Just above Clermont-Ferrand, the inescapable climb to Puy-de-Dôme through the col de Ceyssat is a short but intense hike with an astonishing view over Clermont-Ferrand, the chaîne des Puys, paragliders and Millevaches.
Caution, it's a very popular walk so be sure to do it during week days for a bit of peace and quiet.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
The hike begins at the col de Ceyssat. Park your car in the large car park. The track starts just above a few of the pass buildings.
A signpost clearly indicates the way, pretty much strait up to the top.
At first, the trail is large, fairly busy and shaded. After a few hundred meters, you'll come across the road and the scenic train tracks.
The trail continues on the other side, between gravel and rocks but remains large and sheltered by vegetation at first. Be careful, the slope is steep, and doesn't get any easier until you get to the top. There are however a few benches should you need a rest.
Gradually vegetation disappears, turns are sharper and a stunning view over the south and the Chaîne des Puys appears. The climb ends in an intense yet light atmosphere.
Taking into account the train arrival, the restaurant, paragliders taking off and the Mercure temple, there's bound to be a lot of people once you get to the top. Feel free to go around the "Chemin des Chèvres" (goats path) plateau, the view of Clermont is beautiful and the north and west slope are a lot more deserted.
Take the same path to go back down.
It'll take 40 minutes to an hour for the climb depending on your pace, about the same for the walk around the summit and properly enjoy the view, and another 30 minutes for the trip back down.
Water points at the start and the summit
Bring hiking sticks if you fear for your knees or slipping on gravel.
Shade to mid-climb. Sun protection necessary after that.
Camera for the view.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2531ET, 2531ETR.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Mercury Temple and visiting area at the top.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.