Le Puy Camino (France) – Full Length
For verdant scenery that's easy on the eye, this route can't be beaten. The trail from Le Puy takes you through the Central massif uplands and then cuts diagonally across the middle of Southern France. Winding its way through forests and fields, river gorges and rolling hills, it is a truly beautiful walk.
We take care of all the details – accommodation, luggage transfers, maps, breakfasts and transport. Relax and enjoy your Camino experience, knowing you have a secure booking each night with your bags waiting. Our own local experienced staff on the ground in Europe will provide support and a friendly face during your trip.
The Le Puy route can be quite rugged, so we listen to what you want and tailor the walking to your ability and timeframes, giving you the experience that best suits you, not what's easiest for us! We can vary the length of stages and find the accommodation that best suits your needs and budget.
This walk is rated as one of the very best in France with good reason. The GR65 route winds its way through an impressive list of stunning villages and towns including medieval Conques, St Come D'olt, Estaing, Espalion and Moissac. If you want to explore the French countryside, you'll not find a finer trip.
The historic town of Le-Puy-en-Velay is situated in the heart of the Massif Central in a dramatic setting of high hills and volcanic outcrops upon which churches and statues sit dominating the town below. It was a centre for pilgrimage in its own right, and the Cathedral and old town are the traditional starting point for the Le Puy Camino. It is a charming and atmospheric town, known for its green lentils and absinthe.
The hills of the Massif Central cover all of central France and form the highest point of the Le Puy Camino at 1440m. The open terrain of hill farms and occasional forest stretches are a delight to walk in the summer months especially. The area is punctuated by small villages and towns so you are never too far from your next rest stop and cafe.
This village in the Aveyron department of the Midi-Pyrenees is one of the most picturesque villages of France. It is in a lovely setting at the base of the Aubrac mountains and the Lot River gorges. It became an important stop on the pilgrimage trail to Santiago de Compostela because of the relics of St Fleuret in the village church. The best views of the village are from the UNESCO World Heritage listed 16th-century bridge.
The medieval Abbey of Conque sits secreted away in a beautiful wooded valley, far away from the cares of the modern world. It is a jewel of this route and one of the best preserved medieval villages in France. The Abbey was built in the 11th century and came to house the relics of St Foye a 4th-century martyr. As such Conques became a pilgrimage site itself. Its beautiful, tranquil setting continues to delight visitors to this day.
Although really only a day's walk, this stage of the Camino through the Pyrenees is not to be missed. The Napoleon route, as the name suggests, was used by invading armies to traverse this famous mountain range. The Basque mountain town of St Jean de Pied Port is the traditional starting point and a charming town in its own right. Beautiful mountain views and the bon homie of the departing walkers make this an exciting start to your Camino adventure.
The beautiful 9th-century abbey at Moissac was one of the most important sites along the Camino route and a centre of pilgrimage in itself. The cloisters here are amongst the oldest in existence and an inspiration for others which followed across Europe.
The wonderful countryside of Southern France is a delight to walk through and offers different scenes from Spring wildflowers, to Summer Sunflowers and Autumn colours. All interspersed with countless charming villages and towns.
The Le Puy Camino (Via Podiensis) is deservedly one of the most popular walks in France, though it has far fewer walkers than you’d encounter on its Spanish cousin. It is a beautiful route that crosses rugged central France and 745km later joins with the Spanish Camino in St-Jean-de-Pied-Port to continue all the way to Santiago de Compostela.
Follow in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims and traverse the ages of living French history as you walk through beautiful, medieval villages, pass by historic churches and cathedrals, and cross over centuries-old pilgrim bridges, many UNESCO World Heritage listed. Immerse yourself into the local and changing cultures, gastronomy and dialects throughout the journey.
We have a dedicated Camino Team, including our own staff in Spain who have first-hand knowledge of the Camino routes, so when you call us you will speak to an expert!