The mere presence of what is nicknamed the “European Park of Volcanism” might surprise more than a few; in fact, only a handful of visitors are aware that there are, indeed, volcanoes in France. Albeit dormant, the volcanoes of Parc des volcans d’Auvergne (their official name) are nonetheless fascinating formations.
What makes Vulcania so interesting is not only its stunning setting but the way the installations are integrated into their surroundings, with 75 percent of the buildings are underground, below a metaphorical volcano-shaped dome. One of the main attractions at Vulcania is the 4D film The Awakening of the Auvergne Giants—what would happen if these sleeping giants were suddenly to wake from their long slumber? A ground-breaking experience entirely based on scientific facts and featuring lifelike special effects that will astonish even the most skeptical visitor.
Another popular thing to do at Vulcania is the Magma Explorer, where visitors will experience what it’s like to enter the heart of an erupting volcano – a wobbly, scorching and adrenaline-charged journey! And last but not least, Vulcania is also the perfect place to start exploring the Chaîne des Puys by going on a short hike or by exploring the site with VolcanBul, an eco-friendly robot guide.
Vulcania is located 15 kilometers (9 miles) and 25 minutes north-east of Clermont-Ferrand in Saint-Ours-les-Roches, accessible via route D941. Entry costs €27.50 per adult, €19 per children aged 6-16, €7 for children aged 3-6 and free for children under 3 years old. There is ample parking space on site. In the summer months, shuttle buses leave from Clermont-Ferrand’s Place de Jaude twice daily for Vulcania.