05 Aug 20

Indulge your senses on Le Puy Camino

Sue Chater Camino

Rapidly gaining in popularity is the Camino in France, known as the Le Puy Camino. Starting in the historic pilgrimage centre of Le Puy, this Camino travels through southern France connecting with the Camino Frances at St John Pied de Port.

Having walked the Le Puy Camino in July, we can verify the claim that this walk encompasses incredible scenery, charming character-filled historical villages, numerous pilgrimage churches and shrines, and ever-changing gastronomic delights.

After passing over the mystical Aubrac plateau, the Camino enters the valleys of the upper reaches of the Lot River; the location of several small medieval villages deemed the ‘Most Beautiful in France’. Among them are Saint-Chely-d’Olt with its quaintly twisted church spire, Espalion and the picturesque pilgrim bridge, Estaing dominated by a huge chateau, and the impossibly enchanting fairytale village of Conques, a jewel of Romanesque art.

Continuing through constantly changing landscapes, the Le Puy Camino passes through the limestone valleys of the Quercy, the rolling hills of Gascony, superb vineyards of Armagnac and arrives in the Basque country in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Imagine a Camino where every day promises a change from the last! Pass through fortified hilltop villages and walk on ancient Roman roads. Each town along the pilgrimage has a story to tell, including the stone cats of La Romieu and the tale of the deal made with the devil to enable completion of the huge pilgrim bridge in Cahors. This is a journey through living French history, rolling picturesque countryside with the time to indulge in French food and wine.

Each day of our walk brought new discoveries, companions and adventure. Sometimes we would overnight in the larger towns to experience the culture, history and restaurants. At other times we would stay at a B&B in the tiniest of villages sharing a traditional home cooked meal, warm hospitality and friendship with the hosts.

The cuisine changed regularly reflecting the regional agricultural produce. This allowed us to experience the finest meals and wines of the areas through which we passed. Potato and cheese aligot from the Aubrac, black truffles in the Quercy and the wine and brandy of the Armagnac come to mind. Duck and goose, and foie gras, in the Lot, Gascony and Bearn are constant menu offerings throughout.

The Le Puy Camino is one that truly indulges the senses.

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