Chambon Lake is a volcanic lake, formed following the eruption of the Tartaret volcano about 8,000 years ago. It is THE resort area of the Sancy massif. With a fantastic view over Chaudefour valley and the Dent du Marais, it has been converted for families to enjoy unforgettable moments together.
You’ll find 2 beaches equipped with all necessary infrastructure: playgrounds, slides, swings, suspension bridges, paddling pools, restaurant and bar. Swimming is supervised during the months of July and August.
It is possible to walk or cycle around the lake. The walk around the lake, along the “Voie Verte” takes about an hour on foot. Part of the path is made up of sections on stilts to cross the lake wetlands.
Dent du Marais
Dent du Marais
The Dent du Marais overlooks Chambon lake. It is a 100m-high cliff, offering an unforgettable panorama of the Sancy massif, the Chaudefour valley, Chambon lake, as well as Murol castle.
This hike is steep. The path is secured, but you’ll have to remain vigilant on some sections and most importantly you’ll have to carefully supervise young children.
Its other name is “Le Saut de la Pucelle” (The Jump of the Virgin). Indeed, legend has it that a young shepherdess, bothered by the advances of a young Lord, jumped off the cliff, while praying to Notre Dame de Vassivière. Her prayer was answered, and she found herself safe and sound at the bottom of the cliff. Back at the village, she boasted about her feat. Nobody wanted to believe her, and to convince the incredulous villagers, she repeated the experience… but, this time, she crashed. “Love of virtue saved her, pride ruined her”, as the moral of the story says.
For a few hours, relive the Middle Ages inside the ramparts of Murol Castle. It is an unmissable site to visit in Sancy, enjoying fun family animations. Throughout your visit, you will learn more about the way of life of the residents and knights of the castle at this time. Once you reach the top of the keep, a magnificent view will welcome you and you’ll be able to enjoy a 360-degree panorama.
Puy de Sancy is the highest peak in the Massif Central with an altitude of 1,886 meters! When weather conditions are good, you can observe from the summit about one seventh of France!
Glacial valleys, sharp ridges, mounts of Cantal, Chaîne des Puys, Forez … You’ll see all this from this wonderful panorama viewpoint! (With a touch of luck and good weather, you’ll even be able to observe the Alps in the distance!)
In summer, you can easily access the summit by taking Sancy cable and by climbing the 864 remaining steps: it’ll take about 20 minutes!
On foot, it’s a 3h30 round-trip hike (7 km and 500 meters height difference).
For the ascent of the Puy de Sancy, it is important to be properly equipped! Good hiking shoes are required!
Mountain biking is permitted only on the GR4E. It’s quite a difficult descent!! (With a rocky terrain and more than 500 meters height difference, it’s best for seasoned mountain bikers!)
For the ascent, mountain bikes are allowed in the cable car cabin.
The Chaudefour reserve is a protected natural site, where you can observe remarkable fauna and flora and numerous mineral springs, including the most famous one: the spring of the Fontaine Sainte-Anne.
In Chaudefour Valley, you will also discover sharp dykes: the Crête du Coq and the Dent de la Rancune. Renowned climbing site, the Dent de la Rancune is best for experienced climbers, while the Crête de Coq is a bit more accessible.
The house of the Chaudefour Nature Reserve, located at the entrance of the valley, organizes throughout the year exhibitions about the fauna and flora of the valley. It also offers organized pedestrian excursions with a guide, to discover the distinctive characteristics of this spectacular place. With a bit of luck and patience, you’ll also be able to admire the mouflons living in the valley and you might even spot a few marmots!
To be noted: dogs are forbidden in the reserve.
Troglodyte site of Jonas
Troglodyte site of Jonas
This village, directly dug in the cliff, has a long history. It dates back from the Middle Ages. Shaped by nature and men, it was, at the time, a welcoming living space and had a genuine structure, its chapel and its castle.
Dozens of rooms are dug on four levels, all connected to each other by corridors and staircases carved into stone.
The Romanesque chapel, whose frescos have stood the test of time, is a masterpiece of Romanesque art in Auvergne.