LENGTH: 18 days – 17 nights
HIKING LEVEL: EASY to MODERATE – 14 days of hiking
Double Occupancy: 17 Breakfasts – 17 dinners
Discovery stays in Puy-en-Velay and Conques
The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is certainly one of the oldest walks of all times. In France, the mythical Voie du Puy – or via Podiensis – more or less follows the ancient Via Agrippa traced by the Romans and which linked Lyon to Toulouse. A splendid itinerary of two weeks, with small steps and between two jewels of the way: the cathedral of Le Puy and the Romanesque wonder of Conques and its basilica.
From PUY-EN-VELAY to NASBINALS : A full day in Le Puy and the blessing of the hikers in the cathedral – The crossing of the Velay, the chapel of Rochegude, the gorges of the Allier, the country of Gévaudan, the plateau of the Margeride, the domain of Sauvage and the entry on the magnificent plateau of Aubrac and its pastures
From NASBINALS to CONQUES : The second major stage – From the Aubrac plateau and its endless panoramas, a rendezvous with medieval history through St-Chély d’Aubrac and St-Côme d’Olt – Following the Lot river, discovery of the villages of Estaing, Golinhac, Sénergues and Espeyrac – Arrival at Conques where the basilica of St-Foy, a treasure of the Middle Ages, appears – A full day in Conques to enjoy this timeless place.
This itinerary has been designed with short stages in order to make the most of the visits and discoveries along the way.
You are free to travel at your own pace with a detailed logbook.
Safe, this circuit is very well marked, frequented by many hikers and offers a shuttle service along the entire route that can be used if necessary to eliminate one of the stages in case of fatigue or to reach an accommodation.
It is an ideal formula for a first experience and to leave without worries.
Between LE PUY-EN-VELAY and CONQUES, 3 tours (all half-board – lunch and dinner – with transfers at the beginning and end of the tour as the case may be) are proposed on this part of the PATH DU PUY : 9, 13 or 18 days depending on your available time.
Departure from Montreal or other Canadian airport the day before day 1.
Arrival at PUY-EN-VELAY at the end of the day. Drop off to your accommodation. Supper will be served. Drop off at your accommodation. Supper will be served.
DAY 2: LE PUY-EN-VELAY
A good day of rest after the transatlantic flight to recover from jet lag and be ready for the next day’s departure. Visit of the city: the Romanesque cathedral and its 12th century cloister, the Cornelius Rock and the old medieval city. Dinner and lodging.
DAY 3: LE PUY-EN-VELAY – MONBONNET (ou Bains)
After the blessing of the pilgrims and hikers, we will start the tour through the Velay mountains, the country of the lentil and the black sheep, in the heart of the volcanic chain of Devès. Dinner and accommodation in Montbonnet (or Bains).
Hiking : 3 to 4 hrs – Distance: about 15 km.
DAY 4: MONTBONNET – MONISTROL D’ALLIER
Continuation on the volcanic chain of Devès, the Lake of the egg, the village of St-Privat d’Allier and its priory, the hamlet of Rochegude – famous for its chapel St-Jacques and its old watchtower. Dinner and accommodation in Monistrol d’Allier.
Hiking: 4 to 5 hrs – Distance: 14 or 19 km.
DAY 5: MONISTROL D’ALLIER – SAUGUES
Ascent by the Margueride plateau, the only difficulty – however acceptable – of this part of the path. On the way, discovery of the troglodyte chapel of the Madeleine, then in Saugues of the Tour des Anglais and the collegiate church St-Médard. Dinner and accommodation in Saugues.
Hiking: 4 hrs – Distance: 12 km.
DAY 6: SAUGUES – LE VILLERET D’APCHIER (ou Chanaleilles)
Discovery stage of the Margueride plateau with its typical villages, its lost hamlets, its pastures surrounded by stone walls and the leaning tower of La Clauze. Dinner and lodging.
Hiking: 3 to 4 hours – Distance: 12 or 15 km.
DAY 7: LE VILLERET D’APCHIER – ST-ALBAN (Les Faux)
Discovery of the Hospitalet du Sauvage, located in a deserted pass at 1280 m of altitude and of the chapel of St-Roch, patron saint of pilgrims. A day in the heather and broom moors. Arrival at the hamlet of Les Faux. Dinner and lodging.
Hiking: 4 to 4.5 hrs – Distance: 13 or 16 km.
DAY 8: ST-ALBAN (Les Faux) – AUMONT-AUBRAC
This stage crosses the Margueride plateau to Aumont, gateway to Aubrac – Passage to Rouget, to the castle of St-Alban and to the charming village of Estrets and its combed bell tower (wall-belfry supporting another small bell tower). Dinner and lodging in Aumont-Aubrac.
Hiking: 5 to 6 hrs – Distance: about 19 km.
DAY 9: AUMONT-AUBRAC – PRINSUÉJOLS
From Aumont-Aubrac in “Terre de Peyre”, we reach the gateway to the Aubrac plateau at Prinsuéjols. Passage by the Chaze de Peyre and Lasbros. Dinner and accommodation in Prinsuéjols.
Hiking: 4 to 5 hrs – Distance: 16 or 18 km.
DAY 10: PRINSUÉJOLS – NASBINALS
First hike on the vastness of the Aubrac plateau, covered with pastures as far as the eye can see and punctuated with burons (stone walls). Passage to Rieutort d’Aubrac and Montgros. Some scenes of the film ST-JACQUES – LA MECQUE were shot here : certainly one of the most beautiful stages of the Chemin du Puy before reaching Nasbinals, a charming medieval town. Free supper (“Gîtes” formula) / Supper (“Hotels” formula) and accommodation.
Hiking: 3 to 4 hrs – Distance : 14 or 16 km.
DAY 11: NASBINALS – ST-CHÉLY D’AUBRAC
Second hike on the superb Aubrac plateau where the rite of transhumance is still alive – the herds go up to the pastures – with a passage through the Domerie d’Aubrac (1120) and its bell of the Lost. Descent to St-Chély d’Aubrac. Dinner and lodging.
Hiking: 4 to 5 hrs – Distance : 17 km.
DAY 12: ST-CHÉLY D’AUBRAC – ST-CÔME D’OLT
Hike along the “boraldes” – generic name given to the rivers flowing down the southern slopes of the Aubrac – and arrive in the Lot valley and the Olt country. Arrival at St-Côme d’Olt and its “flamed” bell tower, a village classified as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France.
Dinner and lodging.
Hiking: 4 to 5 hrs – Distance: 16 km.
DAY 13: ST-CÔME D’OLT – ESTAING
A circuit passing by Espalion and the pink sandstone Romanesque jewel of the church of Perse -Discovery of the village of Estaing, of the castle of the Counts of Estaing, of the old medieval part and of the gothic bridge of XVIth S, classified world heritage of UNESCO.
Dinner and lodging.
Hiking: 3 to 4 hrs – Distance: 20 km.
DAY 14: ESTAING – GOLINHAC
Hike along the river Lot, through the peaceful landscapes of Rouergue punctuated by priories and discovery of its half-Romanesque (10th century) and half-Gothic (16th century) church. Dinner and accommodation.
Hiking: 4 to 5 hrs – Distance: 16 km.
DAY 15: GOLINHAC – SÉNERGUES
Short stage to reach Sénergues, a village located on a granite spur, and its XIVth century castle.
Hiking: 3 to 4 hrs – Distance: 12 km.
DAY 16: SÉNERGUES – CONQUES
A striking display upon arrival in Conques: pointed roofs and the basilica emerging in the landscape – A jewel of medieval architecture, Conques fascinates all visitors. First discovery of the village in the afternoon – Supper and accommodation.
Hiking: 2.5 hrs – Distance: 10 km.
DAY 17: CONQUES
Conques, “the Pearl of the Road” deserves much more than the short visit of the day before – Free day for a more in-depth discovery of this remarkably preserved medieval village and the “Most Beautiful Villages of France” label – Stroll through the village streets, walk on the ramparts, without forgetting in the evening the organ concert and the illumination of the tympanum of the basilica – two daily and free events – which should be on the agenda for this day. Supper and accommodation in Conques.
DAY 18: CONQUES – LE PUY
Transfer back to PUY-EN-VELAY and end of the tour.
To reach the start of this tour and return, two options exist from Canada, Montreal airport:
RESERVATIONS UPON REQUEST for flights and transfers according to your dates.
AUMONT-AUBRAC TO CONQUES (REF # 0902B-COMP-LIB)
From CAD $1,305 per person.
FROM PUY-EN-VELAY TO AUMONT-AUBRAC (REF # 0902C-COMP-LIB)
From CAD $ 975 per person.