Puy-de-Dôme Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to visit, food and drink scene, and more with our ultimate travel guide to Puy-de-Dôme in Auvergne, France.

Introduction to Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme is a region in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious gastronomy. The region is most famous for the imposing Puy-de-Dôme volcanic peak, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Tourists from all over the world visit this region to explore its unadulterated natural beauty and soak in its rich cultural heritage.

List of Places to Visit in Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme boasts of numerous places to visit, from iconic cultural landmarks to scenic natural landscapes. Here are some of the must-see places in Puy-de-Dôme:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Clermont-Ferrand: This bustling medieval city is a mix of old and new France, featuring both historical and modern architecture. Must-see attractions include the Gothic Notre-Dame du Port Basilica, the Place de Jaude square, and the Puy de Dôme Observatory.

  • MuPop: This modern museum is dedicated to popular music, with interactive exhibits and memorabilia from French and international artists.

  • Vulcania: This science and technology-based theme park showcasing the Europen continent’s volcanic landscapes and history is perfect for a family day out.

Natural Attractions of Puy-de-Dôme: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Puy-de-Dôme: A 1465 meter volcanic peak that offers a panoramic view of the entire region. The summit can be reached via a 5-km hiking trail, cable car, or train.

  • Puy de Sancy: The highest peak in the Massif Central Range, located just south of Clermont-Ferrand. It is ideal for hiking, skiing, and a range of other outdoor activities.

  • Chaîne des Puys: This chain of over 80 volcanic peaks is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offering unparalleled views of the scenic Auvergne region.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Puy-de-Dôme

Hiking and biking are two of the most popular activities in Puy-de-Dôme. The region features a diverse range of trails for different skill levels, from easy to challenging. Some of the popular hiking and biking routes in Puy-de-Dôme include:

  • GR30: This trail spans across the entire Auvergne region, passing through some of the region’s most scenic natural landscapes.

  • Montpeyroux to Roche de Sauterre: A moderately difficult hiking trail that offers hikers a blend of stunning natural beauty and cultural landmarks.

  • The Puy-de-Dôme Grand Site: A network of trails that takes hikers through the region’s iconic volcanic landscapes.

Best Things to Do in Puy-de-Dôme: Activities and Tours

Apart from hiking and biking, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Puy-de-Dôme:

  • Cycling tours: Take a bike tour through the scenic Puy-de-Dôme region, with bespoke options ranging from the relaxed countryside to the challenging mountain climbs.

  • Balloon rides over Auvergne: Take a hot air balloon ride for a unique perspective of Puy-de-Dôme’s natural landscapes.

  • Wine tasting tours: Puy-de-Dôme is renowned for its wine and cider, and a tour of the region’s vineyards is essential for wine lovers.

Week-Long Itinerary for Puy-de-Dôme

If you’re planning a week-long trip to Puy-de-Dôme, here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip:

Day Activities
Day 1 Explore Clermont-Ferrand, visit Notre-Dame du Port Basilica, and Place de Jaude square
Day 2 Hike up to Puy-de-Dôme summit via cable car and train ride
Day 3 Visit the MuPop museum and take a cycle tour of the region
Day 4 Take a wine tasting tour and visit historical landmarks in Riom
Day 5 Visit the Chaîne des Puys and its surrounding volcanoes
Day 6 Relax at the La Cassière thermal spa in Châtel-Guyon
Day 7 Visit the historic village of Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise and hike up to Puy de Sancy

Food and Drink Scene of Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme’s food and drink scene is as rich as its natural landscapes. With its vineyards, orchards, and local markets, Puy-de-Dôme’s gastronomy features a blend of French and regional cuisine. Here are some of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Aligot: A creamy mixture of mashed potatoes, cheese, and garlic, usually served with sausages or meat.

  • Potée auvergnate: A hearty stew made with pork belly, sausages, and vegetables.

  • Tartes aux myrtilles (blueberry tart): A sweet dessert made with fresh blueberries and flaky pastry.

Local Beverages

  • Cider: Made from locally grown apples and pears, Puy-de-Dôme’s ciders are popular among locals and tourists alike.

  • Auvergne Wines: Puy-de-Dôme has a long history of wine-making, with varieties such as Chardonnay and Gamay being popular choices.

Where to Stay in Puy-de-Dôme: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Puy-de-Dôme offers a variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are a few places to stay in Puy-de-Dôme:

  • Les Saisons: A luxury hotel located in the heart of Clermont-Ferrand.

  • Le Relais des Puys: A contemporary hotel located in nearby Orcines, offering panoramic views of Puy-de-Dôme’s volcanic landscapes.

  • Le Beau Cottage: A budget-friendly guesthouse located in Chamalières, offering easy access to the region’s hiking and biking trails.

What to Buy in Puy-de-Dôme: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

From locally produced wines and cheeses to handmade crafts, Puy-de-Dôme offers a range of unique souvenirs and local products. Here are some ideas for what to buy in Puy-de-Dôme:

  • Local wines and ciders: Puy-de-Dôme’s wines and ciders are renowned for their unique flavor and are perfect for bringing home as a souvenir.

  • Artisanal crafts: The region boasts a range of artisans who produce handmade crafts such as pottery, glasswork, and textiles.

Local Culture and Customs of Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme’s culture is deeply rooted in its agricultural history and natural beauty, with traditions dating back centuries. The region’s customs and traditions are kept alive through its festivals, fairs, and music.

Best Time to Visit Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme can be visited year-round, with each season offering a unique experience. Summer is the busiest season, with visitors coming for outdoor activities and festivals. Winter is popular for skiing and winter sports. Spring and fall offer quieter holidays with cooler temperatures.

Do’s and Don’ts of Puy-de-Dôme


  • Learn a few French phrases before traveling to Puy-de-Dôme.

  • Try the local cuisine and wine.

  • Take photos of the breathtaking natural landscapes.


  • Smoke indoors, as this is forbidden in public places.

  • Forget to pack a good pair of hiking boots.

Safety and Health

Safety in Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme is a safe region to visit, but as with any trip, visitors are advised to take precautions. Visitors should avoid leaving valuables unattended and take care when hiking or engaging in other outdoor activities.

Health in Puy-de-Dôme

France has an excellent healthcare system, making it easy for visitors to access medical care if needed. Visitors are advised to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses.

Getting to Puy-de-Dôme: Transportation Options and Logistics

Puy-de-Dôme is easily accessible by both air and road. Here are some options for getting to Puy-de-Dôme:

Airports Near Puy-de-Dôme

Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne Airport is the main airport serving Puy-de-Dôme, with flights from major European cities such as Paris, London, and Madrid.

Bus Stations Near Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme is well connected to French cities by bus, with regular bus services to and from Clermont-Ferrand.

Other Options

Driving is another convenient way to explore Puy-de-Dôme, with good roads and highways connecting the region to other French cities.

How to Get Around in Puy-de-Dôme

Puy-de-Dôme is an ideal destination for self-driving, with rental cars readily available at the airport and in major cities. Alternatively, visitors can take public transport such as buses, trams, and trains.

Where to Go Next from Puy-de-Dôme: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Puy-de-Dôme’s location makes it an ideal starting point for exploring other regions in France. Here are some popular nearby destinations:

  • Lyon: France’s second-largest city, with historic landmarks and a renowned food scene.

  • Burgundy: Famous for its vineyards and historic towns such as Dijon.

  • Annecy: A charming town located in the French Alps, well-known for its mountain scenery and water activities.


Puy-de-Dôme is a region that has something for everyone, from its scenic natural landscapes to its rich cultural heritage. With its unique blend of French and regional cuisine, numerous outdoor activities, and historical landmarks, Puy-de-Dôme is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a truly unique French experience.