Picture yourself in this very spot
over 8,500 years ago…
Deafening explosions resounding all around, and the ground trembling beneath your feet. Above your heads, the sky is blotted out. The Puy de la Vache and the Puy de Lassolas awaken for the final time, spilling out a deluge of stone and fire. The huge flow of lava escaping from their gaping craters runs down for several kilometres, burning all before it. It is this that, forming a dam to the waters of a river, leads to the creation of Lac d’Aydat and the smaller Lac de La Cassière. You have just witnessed the last ever volcanic eruptions of the Chaîne des Puys.
These days, while this apocalyptic landscape has virtually disappeared beneath a thick blanket of vegetation, various scars from the region’s volcanic past can still be seen. Lac d’Aydat, a natural remnant of this turbulent era, has, since July 2018, been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as a tectonic hotspot of the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne Fault). It also enjoys the title of largest natural lake in Auvergne!
Surrounded by all sorts of dormant volcanoes, Aydat these days is devoted mainly to leisure activities and relaxation. Here, the gentle slopes mean you can enjoy various activities, including hiking, donkey rides, acrobranch, mountain biking and orienteering. And while pedalos, paddleboards and catamarans make their way around the lake, children have a fantastic time on the beach, beneath the watchful eye of the lifeguards.
Aydat these days is devoted mainly to leisure activities and relaxation.