CaminoWays.com staff members get asked quite regularly about their favourite Camino de Santiago spots or places along the way. With this in mind, we are starting a new series of blog posts by each member of the team, where we share one particular place on the Camino that is special to us. To start the series we have Roland Monsegu, CaminoWays.com director. His chosen Camino spot is Le Puy en Velay.
My name is Roland, I am the director of CaminoWays.com. Welcome to our blog.
I am going to talk to you about Le Puy-en-Velay, a small town situated in the middle France, close to Lyon and nestled in the mountains of the Massif Central. The town is the starting point of Le Puy Way, le chemin du Puy.
The town has a large medieval centre and is focused on the cult of the Virgin Mary.
The town is situated in a large volcano caldera, and you can see the two magma columns standing at 70 metres over the town. On the top of one of them stands the cathedral and a massive statue of the Virgin Mary. On the other magma cone, a small church dedicated to St Michael. It is an incredible sight.
The historic centre is really buzzy with locals, pilgrims and tourist from all over the world. Le Puy en Velay is the most important departure point of the Camino de Santiago in France after St Jean Pied de Port (starting point of the French Way) in the Pyrenees.
You will love Le Puy en Velay: by wandering the cobbled streets of the town, going for coffee at the terraces of the many cafes, and haggle at the bi-weekly market.
For me, Le Puy en Velay is the French equivalent of Santiago de Compostela.
*When is it a good time to go? every year, the third weekend in September, the town hosts its Roi de l’Oiseau (King Bird) festival, a colourful ‘period’ festival taking Le Puy en Velay back to its glorious 16th century past. Re-enactment of life in Le Puy in the 1500s is combined with craft exhibitions, music, markets and many other activities.
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*Do you have a favourite Camino de Santiago spot? Share it with the CaminoWays.com team: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish it on our blog.
*For more information about the Camino de Santiago and/or to book your holiday, contact our travel specialists.