Hiking around Volvic

It is time for another hike at Wisimage, with a weather less foul than last time. It is sunday April 1st, and we have a nice little group from Wisimage (Issam, Priyanka, Aurélie, Anthony, Xavier) and friends (Romain, Sylvain). This time, we are setting from Volvic, a 20 min car trip from Clermont-Ferrand.

Snow is gone, and paths around the Puy de la Bannière have dried up. We even have a little bit of sun, perfect conditions !
Nice view on the chaîne des Puys

The plan is to go around the Puy de la Bannière, climb a bit until we reach the plateau, and take in some nice views of the Chaîne des Puys. This rather unique geological formation, an alignment of extinct volcanoes (domes, maar, and cones), is always a pleasuring sight. We then go back into the valley by very nice downhill trails. Sylvain and I make a mental note of coming back there with our mountain bikes since they are looking quite technical and fun.
Next stop is the Tournoël castle, a eleventh century castle and a historical landmark for the Auvergne region.
The Tournoël castle (11th century)

Last stop is in front of Notre-Dame-de-la-garde, a monumental statue in volvic stone of mother Mary, overlooking the city of Volvic.

The hike is over when we reach the maison de la pierre (house of the stone), a museum dedicated to the story of Volvic stone and quarry. We learn there that the famous Volvic water source was in fact discovered only to cool the saws that were cutting up the volvic stone ! Funny how history can be turned around.

Here are the stats and the map for those who would like to follow our footsteps.


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