Embark on a self-guided walking holiday along the Le Puy Way. The Le Puy Way starting close to Lyon takes you through a rural, remote region of France, less explored than others on a unique historical route towards St. Jean Pied de Port where the route joins the Camino Francés, the popular route through northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. You will find the history of the Camino de Santiago dates back as far as 814AD when the tomb of the evangelical apostle of the Iberian Peninsula was discovered. Since then Santiago de Compostela has been the destination of Pilgrims from all over Europe, following various routes often based on the old Roman road network. The numbers of pilgrims have varied over the centuries, declined in times of war and regrown in peace times. There has been hugely popular growth and interest in the route since the last quarter of the 20th century. In France, the first section of the Le Puy Way is the most spectacular in terms of scenery. You shall pass through many medieval villages with historic monuments, a stunning varied landscape and of course being a France – great food!
Le Puy-en-Velay, Aumont-Aubrac (7 Nights version)
Walking on well-marked paths, firstly through the nature reserve of the volcanoes of Auvergne and then through the Lot Valley to the Aveyron region.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Chambres d’Hotes l’Epicurium
Gite la Cabourne
Chambres d’Hotes Gabales
Auberge St Jacques
Chambres d’Hotes Les Sentiers Fleuris
Hotel Le Bastide
Hotel des Voyageurs
Hotel de France
B&B Chez Tifille
Chambres d’Hotes La Landette
Auberge St Jacques
Hotel le Regina
Gite la Cabourne
Hotel L’Oustal de Parent
Hotel de la Route d’Argent
Hotel de France
Auberge Saint Fleuret
Chambres d’Hotes La Landette
NOTE: The 4 and 11-night tours start in Le Puy-en-Velay, the 7-night tour starts in Aumont-Aubrac.
During the day arrive at the historic city of Le Puy-en-Velay which can be reached via Lyon. In Puy-en-Velay you shall be able to view some stunning landscapes as it is perched between the Auvergne volcanoes and the Rhône Alpes basin. The Puy cathedral is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and has one of the most beautiful Romanesque cloisters in Europe. The cathedral was constructed over many centuries and has architecture from the 5th century all the way to the 15th, however, the majority of the construction was in the 12th century. You can also visit the Chapel of St Michael d’Aiguilhe which is situated high above the city on a rocky outcrop, it is reached by walking up 268 steps and was built to commemorate the safe return of Bishop Godescalc in 951AD from a pilgrimage to the shrine of St James.
Your first walk starts from the steps of the cathedral of Le Puy-en-velay. Today, you take the way of Velay massif. The particularity lies in its landscape alternating rock, greenery and rural landscapes typical of this region that you can admire throughout the walk. Arriving in Saint-Privat-d’Allier, you will overlook the impressive gorges of Allier and its river, still wild.
Passing by the chapel of Rochegude and its promontory, enjoy the stunning view on the gorges of Allier. You will cross this river, which is still wild, in Monistrol-d’Allier before going back on the other bank and reach Saugues, at the doors of the Margeride. It’s a pretty difficult stage with a strong uphill slope. On your way, you will be able to see the rustic villages and hamlets typical of the region, before finishing your stage in Saugues.
After breakfast, your walk continues to Le Sauvage, an agricultural hilltop area dating from the Templar period. You reach the Saint-Roch chapel, and enter the department of La Lozère, before reaching your destination of Saint-Alban, known for its Romanesque church.
From Saint-Alban, you begin your ascent towards Grazières-Mages before beginning your descent towards Les Estrets, through silent forests and agricultural lands, to finish at Aumont-Aubrac. Between Lozère, Cantal and Aveyron, you will be charmed by these green deserted landscapes. Arrival in Aumont-Aubrac, end of your walking trip.
You individually travel to Aumont-Aubrac. This village has always been an essential step on the way of Santiago. Originally, this medieval city was mostly walked by pilgrims from the East by the quiet paths before approaching the dark and isolated lands of the Aubrac region.
Today you are in the heart of Aubrac, discover the landscape of the region, with its famous cattle pastures alternating sleepy villages and farms, before arriving at Nasbinals and its church from the 14th century. Here, numerous hiking trails, endless grazing which have often maintain their stone rim, which – back then – allowed the rotation of the pasturelands.
During this stage, you will go by the Aubrac formerly described as ”a place of horror and vast solitude”, and where the winter is among the most rigorous with its 1300 m of height. But the landscapes of an unbelievable beauty will present themselves to you. At lunchtime, you can try the regional specialities at a buron or country inn, where local dishes are available such as the “aligot” (mashed potato with cheese and garlic), assorted cooked meats from the mountain.
In the land of Olt, at the foot of the plateau of Aubrac, you will walk along the river Lot which possesses remarkable gorges and meanders. Here, a soft climate awaits for you, as evidence, the vineyard plantations. Saint-Côme-d’Olt and its medieval village centre are listed among the most beautiful villages of France.
The trip continues and follows the stream of the Lot River to the lovely place of Estaing, a very picturesque medieval village with its old bridge, where stands an impressive castle.
Today, at the village of Golinhac you will leave the Lot Valley. Arrival in Golinhac, remarkable for its church, there is a stone cross with a small sculpted pilgrim erected on it.
A weighty stage but with a spectacular arrival! Conques, of which the abbey-church and the pilgrims’ bridge are listed UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. The abbey of Sainte-Foy-de-Conques possesses the richest treasure of Middle-Age currently retained, with, notably, a golden reliquary statue from the 9th century…
After breakfast, end of your walking trip in the charming village of Conques.
Note: this itinerary can easily be combined with the next section of the Way of St James – Conques to Cahors.
To reach Le Puy-en-Velay: fly to Lyon or by train from Paris to Lyon and then a train from Lyon to Le Puy-en-Velay (2-3 hours from Lyon).
To reach Aumont-Aubrac: fly to Lyon or by train from Paris to Lyon and then by train followed by a bus to Aumont-Aubrac (5-6 hours from Lyon).
Departure: You can travel back to Aumont-Aubrac in reverse to Lyon or request a transfer back to Le Puy-en-Velay. If departing from Conques to can take a bus to Rodez and then train to Toulouse or request a transfer back to Aumont-Aubrac.
2021 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
|Tour Code||Prices From (per person)||Book Now|
|LePuy4C (4 Nights)||from £376||Book Now|
|LePuy4CP Upgrade (4 Nights)||from £416||Book Now|
|LePuy7C (7 Nights)||from £705||Book Now|
|LePuy7CP Upgrade (7 Nights)||from £806||Book Now|
|LePuy11C (11 Nights)||from £1081||Book Now|
|LePuy11CP Upgrade (11 Nights)||from £1222||Book Now|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|