Hiking on extinct volcanoes

Sometimes, we need to get away from work. Living in Clermond-Ferrand, surrounded by exctinct volcanoes, the obvious thing to do is to go for a little hike, right in the "Chaine des Puys", the aligned string of volcanoes that lies just a 15 minutes-drive from Clermont. So, on a cold february sunday morning, I pick up Arnaud, our Android developer, and Issam, our Unity3D mastermind, and off we go for a "refreshing" walk. Yeah, it is winter.

Nice little snowy path on a volcano slope
15 minutes and a few snowy roads later, we are ready to set off in the snow. Snow shoes would be overkill, so good old waterproof trekking shoes are doing the job. First objective is the Grand Sarcouy, and its grotto. It is actually man-made, and was used as a quarry in merovingian times, to build sarcophagus. Nature is not far, but so is history !

Sarcouy grotto

Now is the time to get on the very top of a volcano ! we head back to the Puy des Goules, and we climb on its top. No need to bring a sword, Goules has nothing to do with the infamous undead monster. Too bad that the view is not so good, we'll get a clearer shot later.

Next stop is the Puy Pariou. You are probably familiar with the Pariou even if you do not know it, because its volcanic crater is depicted on every Volvic water bottle. The town of Volvic, home to the Volvic water source is only a few kilometers away.

Crater of the Pariou
The sky has cleared a bit, Arnaud is able to get a few nice shots. We are greeted by a fantastic 360° view. Does the word picturesque comes to mind ? Certainly. However, the cold wind is blowing something fierce at the top, we will not stay long.

Puy des Goules seen from the Puy Pariou

Here is what Strava has to say about our little sunday morning trip.


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