|A land born of fire and ice|
Life in Cantal is played out against a stunning landscape of immense power and beauty. Home to natural riches as varied as the dramatic gorges of the Lot and Truyère, the ancient woodland of La Châtaigneraie, the wild moorland of the Aubrac and the boundless emerald green pastures of Salers.
But above all Cantal is a land dominated by mountains.
Long before the first signs of man, streams of molten lava erupted from the earth’s core to form an immense volcanic crater. For eons this vast mountain of fire dominated the land until an ice age once more froze the surface of the earth. Giant glaciers ripped through the vast volcano, tearing apart the walls of the crater, gouging out steep valleys and sculpting the sharp summits and ridges of the Monts du Cantal.
An immense circle of six main peaks, from angular Puy Griou (1690 m) to towering Plomb du Cantal (1855 m), the Monts du Cantal form a key part of the Parc Naturel Regional des Volcans d’Auvergne. Though not the highest peak, the undoubted icon is the sharp pyramidal summit of Puy Mary (1787 m). Classified among the Grand Site de France, the climb along the ridgeway path to the top of Puy Mary is rewarded with a simply unrivalled panorama into no less than 12 glacial valleys that radiate star-like from the summit.