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Geneva Way

Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay

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  • Geneva Way, Motz, Caminoways
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The Geneva Way (GR653) or Geneva Camino, Via Gebennensis in Latin or Jacobweg in German, is a relatively recent addition to the Camino de Santiago routes across Europe.

This Camino route starts in cosmopolitan Geneva, in Switzerland, home to elegant Lake Geneva and its impressive ‘jet d’eau’ lake fountain. You will start your walk from the bohemian suburb of Carouge and walk up the city’s iconic Mont Salève mountain. From Mont Salève you will enjoy great views of Lake Geneva, the Alps and the Jura mountains. As you walk into the heart of Haute Savoie, you will get exceptional views from summits and mountain passes, with the mighty Alps in the horizon. Besides the beautiful scenery, the Geneva Camino is dotted with picturesque French villages, vineyards and cultural attractions. It will also give you a chance to try exquisite local delicacies, such as the Savoyarde cheeses and cured meats; or the famous brioche with red pralines in St Genix.

Trip highlights

  • Admire stunning views of Geneva from Mount Salève
  • Indulge in classic cheese dishes: fondue and raclette
  • Explore the beauty of the Rhône Valley on foot
  • Be amazed by Le Puy's volcanic landscapes

1 Geneva

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Before you start your Camino trip, make sure you explore cosmopolitan Geneva. Don’t miss the ‘jet d’eau’, Geneva’s iconic lake fountain; and you can’t leave without tasting cheese ‘fondue’, as well as Switzerland’s finest chocolate.

2 Geneva to Col du Mont Sion - 20km

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4h | +600m / -121m
You will start from the chic quarter of Carouge on your way out of Geneva towards St Julien-en-Genevois. From there, you gain some elevation and explore the flanks of Mount Salève. You will enjoy stunning panoramic views of the entire Jura Mountains, and the Crêt de la Neige summit. En route you will pass the ruins of the Chartreuse de Pomier monastery.

3 Col du Mont Sion to Chaumont - 18km

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5h | +290m / -548m
Today, the Camino takes you across lush rolling hills and country landscapes, heading West to Charly, where you should visit the Saint James chapel and statue. From there, you will then continue to the villages of Contamines and Sarzin. Enjoy the views of the Barbannaz waterfall, before reaching Frangy.

4 Chaumont to Motz - 17km

Geneva Way, Motz, Caminoways

4h30 | + 600m – 759m
From Chaumont, the Camino takes you south, across lovely valleys. The Camino takes walkers above the village of Seyssel and other picturesque villages before descending to the Rhône River and ‘Pont du Fier’, gate to the Savoie region and its vineyards.

5 Motz to Chanaz - 16km

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4h30 | +587m / -634m
Today, you will stroll along the GR 65. Your path takes you over Pont de la Loi and joins the GR 9 (Jura – Mediterranean) for a short stretch of road. Your Camino journey then will takes you to the village of Chanaz, crossed by the Canal Savières – between the Rhone and the Lac du Bourget – where you can stop for a beautiful boat trip. The architecture of the village and proximity of the canal give today’s stage a special charm.

6 Chanaz to Yenne - 16km

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5h | +140m / -295m
Today you will start your walk from Chanaz over Mount St. Romain. Today, the Camino trail leaves the banks of the Rhône to gain altitude and cross the Jongieux vineyards at the foot of Mont du Chat. A short descent will bring you back to the Rhône Valley and take you to Yenne where you should visit the 12th century church.

7 Yenne to Saint Genix sur Guiers - 22km

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6h | +731m / -747m
After a medieval stage, the Camino becomes mountainous again. Today, you will be walking up Mount Tournier (877m) before descending gradually towards St Maurice Rotherens (650 m). The descent continues, taking you to the Truison River, then up to the Pigneux Chapel, dominating the village of St Genix sur Guiers. In St Genix you should try the traditional brioche with red pralines.

8 Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers to Valencogne - 22km

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5h30 | +536m / -208m
Today’s walk sees you leaving behind the mountains of Savoy and entering the Isère region. You will spot the first traditional adobe houses, characteristic to this region. The Camino de Santiago runs along the Guiers River and then leapfrogs along the hilly landscape. You will pass the villages of Charancieu (393 m) and Valencogne where you can spot a St James triptych in the local church.

9 Valencogne to Le Grand Lemps - 19km

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5h | +197m / -281m
The Geneva Way takes you today to Bièvre-Valloire country. The trail passes near Lake Paladru, through the former Carthusian Sylve Bénite monastic site, founded around 1116. After climbing to Soulier (702m) you will reach the Futeau farm, surrounded by nature. A final steep descent leads to Grand Lemps.

10 Le Grand Lemps to Côté-St-André - 15km

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4h00 | +36m / -126m
Today’s stage on the Camino is quite flat, short and easy. You will spot at least three castles on the Geneva Way today. You will be staying in night in La Côte-Saint-André, birth town of composer Hector Berlioz.

11 Côté-St-André to Bellegarde-Poussieu - 31km

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7h15 | +316m / -395m
After Mount Cardon, the Camino takes you across woodland with canals, windmills and ponds on the way to Faramans, then Pommier de Beaurepaire. A passage in the shady Favan Tourdan woods leads to Revel, passing beautiful chestnut groves and fields. The trail then continues to the villages of Moissieu-sur-Dolon (site of the former Hospice of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem) and Bellegarde-Poussieu, where you should visit the Chapel of Our Lady of La Salette dating back to the 13th century.

12 Bellegarde-Poussieu to Chavanay - 34km

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7h30 | +237m / -412m
After passing St Romain de Surieu (249 m), the Carrefour du Grand Oak welcomes you to the Bois de Limone woods, before reaching Assieu. With the Monts du Pilat mountains in the skyline, you will continue your Camino across the orchards of Auberive and Clonas on Varèze; to emerge in the Rhone Valley. You will cross the river separating the departments of Isère and the Loire to reach Chavanay, your stop for the night.

13 Chavanay to Bourg-Argental - 26km

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7h 30| +761m / -390m
Today you will leave the Rhone Valley behind. Your walking day will start a bit of climbing but it will be all worth the effort as you will enjoy beautiful views of the meandering river by the Calvary Chapel. The Geneva Camino de Santiago route then takes you to the Bessey apple orchards, St Appolinard and St Julien Molin, before descending to Bourg-Argental, where you will stay the night.

14 Bourg-Argental to Les Sétoux - 17km

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4h30 | +792m / -162m
At Bourg Argental you should visit the 12th century St Andrew Church, where you can admire the portal, a listed monument. After the village you will continue your walk across the hills of St Sauveur en Rue before ascending to Col Tracol (1062 m). Your stop for the night is the hilltop hamlet of Sétoux.

15 Les Sétoux to Montfaucon - 17km

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3h00 | +246m / -497m
Today’s stage on the Geneva Way takes you through hamlets such as Lhermet and Coirolles before reaching the Viallou forest. You will also walk to the pretty hamlet of Chomats before reaching Montfaucon.

16 Montfaucon to St Jeures - 20km

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4h15 | +411m / -285m
You will leave Montfaucon by ‘Du Pont Stadium’. You won’t pass any villages on this stage, across the granite plateau of Montfaucon, but the route will take you by many farms. You will cross Tence and head to the small town St Jeures, where you will be staying the night.

17 St Jeures to St-Julien-Chapteuil - 21km

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5h30 | +357m / -606m
Raffy (at 1276m) is the highlight of this week. Today’s walking section rewards Camino pilgrims with fantastic views of the volcanic peaks of Meygal Region. After the village of Monedeyres and its interesting non-consecrated church built by the locals, there are two routes to St Julien: the GR65 or the Way of St James which shortens the walk by 3 km and offers pilgrims yet more wilderness!

18 St-Julien-Chapteuil to Le Puy en Velay - 19km

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4h30 | +276m / -433m
Before you continue your Camino trip, we recommend you visit the beautiful church of St Julien. The Geneva Way takes you today to St Germain Laprade and Brives Charensac before leading to the spectacular city of Le Puy en Velay. Explore Le Puy’s historic centre and breath taking Notre-Dame Cathedral, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site.

19 Le Puy en Velay

Geneva Way-Cluny Way - Full Walk

Nestled between the Auvergne volcanoes and the Rhone Alps Valley, Le Puy’s lively old town never fails to impress visitors. Not to be missed are the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from the Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel and from the Cathedral.

Geneva Average Temperature & Rainfall
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St Genix-sur-Guiers Average Temperature & Rainfall
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Le Puy en Velay Average Temperature & Rainfall
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How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

 

Geneva

Geneva Airport 4km: Geneva Airport is very close to city centre, you can take the bus or train to Cornavin station. See www.gva.ch.Lyon airport (150km)

Lyon Airport 150km: The ‘Rhonexpress’ (shuttle train) connects the airport with Lyon city centre and the train station (named Lyon ‘Part Dieu’, every 15min, approx. 30 min travel time). See www.rhonexpress.fr. There is a direct train from Lyon (Part Dieu) to Geneva (Cornavin station) (at least every 2 hours/ day, approx. 1h45). See www.voyages-sncf.com.

 

St Genix-sur-Guiers

Lyon Airport 80km: The ‘Rhonexpress’ connects Lyon airport with the city centre and train station (named Lyon Part Dieu) (every 15min, approx. 30 min travel time). See www.rhonexpress.fr.
There is also a direct train from Lyon airport to Pont de Beauvoisin (every 2 hours/ day, approx. 55min). See www.voyages-sncf.com.
There is no public transport from Pont de Beauvoisin Gare (train station) to St Genix-sur-Guiers, so we recommend you book a taxi (10km approx.)

Geneva Airport 100km: Geneva Airport is close to city centre, you can take the train or bus to the centre (stop name: Cornavin station). See www.gva.ch.
From Geneva (Cornavin station) you can take a train to Pont de Beauvoisin (via Lyon, every 2 hours/ day, 2h30-4h travel time). See www.voyages-sncf.com.
From Pont de Beauvoisin Gare (train station) to St Genix-sur-Guiers, we recommend you take a taxi as there is no public transport (10km approx.).

 

Chavanay

Lyon Airport 45km: The Rhonexpress (shuttle train) connects the airport with Lyon city centre and the train station (Lyon Part Dieu) (every 15min, approx. 30 min travel time). See www.rhonexpress.fr.
There is a direct train between Lyon (Part Dieu) and St Clair-du-Rhône (every 2 hours/ day, approx. 30min. See www.voyages-sncf.co.uk. There are more train connections from Lyon (e.g. from the smaller Jean Mace station). St Clair is across the river from Chavanay (8kms approx.). The best option is to take a taxi.

Geneva Airport 170km: Geneva airport is very close to the city centre. You can take a bus or train to Cornavin station. See www.gva.ch.
From Geneva you can take a train to St Clair-du-Rhône via Lyon (Station ‘Part Dieu’ or ‘Perrache’) (every 2 hours/ day, approx. 3h-3h30). See www.voyages-sncf.co.uk.

Once you reach St-Clair-du-Rhône, Chavanay it’s only 8km away. The easiest way to get there is to take a taxi.
Le Puy en Velay
 
Lyon Airport 145km: There is a direct train from Le Puy-en-Velay to Lyon (Part Dieu) (3 times/ day, approx. 2h15). See www.voyages-sncf.com.
From the city centre (Part Dieu station) you can take the Rhonexpress to the airport (every 15min, approx. 30 min travel time). See www.rhonexpress.fr.
Le Puy-en-Velay Airport 12km: Le Puy airport is approx. 12km from the city centre but there is no public transport. We recommend you book a taxi in advance. See www.taxis-graille.fr.