In the Sancy, the water is here and everywhere: lakes, rivers, waterfalls, springs…

Sancy, a water history

Ah, the famous water tower of France! This is how we talk about Auvergne and the Massif Central. Well, these waters- thermal, mineral, frisky or calm – irrigate, and some even are born in the Massif du Sancy!

The Dordogne spring at the edge of the Puy de Sancy, waters that spring from the thermal baths, refreshing waterfalls, numerous lakes with volcanic origins, rivers in Auvergne…. You can find water in every possible way and it is an exceptional show!

Volcanic lakes

Born with the volcanic activity, we can find a lot of lakes in the Sancy.
One of the most famous is the Pavin Lake in Besse, the youngest French Crater Lake (6000 years).
Another very appreciate site for families is the Chambon Lake in Murol/Chambon. This volcanic dam lake, born 8000 years ago, extends over 60ha. Not very deep (6m/ 19ft), it is scattered with small islands and it is adapted for bathing, nautical activities and fishing.

Other lakes have to be seen too like peat bogs lakes: Bourdouze Lakes in besse or En-Bas Lakes in Godivelle.

Le Lac d'En Bas La Godivelle

A lot of springs

In the Sancy, springs have got very particular characteristics: thermal, hot, sludge or salted. The spring’s water is pure. The composition and its proprieties are offering different way of using it: thermal baths or reshaping sessions, or drinkable water.

Sancy’s springs

Natural springs are available in numerous sites over the Massif du Sancy. Some of them can be discovered thanks to lovely walks like the Goyon Fountain in Besse or the Sainte-Anne spring in the Nature Reserve of Chaudefour in Chambon-Sur-Lac.

La source Sainte-Anne dans la Vallée de Chaudefour

Spring and mineral waters of Sancy

Mont-Dore’s water, smooth and delicate
The spring water of the Auvergne Mountain Mont-Dore is directly captured at its spring, at a height of 1220m (4002ft.), from a natural site. Its extreme purity is guaranteed by the natural filtration of volcanic rocks. The Mont-Dore water doesn’t contain a lot of minerals. With a smooth and soft taste, it is the family water that you can drink every day.

Les eaux minérales du Sancy : La Mont-Dore et la Saint-Diéry

Saint-Diéry’s water, subtle and sparkling
Located on a unique and preserved site, the Saint-Diéry water springs naturally. This mineral water, subtle, sparkling naturally, reaches in this volcanic land its well-known benefits since 125 years.

The using sites of Le Mont-Dore and Saint-Diéry cannot be visited. However, you can by these waters in almost every Massif du Sancy’s shops.


The union of sharped landscapes and water are offering us wonderful waterfalls that you have to see, perfect for family walks. Listen to the water sound, enjoy a ray of sun and look at the play of lights, play with water or simply relax, everyone can be happy!

You have to see: The Great Cascade in Le Mont-Dore, one of the highest waterfalls in Auvergne with a height of 30m (98ft) falling on basaltic organs. The Chilozas waterfalls in Besse, succession of waterfalls on the Pavin River or the Entraigues and Bois de Chaux waterfalls in Egliseneuve d’Entraigues, enjoyable and easy access, very near the Entraigues Lake

La Cascade du Rossignolet au Mont-Dore


Rivers- that you can also call “couzes” in the Sancy- are big streams with pure and crystalline water coming from the Dore Mounts and flowing into the Allier River. The Massif du Sancy have a lot of rivers, such as the Pavin or the Chambon Couzes that are fed by a lot of streams and rivers, the most famous one is the Dordogne River.

La rivière Dordogne dans le Sancy
Massif du Sancy, real fish port!
Fish in a mountain stream or in small boats in a crater lake, you can choose… A large diversity of different fishes can live in Sancy thanks to its incredible geological particularities: predators fishes, salmonids like rainbow trouts and arctic chars, white fishes like roaches, rotengles, and tenches…
Multiple fishing sites will please anglers: Hermines Lake or Chambon Lake  are a perfect place to learn – the Bourdouze Lake in Besse is famous for its predator fishing only for expert anglers – the Guery Lake near Le Mont-Dore, the only place in France where you can practice ice fishing… We also can’t forget the Pavin Lake which offers a 90m deep lake (295 ft.) where you can fish arctic chars.
  • Fishing sites

    With its volcanic and dam lakes, its mountain rivers and its high quality water, the Massif du Sancy seduced every kind of angler from the beginner to the expert one.