About 250,000 years ago, boiling magma erupted through a crevice in the Earth's crust and immediately solidified into basalt rocks. This is how the Sancy Massif, rising 1,886 meters above the plain, came into being. Now one need not fear eruptions, because the volcanic massif in the southern French department of Puy-de-Dome has been in deep slumber for millions of years and is not going to wake up.
Only the peaks of the Alpine and Pyrenees mountains can compete in height with Sancy. Time and erosion have turned the massif into a series of sharp peaks that pierce the deep valleys like swords.
The tourist infrastructure is at a high level. However, there are many places where travelers hardly look. If you go deep into the massif, you can find yourself in a dense coniferous forest, where the raging streams are running and waterfalls are plunging. In the wild and rugged region there is Hell's Valley and Satan's Tooth.
North of the massif is the town of Mont Dor, surrounded by extinct volcanoes. These areas were explored by the ancient Romans, who discovered the thermal springs here. Reminders of those times are the ruins of ancient baths.
Need to know
On the slopes of the peak of Puy de Sancy descend the rivers Door and Don. They merge to form the Dordogne River.
When to visit?
Because of the harsh climate, it is best to visit between June and mid-September. In autumn the area is a colorful realm of trees and leaves crunching underfoot.
How to arrive?
Start from Clermont-Ferrand, the nearest large town with an airport. Follow the A75 and you can take the D229 to la Coudes or take the D996 to Mont d'Or. The D203 will also take you to the array.
Do not miss it!
The steep slopes of the massif attract sportsmen and lovers of extreme sports. When spring arrives and the dripping begins, the snow on the tops of the Sansi never thinks of melting. Skiers and snowboarders love the northern and southern slopes, which are the most suitable for skiing. There are elevators and funiculars. The slopes are suitable for beginners and experienced athletes, honing their skills. Ski stations offer about 70 kilometers of descents from the array.
The views from the top of Sansi are dizzying. It's breathtaking! Believe me, for the sake of it is worth the trip from the foot of the array to its highest point. Another option is to take the funicular to Mont Dor and walk up a staircase of 850 steps.