07 Jun 24

Getting to and from Le Puy Camino in France

Liz Crouch Camino

The Le Puy route traverses some of the least populated regions of France, offering a journey through picturesque and remote rural landscapes. This peace and serenity does come at a price, as these areas can be harder to access.

Unlike the Camino Frances, where it’s generally easy to catch a ride to the next town or organise a taxi, small regional villages along the Le Puy route do not offer such luxuries, and hikers should be aware of this distinction. Many of the resting stops along the Le Puy are small regional towns and villages that are serviced by local transportation services, primarily bus lines, occasionally with regional train stations offering limited timetables.

Don’t expect to find readily available transport services, such as taxis or buses, throughout many sections of the trail.

Here’s our guide to understand how to get to/from the Le Puy and what transportation options are available on the trail.

International/domestic flights starting/ending in…

  • Le-Puy-en-Velay: Best international airports are Paris (ORG/CDG) and Lyon (LYS)
  • Conques: Best international airports are Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) and Rodez-Aveyron Airport (RDZ)
  • Cahors: Best international airports are Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) and Brive-Souillac Airport (BVE)
  • Condom: Best international airports are Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) and Toulouse-Blagnac airport (TLS)
  • St Jean Pied de Port: Best international airports are Biarritz Airport (BIQ) and Paris (ORG/CDG) and Pamplona Airport (PNA)

Transport options along the trail

Understanding the logistics of travel along the Le Puy Camino may require some investigation. Many towns and villages along the Le Puy cannot be reached via train, instead they may require transfers from trains at larger city hubs to regional bus lines. Most train and bus schedules can be accessed through the TER-SNCF or Rail Europe websites.

A local shuttle company, Compostelbus, operates stops from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques. Tickets need to be purchased in advance online, and the shuttle runs once daily.

Flixbus coaches operate in certain locations around Cahors on the Le Puy. To check timetables, visit the Flixbus website and input your journey’s start and end points, along with your travel date. Train tickets can typically be booked online 60 to 90 days in advance, while bus bookings are generally available online up to a month ahead.

Taxi services outside major urban centers may be hard to find. A good suggestion would be to ask your accommodation host or receptionist, or inquire at local establishments such as restaurants, bars, or cafes, if they know any local taxi operators. Local tourist offices/websites often provide practical information for visitors, including contact details for taxi services. This information is usually found in sections dedicated to transportation or travel tips. A good rule of thumb is to always ask a taxi how much the journey will cost ahead of time and what forms of payment they accept. Many taxi services in France will only accept cash

*It’s important to note that not all transportation lines follow the Le Puy Camino route, and travellers should carefully review timetables/scheduled stops before boarding a train or bus, especially if intending to skip to the next town or shorten a walking day. Local bus schedules are particularly valuable in this regard.

Le Puy-en-Velay

Station: *Gare de Le Puy-en-Velay
The nearest international airports to Le Puy en Velay are Paris and Lyon. From both cities, you can reach Le Puy entirely by train. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the train station (Gare).

Closest international airports

  • Paris:  Paris-Orly Airport (ORY) or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Lyon: Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS)

Train stations from either city that offer service to Le Puy en Velay

  • Gare de Lyon-Part-Dieu (Paris) Travel time 5–6 hours and typically requires 1 or 2 transfers
  • Paris Gare de Lyon (Lyon) Travel time 2–3 hours 

Fun Fact! Did you know there is another train station named ‘Le Puy’ in France. The other Le Puy is situated in the town of Le Puy-Saint-Bonnet, in the Pays de la Loire region. When purchasing your train ticket, be careful to ensure you have selected the correct Le Puy station!

Transport options from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques

Hikers on the Camino from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques are fortunate to have the daily morning shuttle service provided by Compostelbus. This service connects several towns along the route, including Saint-Privat-d’Allier, Saugues, Aumont-Aubrac, Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, Espalion, and Estaing. Their website allows travellers to easily check stops, timings, and make bookings directly online. Ideal for those starting their journey beyond Le Puy or seeking to shorten a lengthy day’s walk, simply go to their website, select your preferred journey, and purchase your ticket. It’s important to keep in mind that the bus operates once daily, typically in the morning, and ticket prices vary based on the chosen pick-up and drop-off points.

Conques

Station: Conques-Sainte-Foy

The closest international airports to Conques, are Rodez-Aveyron Airport (RDZ) and Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS). Rodez-Aveyron Airport (RDZ) offers connections to Paris, London, Dublin, and Brussels. Upon arrival at Rodez-Aveyron Airport (RDZ), guests will need to arrange a taxi to Conques (45 minutes to 1 hour).

If arriving at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS), guests can book a train ticket to Rodez GARE and then transfer to a bus service to Conques. 

If travellers are not arriving through the above airports, the closest train stations offering bus services to Conques are Rodez (38km away), St-Christophe (23km away), and Le Puy-en-Velay (250km away). Travellers will need to book their travel to either of these stations and then organise a taxi or bus service to Conques.

Alternatively, guests may book a spot on the shuttle Compostelbus, which offers a 4-hour service between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques. Due to the early departure time of the shuttle, guests planning to arrive in Conques may need to spend a night in Le Puy-en-Velay the night before.

Transport options from Conques to Cahors

Rodez and Figeac serve as the closest major transportation hubs between Conques and Cahors, offering connections to various destinations outside the Le Puy route. Many towns along this route are accessible via local transportation, primarily bus lines with occasional regional train stations, providing convenience for guests who may need to skip a walking day. Guests can refer to local transport schedules for timetable updates, typically posted at town bus stops or Gare stations. Alternatively, your accommodation’s host or receptionist can assist with information on local taxi services and other transport options.

Cahors

Station: Gare de Cahors

The nearest international airports to Cahors are Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS) and Brive-Souillac Airport (BVE)

For train travel to Cahors, you can opt for the Paris-Toulouse line. From Paris, the journey takes approximately 5 hours, while from Toulouse, it’s only 1 hour. Departure times are more frequent from Toulouse. From Brive-Souillac Airport (BVE), you can book a Flixbus to either Montauban or Agen, which connect to Cahors via train.

Alternatively, FlixiBus transportation is available between Cahors and both Paris and Toulouse.

Transport options between Cahors to Condom

While there isn’t a direct train route between Cahors and Condom, you can check for train connections via nearby cities like Agen or Auch. Local bus services between Cahors and Condom may require transfers at intermediate stops. Guests can consult the local transport schedules for updates on timetables, which should be posted at the town’s local bus stops or Gare stations. Additionally, you can always inquire with your host or receptionist at your accommodation for information about local taxi services and other transport options. Moissac offers a train station

Condom

Station: Gare Routière (Condom)

The closest international airports to Condom are Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD) and Toulouse-Blagnac airport (TLS). However, there are no direct bus or train services from these airports to Condom. Instead, most buses that serve Condom run to and from the larger cities of Agen and Auch. From Agen and Auch, there are more transportation options available to and from Condom, connecting to major cities and airports. Arriving or leaving Condom typically involves transfers and may take a couple of hours, depending on the chosen route.

Transport options between Condom and Saint Jean Pied de Port

As the Le Puy route ventures into the French Basque region and climbs towards the foothills of the Pyrenees, access to certain towns becomes more limited. While there isn’t a direct train route between Condom and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, some larger nearby cities such as Agen, Mont-de-Marsan, and Bayonne offer options for transportation connections. For up-to-date local bus timetables, guests can refer to schedules posted at local bus stops or Gare stations. Additionally, inquiries about local taxi services and other transport options can be made to the host or receptionist at accommodation establishments.

Hikers can consult the local operator Express Bourricot, which offers limited services to select towns between Condom and St. Jean.

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Station: Gare de Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

The best international airports near St. Jean Pied de Port are Paris (ORS/DCG), Pamplona Airport (PNA), and Biarritz (BIQ). Guests can take a train from St. Jean to Bayonne, which offers connections to Paris and Biarritz. Express Bouricott also offers transfers from St. Jean to Biarritz Airport or Biarritz Central (approximately a one-hour trip). This can be booked in advance through their website. The most direct way to get from St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona is via bus. This journey is along a very winding road and is not recommended for those who experience travel sickness.

Liz Crouch

Written By

Liz Crouch

Liz, a New York native now in Melbourne, has over 11 years of international guiding experience on land and sea. Her expertise in active travel, especially for women, establishes her as a trusted authority on transformative adventures. RAW Travel clients benefit from Liz's expertise on trails like Camino Frances, Camino del Norte and Chemin du Le Puy.

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