Top Ten France Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Hike in Puy de Dôme
By Patricia Ochs

Puy de Dôme, a mountain known for its rugged beauty, is one of 80 volcanoes in a chain in the Regional Nature Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. Take a day and hike to the peak (4,805 feet, or 1,465 meters) of this weird volcano, which is actually a rounded top instead of a crater (its lava cooled quickly after hitting the open air to form the dome). Pack a French picnic in your pack of charcuterie and local cheeses—blue, Saler and Saint-Nectaire—that's fit for a gourmand. Take time to look for duke owls, buzzards, and peregrine falcons, or spot the gentians with their bright yellow flowers. The surrounding region is filled with craters, lakes, gorges, and miles of discovery trails.


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »