What is the Le Puy Camino?

The wonderful Le Puy Camino or  Chemin du Puy, starting in Le Puy-en-Velay in France, is the most popular of the Camino de Santiago routes across France. It joins up with the Camino Francés , the most popular route in Spain, at Saint-Jean-Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees. 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.

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HISTORY AND ROUTE

The magical Le Puy Camino 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 it’s many charming towns, undulating hills and typical French cuisine.

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 a 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. This route leaves from Le-Puy-en-Velay, an area in south-central France near the Loire River. It is used to be said that this route goes through the most beautiful villages in France. Once finished Le Puy Way, the most motivated pilgrims continue their way to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Frances Starting their journey to Santiago de Compostela in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

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TERRAIN

This route has varied terrain with volcanic landscapes and vast green landscapes. This route has some steep ascents to the mountainous Aubrac plateau before enjoying the wooded region of the Lot Valley. After this you will be treated to bright green hills and numerous picture perfect french towns, including Conques and Cahors.

WHAT TO SEE

Important sites to see include the cathedrals and abbeys in Le Puy, Conques, Figeac, Cahors, Moissac plus many interesting smaller churches and other historic monuments. The bridges, art and architecture all the way are worth the walk.
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WEATHER

The route is available to walk throughout the year but we always advise to keep a close eye on the weather conditions. There is snow in the Aubrac and the Pyrenees in winter and early spring and some parts of the way can extremely hot in summer. When you reach the Basque region you could see a mixture of sunshine and rain in Spring time. April to October are mostly the recommended months to walk this route.
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WHAT TO BRING

As with any Camino trip it is important to bring the basics for your long walking days. Be sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes or boots, merino wool socks, sunscreen, sun glasses, a small daypack and some comfortable clothing. Depending on the weather and the time of year that you plan to travel you may need to carry a light rain-jacket and some waterproof clothing. You can download our packing checklist here for more details on what to bring for your next trip.

Immerse yourself in local French cuisine, speak a few words of French and enjoy the sleepy French towns along the spectacular route.

For a sample itinerary or more information about Le Puy Camino please contact one of our travel specialists anytime.

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