The GR®4 trail makes a vast crossing via the Massif Central between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The entire itinerary takes 2 months to complete! A more modest section of the GR®4 trail crosses Sancy in 2 days, between Col de la Croix Morand and Egliseneuve d’Entraigues, in either direction.
The GR®4 long-distance hiking trail crosses the Massif du Sancy from North to South, visiting some of the key sites of Sancy such as Col de la Croix Morand, Col de la Croix Saint Robert, the Puy de Sancy summit, the resort of Super Besse and Chauvet lake.
2 days and 2 different settings for this long-distance hike in Auvergne:
Col de la Croix Morand - Super Besse: 16km, 762m elevation gain
A steep, mountainous section on the rolling terrain of the Sancy summits, from Puy de la Tache to Puy de Sancy, before making the descent to Super Besse.
Super-Besse - Egliseneuve d'Entraigues: 15km, 42m elevation gain
A gentle day’s hiking on mountain plateaus and along the banks of the Hermines and Chauvet lakes.
It’s up to you to decide in which order you’ll climb them...
Practical tip: for greater peace of mind, take a map and guidebook with you.
The GR®4 “topoguide” is a hiking guide published by the French Hiking Federation. You’ll find it online or at bookshops under the title:
Volcans et Lacs d'Auvergne - GR®441 - GR®4 - GR®30
The ideal map to take on the GR®4 trail is the Chaîne des Puys & Massif du Sancy Top 75 IGN map. This is available in bookshops and at the Sancy Tourist Offices. The Massif du Sancy Chamina map is also a good choice.
Bivouacking is tolerated on long-distance hiking trails with the prior consent of the property owner.
Be aware, however, that bivouacking is not allowed in the Chastreix-Sancy and Chaudefour Valley National Nature Reserves.
From Col de la Croix Morand or Puy de Sancy, this long-distance trail offers a variant called the GR®4E. This will lead you to the bottom of the Mont-Dore valley where you may want to add a stopover to your itinerary.
But beware, this variant covers 15km and an 857m elevation gain! That’s right, you'll have to walk uphill to get back on the main GR®4 route!
Take the opportunity to stroll in the streets of Le Mont-Dore, the most mountainous of all spa resorts in Auvergne!
Hikers are encouraged to follow a code of good practices: