13 days/12 nights, with 11 days walking


Any start date between May 1 and September 15


13 to 24 km daily (7 to 14 miles), averaging 18.5 km (11.5 miles)

This trip is suited to experienced hikers

On most days there are climbs and descents which can be steep and require caution if the weather is wet


Classic Accommodation:   US$1860             
Single suppl. classic: US$890      
   

  • 12 nights hotels
  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Detailed route instructions and map
  • Luggage transfers

The tour starts in the town of Le Puy-en-Velay, located about 360 km south of Paris.

There are several trains every day from Paris. The trip takes around six hours and usually requires at least one change.

You depart from the tour area by way of Rodez where you can connect to trains to Paris or other destinations.

Randonnée Tours

France

Chemin St. Jacques Hiking
13 Days

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who, for over a thousand years, travelled through France on their way to the shrine of the Apostle James the Elder at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Follow the Grande Randonnée (GR) 65, a long distance walking path, to travel the first 200 km of the Way of St. James from Le Puy to Conques. Cross the rugged countryside of the Auvergne and the Massif Central, through picturesque towns and past the roadside crosses, chapels, and looming fortresses that marked the way for the faithful in centuries past.




Chemin St. Jacques Hiking  13 DaysDay 1
Arrive in stunning Le Puy-en-Velay, one of the four main starting points for the pilgrimage to Compostela. Pilgrims gathered at the magnificent Cathédrale-de-Notre-Dame before their departure.

Day 2
Follow the pilgrims’ route past churches of volcanic rock and fields where the famous green lentils of Le Puy grow. Their distinctive taste is said to be due to the volcanic soil in which they grow. Arrive in the small town of Saint-Privat D'Allier.

Day 3
Head across the plateau through Rochegude, a frontier stronghold; pause at the chapel of St. James where pilgrims stopped for devotions. Today’s destination is Saugues which English mercenaries, left unemployed by the end of the Hundred Years’ War, occupied until they were paid off.

Day 4
Cross the Margaride plateau, through pine forests and small villages and past ruined castles to Domaine du Sauvage, a scattering of farm buildings near the site of a pilgrims’ hospice. A taxi will pick you up and transfer you back to Saugues, where you’ll spend a second night.

Day 5Chemin St. Jacques Hiking  13 Days
Start with a taxi transfer to Domaine du Sauvage, from where you head into the countryside past the Chapelle Saint-Roch; visit Le Rouget, built of the red sandstone so widely used in the region. You’ll see it again in the cathedral and chateau when you arrive in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole.

Day 6
Walk through woods, across moors, beside pastures with old stone walls, and along an ancient Roman road to the charming town of Aumont-Aubrac.

Day 7
Enjoy another day among beautiful pastures and moors before climbing to Montgros, near the cross- country ski centre of Nasbinal.

Day 8
This is your last day on high plateaus. Pass through Aubrac where the Brothers Hospitalier once kept an estate in order to protect the pilgrims. Arrive at the pretty town of Saint-Chély-D’Aubrac.

Day 9

Walk through remote country to the fortified town of Saint-Côme-d’Olt, designated one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.


Day 10

Enter the Lot River Valley; visit wonderful old towns like Espalion and Saint-Pierre de Bessuéjouls on your way to Estaing, another Plus Beau Village.

Day 11
Beautiful canyon scenery and simple villages mark the route to Espayrac graced by an old stone cross and the church of Saint-Pierre.

Day 12

A short day’s walk takes you to Conques, clustered around the huge abbey church of Ste-Foy, where the relics of Ste. Foy, a Christian martyr, once drew thousands of pilgrims. Conques itself is a magical destination in a dramatic setting.

Day 13

Explore Conques before departing for home or other destinations.


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