Walking the Le Puy Camino from Le Puy-en-Velay to Aumont Aubrac
Starting in Auvergne, famous for its green, dormant volcanoes, the Camino runs through green yet rocky, undulating landscapes. This leg may even seem to be more inhabited by grazing sheep and cattle than by man if it was not for its numerous medieval chapels, churches, towers and well-preserved towns that modern pilgrims encounter every day.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
Le Puy en Velay
As the starting point for the Le Puy Camino in France, this small city has much to offer. Two unique sites are the Cathedral and Hermitage that are perched atop ancient volcanoes and only accessible by climbing the many steps up. The Cathedral of Notre Dame, dates from the 12th Century and is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most distinctive Romanesque cathedrals in France. Be sure to also save some energy to wander the small streets flanked by tall pastel buildings of the old city. Here you will find many shops and cafes as well as the famed lace makers of Le Puy.
Sauges has served as a popular stopping point on the Le Puy Camino for many centuries, situated between the mountains of Margeride and the Allier Valley. Although a small town there is much to see and do here. From visiting the Fantastic Museum of the Beast of Gevaudan, to the Romanesque Church of St Ménard and the Tower of the English that dates from Medieval times all within a short walk of each other. Whilst here take the opportunity also to try the traditional dish of Aligot – mashed potato mixed with butter, garlic cream and the local cheese Tomme.
Aumont-Aubrac was built around the crossroads of the ancient routes between Lyon – Toulouse and Auvergne. Relax in this typical French town, wander the old streets and come across its Statue of the Beast of Gevaudan above the fountain, or visit the Tourist Information Centre situated in the House of the Priory that was restored in the 90’s has a beautiful vaulted cellar in the basement. A must visit also for pilgrims is the Church of Saint-Etienne which sit on the site of a priory from 106. Over the centuries it has undergone many restorations and today you can see clearly the Romanesque and Baroque influences. A peculiarity of the church is its eccentric belfry rebuilt in 1839 with stones from the cemetery. Inside you can witness the glimmers of coloured light from the 12 stained glass windows.
Le Puy En Velay to Aumont-aubrac
Le Puy Camino
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LE PUY EN VELAY (Arrival)
Le Puy-en-Velay is the historical starting point of Via Podiensis or Le Puy Route, and this is where archbishop Gothescalk departed from, in 950 AD, being the first ever pilgrim to reach the tomb of the apostle in Santiago de Compostela. Nowadays, UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city remind us of this time. Le Puy-en-Velay has always been a important sanctuary city as it is home to the mysterious Black Virgin, which has drawn pilgrims from all over Europe since the Middle-Ages. The interest of Le-Puy-en-Velay is historical and cultural for sure, but the city also worth a visit for its picturesque location. Indeed, set between the Auvergne dormant volcanoes and the Rhone Alpes valley,the lively old city charms visitors with the great views it offers over the surrounding low mountains. And there is much more to discover about this unique place!
Day 2 22.6km
LE PUY EN VELAY
SAINT PRIVAT DALLIER
Starting at Notre-Dame du Puy Cathedral, modern pilgrims feel a certain emotion when walking down the stairs that have been the starting point of thousands of pilgrims en route to Santiago for the last millennium. The day is spent through the rounded green mountains of the Velay massif, offering beautiful scenery all day long, before reaching Saint-Privat d’Allier.
Day 3 18.5km
SAINT PRIVAT DALLIER
This is a short enough walk but the consequent ascents and descents make it the most demanding stage of this first section. The rewarding side of it is that it offers wonderful views over the Velay massif and the Gévaudan plateau, and we also pass through picturesque villages and hamlets before arriving in Saugues.
Day 4 27.8km
Today, we leave Saugues and its Tour des Anglais to continue up to reach Le Sauvage, a farm domain perched on top of a hill and dating back to the times of the Templars. The Camino then continues to enter La Lozère département at the Saint-Roch chapel and we conclude our day in Les Faux.
Day 5 19.8km
From Les Faux, we reach Saint-Alban sur Limagnole and its Roman Church. Then, it is a steep climb up to Grazi?res-Mages. We then start our way down to Les Estrets through peaceful wood and farmlands. Finally, we reach Aumont-Aubrac, gateway to the mythic Aubrac high plateaux.
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
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