• Discover
  • Route planner
  • Features

Mounts of Cantal – La Grande Traversée du Volcan à vélo


Mounts of Cantal – La Grande Traversée du Volcan à vélo

Bike Touring Collection by Fred Urrutia



3-4 h

/ day

107 mi

8,925 ft

7,850 ft

People are awe-struck by volcanoes. These mountains connect the air we breathe to the heart of the Earth. Extinct, dormant, active – it doesn't matter. Volcanoes are full of mystery and mysticism. What if I were to take you on a journey to the centre of the Earth, a la Jules Vernes, through the oldest volcano on the European continent?

This Collection takes you on La Grande Traversée du Volcan à vélo, an unparalleled bike touring journey through the Mounts of Cantal, in southern Auvergne, France. This stratovolcano – a type of volcano with very steep slopes – offers a superb playground for cycling enthusiasts. There are numerous serpentines between gorges, volcanoes and plateaus. The route is dotted with many characterful towns and villages.

Allanches, Aurillac, Mandailles and Maurs – these are all charming towns where you can find accommodation and enjoy excellent food and drink. There’s no need to overload yourself with supplies as sampling the local specialities is part of the experience.

The route totals 172 kilometres (107 mi) with 2,710 metres (8,891 ft) of elevation gain. In this Collection, I have divided it into three challenging stages. The highlight of the ride is undoubtedly the ascent of the Pas de Peyro, right at the foot of Puy Mary. This is not a recommended route for beginners and some mountain experience is required. If you wish to divide the stages, this is perfectly possible and will allow you to better immerse yourself in the spirit of the place.

Given the altitude and climate of the region, the best time for this ride is from mid-May to mid-November. Don't forget to check the weather before embarking on each stage, as it can be changeable.

The easiest way to get to the starting point and back is by car. Alternatively, there’s a train station in Maurs, which is in the middle of the first stage: you will have to do a return leg if you want to cover the whole route. At the end of the journey, you have to return to Massiac to catch the train.

On The Map


Do it yourself

Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.

La Grande traversée du Volcan vélo

104 mi

8,450 ft

7,400 ft

Last updated: January 30, 2023

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

Learn more
komoot premium logo


  1. Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Port d'Agrès to Aurillac – La Grande Traversée du Volcan à vélo

    40.8 mi
    9.0 mph
    3,250 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may be unpaved and difficult to ride.

    The starting point for this great crossing through Cantal is… in Aveyron! In Port d'Agrès, the route begins on the banks of the Lot. This small town played a key role in the Middle Ages because it traded with one of the main ports of France: Bordeaux.


    As you move away from the river, you will gain height

    translated byView Original


  2. 03:48
    31.0 mi
    8.1 mph
    3,625 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On today's program, we're getting down to business. You will understand and weigh the meaning of each word in the title of this itinerary: high, crossing and volcano.


    Starting from Aurillac, you follow the Jordanne in a particularly green valley. The road evolves on a false flat, punctuated by castles

    translated byView Original


  3. Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  4. 03:25
    35.6 mi
    10.4 mph
    2,025 ft
    3,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The departure from Dienne takes place in a magnificent setting, with a panorama of the Santoire valley and a superb view of the rock of Laqueuille. Then you start this last stage which is quite easy: you have more descents than climbs.


    It all depends on your departure time, but if you arrive at Lac Sauvage

    translated byView Original



Like this Collection?

Questions and Comments


Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    107 mi
  • Duration
    11:45 h
  • Elevation
    8,925 ft7,850 ft

You Might Also Like

In the steps of the Cro-Magnon – a prehistoric journey in France

Bike Touring Collection by Vincent Reboul

The Way of Saint James – France’s Way of Le Puy

Bike Touring Collection by Vincent Reboul

Bikes & beer — gravel rides around Munich

Mountain Biking Collection by komoot

Weekend getaway — road biking in the Spreewald

Road Cycling Collection by komoot