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Puy-de-Dôme
Coat of Arms of Puy-de-Dôme
Location
Location of Puy-de-Dôme in France
Administration
Department number: 63
Region: Auvergne
Prefecture: Clermont-Ferrand
Subprefectures: Ambert
Issoire
Riom
Thiers
Arrondissements: 5
Cantons: 61
Communes: 470
President of the General Council: Jean-Yves Gouttebel
Statistics
Population Ranked 36th
 -2007 626,639
Population density: 79/km2
Land area¹: 7970 km2
¹ French Land Register data, which exclude estuaries, and lakes, ponds, and glaciers larger than 1 km2.
Puy-de-Dôme General Council building in Clermont-Ferrand

Puy-de-Dôme (lo Puèi de Doma / lo Puèi Domat in the Auvergnat dialect of the Occitan language) is a department in the center of France named after the famous dormant volcano, the Puy-de-Dôme.

Contents

History

Puy-de-Dôme is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. It was created from the former province of Auvergne. Originally, the department was to be called Mont d'Or ("golden mountain"), but this was judged not to be a very egalitarian name.

Geography

The volcanoes of the "chaîne des Puys" near Clermont-Ferrand.

Puy-de-Dôme is part of the current region of Auvergne and is surrounded by the departments of Loire, Haute-Loire, Cantal, Corrèze, Allier, and Creuse.

The department is in the Massif Central and boasts more than 80 volcanic craters. It is three hours from Paris and an hour from Lyon by highways A71 and A72. The A75 links it to the Mediterranean Sea.

Its main cities are Clermont-Ferrand, Thiers, Riom, Issoire, Ambert, and Cournon-d'Auvergne.

See also

External links

Coordinates: 45°42′N 03°13′E / 45.7°N 3.217°E / 45.7; 3.217

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : France : Central France : Auvergne : Puy-de-Dôme
Contents

Puy-de-dome is a departement of the Auvergne Region and it is an area which is richly diverse in both landscape and 'flora and fauna' including eagles, eagle owls, ospreys, red squirrels, wild boar, roe deer, stags and mouflon sheep to name but a few which inhabit this rather beautiful and largely undiscovered part of France.

Mountains, valleys, dormant volcanoes, volcanic Lakes, plateaus and plains come together to form two of France's largest Regional Parks called the Volcanic Park and The Livradois Forest Park.

Get in

The Auvergne Capital of Clermont Ferrand is situated in the Puy de Dome which has it's own Regional Airport called Aulnat and is to re-commence flights between UK and Auvergne from April 2008.

It is also well served by both rail, with links to Paris, Lyon and the South of France and motorway by the A75 which runs right through the centre of the Auvergne. Travelling around the City has never been so easy with the Tram now fully open and which links Aubiere to the South and Riom to the North of Clermont and also encompasses the old historical district of Montferrand.

See

Chateaus and Romanesque Churches are in abundance here with the Chateaus at Murol, Saint Saturnin and Parentignat(near Issoire) being well worth visiting with the Churches of Saint Nectaire/Orcival being of particular historical note.

Do

This region is the 'Outdoor Enthusiast's Paradise' catering to both Summer and Winter pastimes. It is famous for its myriad of walking/hiking trails and is a major destination for orienteering. The well signposted trails incorporate the Chain of Puys, Cezallier Mountains, Sancy Mountains and Livradois Forest where 'jaw droppingly' beautiful views appear around every corner. The Vallee de Chaudfour and Saint Nectaire/Murol regions are of specific interest to walking enthusiasts with a love of wildlife and history.

Cyclists are also well catered for and rock climbing and aerial sports entusiasts can find many centers dedicated to these sports at the local tourist offices in any major town.

Fishing, kayak/canoeing is extremely popular on the departments with over 7,500 km of rivers most notably the River Allier at Issoire and Vic le Compte and also a variety of lakes including Lac Chambon, Lac Pavin and Lac d'Aydat.

For both downhill and Cross Country skiers the Sancy Mountain range contains three towns of note which are Le Mont Dore (North Facing) and Superbesse (South Facing) for downhill, both are around 1000m with gondolas to just below the summit of the Puy de Sancy at over 1850m. There is a link connecting the two resorts and this will keep even the most experienced skier happy because the lift queues are virtually non existant out of school holiday periods! La Bourboule and the surrounding countryside caters for the Cross Country Skier extremely well with very challenging trails.

The area is famous for its thermal springs and Spas providing treatments and therapies for many ailments three of these are Le Mont Dore, La Bourboule and Saint Nectaire.

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