Two years ago, in 2016, we went on a 4 week roadtrip through France. Which took us to many incredible places and hikes.
One of the places we decided to make camp at was the Auverge. The Auvergne is a beautiful part of France, and luckily it isn´t yet overflown with tourist. Which for us was a big plus. If you love nature, the Auvergne is definitely the place to be. The Auvergne is known for it´s volcanoes. One of them is the Puy de Dome, which is the most famous volcano of the region.
The Puy de Dome is a very popular destination for paragliders, but it is also a beautiful place to hike.
There is a big car park at the foot of the Puy de Dome, from where you can either take the train up to the top or you can hike, ofcourse we decided to do the hike.
The first part of the trail will take you through a forest until you get to the start of the trail going up the Puy de Dome. From there it is a long trail going up and up and up, until you reach the summit at 1415 meters. There are benches along the trail everywhere, so you can enjoy the view of the surrounding volcanoes.
When you get to the summit you will find a restaurant, where you can have a bite to eat. There are also benches where you can eat your own sandwiches.
When you want to head down, you just follow the train for the first few meters. After a couple of hundred metres you will find the entrance to the trail down. There are stairs to take you back down to the car park and this part of the trail will take you through an incredible landscape. I was waiting for the hobbits to pass me on this part of the trail.
When we stayed at the Basque coast in Spain we litteraly hadn’t done any research beforehand. Luckily we had WIFI at the campsite so I did some research on what we should do while we were there.
When I saw pictures from San Juan de Gaztelugatxe I knew this was one of the places I wanted to visit while we had the chance.
It is a church, that dates of the 10th century, that is build on an island and you can only reach it by climbing the men made stairs that lead to the top of the island. There are 231 steps total on these stairs!
So on a cloudy day we drove down there and when we got to the parking lot you could seriously not see a thing. The entire place was covered in fog! People were already not bothering to take the hike down.
So we discussed what we were going to do, either risk hiking down and still not being able to see a thing or just hike down and hope for the best.
We decided to go with the second choice and I can tell you it was the best descission we could make. When we got down to the foot of the stairs there were seriously only a handful of people there and the fog stayed on top of the shore.
We hiked to the top of the island and hung out at the top for a while. When we were there the little church at the top was closed, but since we were the only people up there I decided to ring the church bells. I hope that doesn’t mean bad luck!
Besides the little church there isn’t anything else on top of this island. But this place seems to be taken right out of a fairytale, which makes it an amazing place to visit in my book. I can see why they chose this place to film Dragonstone in the Game of Thrones. They did add in the castle though on top of the island, so don’t expect a huge castle when you visit.
When you head back you will find a restaurant at the top of the trail. Where you can grab a bite to eat or something to drink after your hike.
If you travel with little ones you can also take a trail to a vantage point, where you can just take in the sight, without having to hike up and down the cliff.