Travel to Auvergne

Day 6 Picherande - Puy de Sancy - Mont-Dore – Picherande (66 Km.)

Auvergne


 

(in 33 Km.) Puy de Sancy: We drove towards Mont-Dore for one of the most spectacular hiking of our trip. In the cable car base station number 2 (located in Le Pied du Sancy) we bought the Duo Ticket - Special randonneurs, which allows us to go up with the cable car and go down with the funicular du Capucin (or vice versa). We climbed in 3 minutes by cable car (it takes an hour walking) to its upper station (1,780 meters).

Puy de Sancy
Puy de Sancy

From there we got to the summit (1,885 meters) along a path full of stairs. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the summit, where we found a 360 degree viewpoint with different orientation panels. The Sancy Peak is an ancient volcano located in the Monts Dore massif. It is the highest peak in the Massif Central with 1,886 meters of altitude. It is an old volcano of stratovolcano type. It is inactive since 220,000 years ago. Formed in the late Tertiary and was about 2,500 meters high.

Puy de Sancy
Puy de Sancy

Of its activity are the springs whose waters are loaded with iron and other minerals, and rise to the surface full of gas, as the spring Chaudefour of the valley. Four valleys leave their slopes: Chaudefour (Northeast), Fontaine salée (West), Dordogne (North) and Biche (South). From the summit we went down by the ridge of the mountain towards Le Capucin. It is a path about 6 kilometers with stunning views quite easy, but the first section is a bit more complicated.

Puy de Sancy
Puy de Sancy

After 3 hours of descent we reached the upper station of the funicular du Capucin (1,270 meters). Built in 1898, is the oldest funicular of France (now a historical monument), moving at 1 meter per second from Mont-Dore to the plateau of Les Capucins. The funicular embodies all the charm of the Belle Epoque. During the 10-minute journey covers a vertical drop of 250 meters. In the upper station highlights the engine room, with large sprockets that evoke modern times of Charlie Chaplin.

Puy de Sancy
Puy de Sancy

Once we got to the heart of Mont-Dore, we must go to retrieve the car that we left in the car park (for a fee) at the foot of the funicular, about 4 kilometers from downtown. Then we are going to rest from the effort of the trip to Parc des Léchades where there is a picnic area, playground, pond, riding, green areas, etc. Highlights in the park the Summer toboggan. This is an artificial toboggan of stainless steel that descends by the hillside. Children under 8 years must be accompanied by a person over 14 years.

Funicular du Capucin
Mont-Dore - Funicular du Capucin

(in 4 Km.) Mont-Dore: To end the day we made a walk through the town center. Its thermal baths were already known by the Romans. In the city park, along the river Dordogne, have been collected the remains of the ancient Roman baths. The baths were rebuilt in 1891-1894. The center is full of restaurants, being thanks its two ski resorts (Super-Besse and Mont-Dore) and its thermal baths a town very touristy.

Mont-Dore - Thermal baths
Mont-Dore - Thermal baths

(in 29 Km.) Picherande: We returned back agaun to the gîte.


 

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