Very few people know that there are volcanoes in France. Volcanoes, not volcano, because it’s actually a chain of 48 different cones and domes. The chain is about 40 kilometers long, and is located right in the heart of the country. The reason why you’ve never heard of them? They’re dormant, and have been since 4000 years B.C. – but that’s not to say they lack interest. Vulcania will show you why.
The complex is actually very impressive on its own – sculpted in volcanic rock (as hundreds of buildings in the area), its golden, pointed dome blends in perfectly with the shape of the surrounding volcanoes.
My favorite part, outside the geyser, the crater (!), and the greenhouse? The several interactive and sensory experiences! Vulcania has, amongst other things, 5 extra-special rooms.
- Dragon Ride: a 5D experience, including dynamic seats, into the natural fault hidden under the volcanoes, and its mysterious creatures. It even simulates a 2G acceleration, and truly scary effects!
- Magma Explorer: My personal favorite! The whole room you’re in is taken to the heart of a volcano, who suddenly erupts. Bumpy ride ahead!
- Misson Toba: Experience the eruption of an Indonesian supervolcano 74,000 years ago, on board a hot-air balloon. The best part? The 180 degrees screen!
- The Volcanoes Awakening: Even though the French volcanoes are dormant… what if they actually came to life, and erupted? What if Clermont-Ferrand was in the line of fire? This room will tell you, and make you feel, exactly what would happen.
- The Earth’s Rage: Mother Earth has several ways to express her anger. Whether you opt for a tornado, earthquake, or even an asteroid, you’ll be prepared for anything!
Even though Vulcania is obviously dedicated to kids and young teenagers, I really did enjoy myself in the interactive rooms, and found the whole center to be very high-quality, and truly impressive. My geek-scientist-engineer husband really did enjoy himself too, and he’s definitely a grown-up!
If you are interested in science and our Earth’s most impressive manifestations, then I strongly suggest you make a daytrip to Vulcania if you visit Clermont-Ferrand and Auvergne.
Disclaimer: I was offered a complimentary entry by Vulcania. As always, all opinions are my own.
Did you know there are volcanoes in France? Are you interested by scientific museums when you travel? Or amusement parks?