Exploring the Challenge of Le Chemin du Puy Camino

The Le Puy Camino, known in French as Le Chemin du Puy, is an adventure that offers both breathtaking landscapes and a test of one’s physical and mental stamina. This route, rich in history and natural beauty, starts in the picturesque town of Le Puy-en-Velay in France and stretches over 736 km/ 470 miles until it reaches Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. From there it joins with the Camino Francés which continues to Santiago de Compostela.

In this blog post, we explore questions frequently asked of us such as:

  • How long does it take to walk the Camino Le Puy?”
  • How hard is the Le Puy Camino?”

How long does it take to walk Camino Le Puy?

The wonderful Chemin du Puy, starting in breathtaking Le Puy-en-Velay in France, is the most popular of the Camino de Santiago routes from France. At 736km/ 470 miles in length, the Full Chemin du Puy from Le-Puy to Saint Jean is one of the longest Camino routes. On average you would need at least 4 – 5 weeks or 30-35 days to complete the full walk. But as with all of the routes, it can be broken into short, manageable sections. You can easily edit and plan your Chemin du Puy route by using our route planner.

Chemin du Puy Route Map
Chemin du Puy Route Map

How hard is the Le Puy Camino?

To grasp the challenge posed by Le Chemin du Puy, it’s essential to first familiarise oneself with the region’s terrain. This route, steeped in history and natural beauty, winds through some of the most picturesque yet demanding landscapes. The Full Chemin du Puy is a superb hike taking in stunning countryside and some of the most beautiful towns in France. The volcanic landscapes of Velay, the peaceful Aubrac plateau, the beautiful towns of Conques, Cahors and the Lot River Valley, the splendid vineyards of Armagnac brandy, and the outstanding Pyrenees Mountains are some of the highlights of the Le Puy Way.

Understanding the Terrain

The Le Puy Route is celebrated for its diverse landscapes, which include verdant valleys, rugged mountains, and tranquil countryside. However, this diversity also means that pilgrims will encounter a variety of terrains, each presenting its own challenges. The journey begins in the heart of France, where the landscape is characterised by its gentle inclines and expansive agricultural fields. However, as one progresses, the terrain gradually shifts, introducing steeper gradients and more complex navigational challenges.

Mountainous Regions

One of the route’s most demanding sections is the Aubrac Plateau. Here, the path traverses high altitudes, which can be both physically demanding and subject to rapid weather changes. Preparation for these conditions is key, including appropriate clothing and awareness of the weather forecasts.

Aubrac, Le Puy
Aubrac, Le Puy

Rolling Hills and Flat Sections

Contrastingly, the route also offers more forgiving sections, with rolling hills and flat paths that provide a respite from the more strenuous mountainous areas. These sections allow pilgrims to enjoy the journey at a more relaxed pace, soaking in the stunning vistas and the serene ambience of the French countryside.

Weather Conditions

The weather along the Le Puy Camino can significantly affect the difficulty of the journey. Pilgrims setting out in the early spring or late autumn/fall might encounter cooler temperatures and increased rainfall, making the path more challenging to navigate.

Best Times to Walk Le Chemin du Puy

For those looking to enjoy milder weather, the months of May, June, and September are considered ideal. During these times, the weather is more likely to be favourable, enhancing the walking experience and reducing the route’s difficulty.

Navarrenx, Le Puy
Navarrenx, Le Puy

Physical Preparedness

The physical challenge of the Le Puy Camino should not be underestimated. With distances that can extend up to 25 km/ 15.5 miles per day, being in good physical condition is crucial.

Training and Preparation

Embarking on regular walks, gradually increasing distance, and incorporating varied terrain into your training can greatly enhance your stamina and readiness for the Camino. Additionally, wearing the right gear, especially well-fitted walking shoes, can prevent injuries and make the journey more comfortable.

For additional guidance on preparing for the Camino, including training tips and packing advice, be sure to explore our blogs on how to train for the Camino and what to pack for the Camino. Here, you’ll find valuable insights on how to physically prepare for your journey, as well as what essentials to bring along. For a more comprehensive overview, our free eBooks offer in-depth information. Dive into our Personal Camino Packing Guide for detailed packing lists and strategies, and our Camino Fitness eBook for tailored advice on getting in shape for your adventure. These resources are designed to help you embark on your Camino journey with confidence and ease.

Espalion, Le Puy
Espalion, Le Puy

Mental Fortitude

Beyond the physical demands, the Le Puy Camino is also a test of mental strength. The journey provides ample time for reflection and self-discovery but can also present moments of solitude and challenge.

Embracing the Journey

The key to overcoming these mental challenges is to embrace the journey in its entirety, including both its highs and lows. Connecting with fellow pilgrims, taking moments to appreciate the surroundings, and reminding oneself of the journey’s purpose can all contribute to a more fulfilling experience.

Logistics and Support

Planning and support play vital roles in mitigating the route’s difficulty. This includes route planning, accommodation arrangements, and understanding the availability of resources along the way. Our Holiday Packs and Camino Travel Documents are customized to suit your trip and are specially prepared for you to ensure your Camino is worry-free.


At CaminoWays.com, we offer a diverse selection of hotels and accommodation choices on the Camino to suit every preference, from quaint Country Cottages and Casas Rurales to our Standard Hotels, which include everything from cosy guesthouses to comfortable 3-star hotels. For those seeking a touch of luxury, our Superior Collection features opulent 4 or 5-star hotels, charming boutique guesthouses, serene country homes, and the exquisite heritage ‘Parador’ hotels. Each option provides a unique way to experience the Camino, ensuring your journey is as comfortable as it is memorable.

Luggage Transfers

Luggage Transfers are a fantastic feature we provide at CaminoWays.com on all our walking and cycling holidays on the Camino de Santiago. We will move your luggage from hotel to hotel daily, so you don’t need to carry a heavy bag!

Saint-Côme-d'Olt, Le Puy
Saint-Côme-d’Olt, Le Puy

The Le Puy Camino offers a remarkable journey through some of France’s most stunning landscapes, steeped in history and spiritual significance. The route offers challenges, including diverse terrains and the necessity for preparation, both physical and mental. With thoughtful planning and support, you can successfully overcome these obstacles. Trekking the Chemin du Puy offers a rewarding experience as much as it is demanding. It gives pilgrims a chance for reflection, discovery, and significant personal development. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or new to long-distance walking, the Le Puy Camino promises an unforgettable adventure.

For more information about the Le Puy Camino or any other Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino trip, contact us.

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