Puys du Dome
An unexpected discovery for us on a drive across France, with an overnight stop in Clermont-Ferrand.
We were not planning for any adventures and the Michelin factory was the only attraction point in the itinerary. However, looking from the window of the hotel, we noticed an 800 metre circular mountain just outside the town. On further exploration, we stumbled on one of the most amazing paragliding sites we know of.
Photo pictured left of the city of Clermont-Ferrand with Puys du dome in background, courtesy of https://www.accommodationengine.co.uk
The mountain is over 800 metres high and easily accessible by a 20-minute train journey from the base to the top.
Trains run every 20-minutes in the summer and every 40-minutes in the winter – and due to the circular geography of the hill, launches are possible in wind from any direction, 300 degrees. Launch areas are exceptionally well maintained, even allowing for wheelchair tandem flights.
A change of wind requires a five minute walk across the top to the other side of the mountain and another nice grassy launch. The main landing area is literally 20 steps from boarding the train that takes pilots back up to the top. Two additional landing areas, situated on difference distances, on the other two parts of the mountain. The hill works perfectly well in wind or in thermal conditions and several record cross country flights were made from here.
There is no car access to the top of the mountain, you must either walk or take a train.
The town of Clermont-Ferrand nearby provides excellent accommodation and other sources of entertainment, and we strongly recommend to any pilot that happens to be in Central France.
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