal at 6084 feet/1855 metres. If the world were created in seven days, an eighth was required to fashion the enchanting summits, ridges and valleys of the Cantal Massif in southern Auvergne.
Tour SummaryArrival day. Collection from Murat and transfer to Lioran (walkers’ inn or chambre d’hote)
Day 1: Walk to Thiézac via Plomb du Cantal.
Full option, 15 miles-22.5 kms, with 750 m altitude gain of & very gradual 1000 m descent.
Shorter option, 10.5 miles-16 kms, and avoids an ascent (2* hotel)
Day 2: Walk to Mandailles.
8. miles-11.5 kms, with 750 m altitude gain & 600 m descent (1* hotel)
Day 3: Circular walk from/to Mandailles via Puy Mary.
Full option, 12 miles-18 kms, with 980 m altitude gain of & 1190 m descent.
Shorter option, 9.5 miles-14 kms, and avoids 250 ms of ascent (1* hotel)
Departure day. Transfer to Murat
Cantal with aPlomb
You are collected from Murat station and taken to your welcoming overnight chambre d’hote or walkers’ inn not far from the foot of Plomb du Cantal. The next morning you can either take your time scaling Le Plomb (two to two and a half-hours walking) or buy a ticket for the ‘telepherique’ and ride the cable car to the top. Either option provides spectacular vistas, and the chance to enjoy the 360 degree panorama that awaits and an easterly vantage point over the volcanic upland. Then you commence the delightful descent along a Roman trail that follows a fabulous ridge and wide upland moorland before arriving in the charming village of Thiézac and dinner in a comfortable hotel.
Road to Mandailles
Suitably refreshed and well-nourished, your second day sees you climbing out of the the Cère valley along the splendid Chemin de Croix en route to your next convivial overnight stop at a walkers’ tavern in Mandailles, nestled in the Jordan valley to the north west. In between you walk some fine countryside, and a narrow ridge, that gives a southerly vantage point over the grandure that is Puy Griou and Puy Mary and Puy de Peyre Arse.
Your last day’s hiking can be adjusted length-wise to suit. Whichever option you take, you will marvel in the picturesque and staged ascent to one of France’s hiking ‘musts’, Puy Mary. You gain access via the much vaunted Bréche de Rolland and complete the Heavenly trilogy by follow the ridge over Puy Chavaroche tat leads you back down to the convivial atmosphere of your walkers’ inn for a second night.
Return to Home: walking holidays France