Le Chemin du Puy in France
The wonderful Chemin du Puy or Via Podiensis, starting in breathtaking Le Puy-en-Velay in France, is the most popular of the Camino de Santiago routes from France.
It joins up with the Camino Frances, the most popular route in Spain, at Saint-Jean-Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees.
At 736km in length, this is one of the longest Camino routes but as with all of the ways, it can be broken into short, manageable sections. On average you would need at least 4 – 5 weeks to complete the full walk.
Immerse yourself in local French cuisine, speak a few words of French and enjoy the sleepy French towns along the spectacular route.
Le Puy-en-Velay is the impressive starting point of Le Chemin du Puy. Le-Puy-en-Velay has some stunning highlights like the Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe chapel perched on the top of an 85-meter high volcanic rock, its very special Notre-Dame du Puy Cathedral and the Notre-Dame statue overlooking the city.
After leaving Le Puy, the route takes you on a fantastic rural hike through areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the volcanic landscapes of the Velay, the wild Aubrac plateau, the picturesque town of Conques, the splendid vineyards of Armagnac brandy, and the outstanding Pyrenees Mountains. Le Chemin du Puy in France connects with the Camino Frances at St Jean Pied de Port.
Camino Ways Route Planner
For over 1000 years, pilgrims from all over the world have walked the Camino Ways across Europe in their quest for spirituality. Making the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, they encountered a variety of people, cultures and beliefs, leading to friendship and new experiences. This continues today with the Camino de Santiago being the most well known and well-loved walk in the world. More than just a walk, the Camino de Santiago is an unforgettable and unique journey for the body, mind and soul.
What To See On Le Chemin Du Puy
Important sites to see include the cathedrals and abbeys in Le Puy-en-Velay, Conques, Figeac, Cahors. Be sure to admire the mosaics and many interesting smaller churches and other historic monuments along the route. The bridges, art and architecture all along the Chemin du Puy are worth the walk.
When to Go on Le Chemin Du Puy
The route is available to walk throughout the year, but we always advise that you keep a close eye on the weather conditions. There is snow in Aubrac and the Pyrenees in winter and early spring and some parts of the way can be extremely hot in summer.
Once you reach the Basque region, you could experience a mixture of sunshine and rain in spring. April to October are our recommended months for walking this route.
The Terrain On Le Chemin Du Puy
This route has a varied terrain, with Le Puy en Velay Volcanic landscapes and vast green pastures. This route has some steep ascents to the mountainous Aubrac plateau before moving to the wooded region of the Lot Valley. After this, you will experience numerous picture-perfect french towns, including Conques and Cahors.
What To Bring On Le Chemin Du Puy?
Our Camino packing guide ebook is free to download. This will help you decide what to bring on your Camino.
Le Chemin du Puy Route Description
The Chemin du Puy route passes some of the most beautiful villages in France until it reaches its final point in Saint Jean Pied de Port. There, the most dedicated pilgrims can continue their way to Santiago de Compostela along the famous French Way.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the scenery along this route. This is a beautiful way of walking one of the four main pilgrimage routes through France. The route is well marked with red and white stripes painted on tree trunks, stone walls and even houses along the route.
Some of the mountain ranges along this way are steep but you will find beautiful resting points in historic villages and towns.
Your starting town for this Camino walk is Le-Puy-en-Velay, which has some stunning highlights like the famous 12th century Notre Dame Cathedral at the top of an 85-metre high volcanic rock overlooking the city.
After leaving Le Puy, the route is a superb rural hike through the Aubrac plateau, Quercy, Gers (home to the famous Armagnac brandy), and the majestic Pyrenees Mountains.
Once finished le Chemin du Puy, the most motivated pilgrims continue their way to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Frances, starting their journey in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
History of Le Chemin du Puy
The magical Chemin du Puy full route is one of the main Camino trails through France that lead all the way to Santiago de Compostela. Traditionally this way would have been used by French pilgrims and those travelling from Germany and Switzerland.
The Bishop of Le Puy, Godescalc, is said to be one of the first pilgrims to walk from Le Puy in 951 AD. Nowadays, this route is popular for its many charming towns, undulating hills and typical French cuisine.
The Le Puy Camino was mentioned by Aymeric Picaud in the Camino’s first-ever ‘guidebook’, the 12th-century Codex Calixtinus. One of the most high-profile medieval pilgrims walking to Santiago was Godescalc, Bishop of Le Puy. He went on pilgrimage to Santiago in the 10th century and is said to have inspired many other French pilgrims to do the same.