Highest point of the Massif Central at 1 m. altitude, the Puy de Sancy is one of the peaks that make up the Monts Dore, the highest of volcanic origin in Metropolitan France. The Puy de Sancy has a relief with steep slopes and many jagged edges.

The Puy de Sancy volcano, in the Massif Central, is the highest peak

Sancy from the church

It rises to 1886 meters. It is popular with experienced hikers, skiers and mountaineers.
The streams of La Dore and La Dogne take their source on the slopes of the Sancy to give birth to the Dordogne river. After having traveled 483 kms until forming the estuary of La Gironde and throwing itself into the Atlantic Ocean.

Village of St Donat at the foot of Sancy

In the nineteenthrd century, the Puy de Sancy bore the name of Puy de la Croix where the inhabitants of the parish of Saint Donat went there on pilgrimage on August 6, the day of Saint Sixtus, the eve of Saint Donatus.
We thus got into the habit of saying that we were going to the Puy de Saint-Sixte (in local patois Pè de San Chi which became Sancy). Thus was baptized the Puy de Sancy.

Getting to the top of Puy de Sancy

The more sporty will make the ascent on foot, starting from the Mont-Dore car park. Two marked and maintained trails lead to the summit. 500 vertical meters over 7 kilometers await you. For everyone else, the Puy de Sancy is equipped with a cable car. Mountain bikers, very seasoned, because the level of difficulty is as high as the Puy de Sancy, can only take the 4E long-distance trail. On arrival you will only have to take one flight of stairs (864 steps). The reward: a breathtaking view.

As with any mountain hike, certain precautions should be taken before putting on your walking shoes and grabbing your stick.
Keep up to date with the state of the trail, depending on the season it may be more or less accessible, the weather forecast for the next few hours, a storm in the mountains arrives quickly and the sun may be strong. Next, equip yourself properly. Take a bottle of water.
Good discovery of the Puy de Sancy volcano!

A. Monier
Sancy from the church

Access to its summit is done in different ways (pay attention to weather conditions and snow cover):

  • From Mont Dore : by cable car then 20 minutes on foot or entirely on foot (approximately 3h30)
  • From Super Besse : by cable car then 40 minutes on foot or entirely on foot (approximately 5h30)
  • From Chastreix-Sancy : on foot only (about 6 hours)
  • From the Chaudefour valley (Chambon) : on foot only (about 6 hours)

The Sancy massif is a strato-volcano. Its formation began 5 million years ago and ended around 250 years ago



You can reach its summit in different ways (pay attention to weather and snow conditions).

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