Le Puy Camino Overview

The Le Puy route, in France, is one of the three main routes that meet shortly before St Jean Pied de Port and then continue along the French Camino to Santiago de Compostela. The French I met on this route told me that they really consider the Vezalay to St Jean Pied de Port as the main route in France “the real Camino” as someone said.  The other route to St Jean is from Paris which travels down the western side of France through Tours.  The fourth route is from Arles, this joins the Camino Frances at Puenta la Reina after joining the Camino Aragones to pass from France into Spain.

From Le Puy to ConquesMy day by day description will only cover the route from Le Puy to Conques which we walked in June of 2012.

This route is not suitable for mountain bikes; it is very rocky in some parts with seriously steep down hills that would be impassable on a mountain bike.  Often there are roads nearby that can be followed, but I do not cover them here.  However we did meet 3 men on mountain bikes covering small parts of the route and stood back one day to let them pass, one fell from his bike before reaching us; we sat around the same dinner table that evening and he was a bit embarrassed about his fall – no need the route was tough.

The distance from Le Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied de Port is 736km.  The first part of the route from Le Puy to Figeac is contained within the Massive Central; that alone will give you an idea of the walking terrain.

If you have walked the Camino Frances you will find this route very different.  There is less infrastructure and fewer places to sleep, eat and get water and food.  It is also much harder under foot and hillier.  I really make it sound like fun; but I did find it hard going.

Be prepared to cover less distance and take a bit more time walking this section.

I tell people in the Camino de Santiago forum not to pack too much, to keep the weight in your rucksack to less than 10% of your body weight; I did not do this myself.  Because I run this site and a few other walking sites I had taken along a min-computer to write things up each day but also to check the websites.  The result of this foolishness was having my bag carried by a company each day and I carried only a day pack – I lasted five days carrying 12kg, crazy man.

There are few bag carriers along the route and most people seem to use them.  This is also perhaps down to having to book accommodation every night in advance, often you will not get somewhere to stay if you have not booked ahead.

We used the Mian Mian Dodo for the complete and up to date list of Gites, (hostels in France), and small hotels.  It is in French but easy to understand.  Most of the providers speak some English so you will get by without French, but you will not meet many native English speakers – it is 99% French on the route.

There is a tourist office in Le Puy where you can get a free printed guide, it covers the route to Figeac, the length of the track within that region.

See the page on travel for information on getting to Le Puy, getting home, getting back to Le Puy, flights, and baggage carriers.  to get a feel for the Le Puy read out this blog post.

The distance to Conques is about 220km.

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  1. Abby on July 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Given the terrain, how many days does it typically take to hike from Le Puy to Conques? And, are any of the Gites more historical than others?

    • Prue on January 15, 2015 at 2:49 am

      Its about ten days. Beautiful I did it in may 14 solo and loved it.

  2. Patrick Dupont Charles on November 30, 2013 at 10:08 am

    just completed the GR 65, the description here is quite accurate, just make sure you have an idea of how French society functions as far as work play eat go, it is vastly different to industrialised societies, France is an agrarian society and doing this GR will make you aware of this, it is only a partially industrialised society.
    rural and small town France is the main GR 65 experience.
    and there are ghosts from Aubrac to Espalion, in fact France is full of ghosts.

  3. paul wroblewski on June 23, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hi Leslie, having completed the Camino Frances last year, my wife Kathryn and I decided to tackle the Le Puy route from Le Puy to St Jean. We both work and as such are governed by when we can take leave, so we have to do the route in sections. This Easter we covered Le Puy to Conques, and this summer we will walk from Conques to Eauze, then Eauze to St Jean in the Autumn.
    Firstly, I would recommend booking ahead, Miam Miam Dodo is invaluable as is Booking.com, if you want some home comforts. Another good tip for getting from Lyon to the start at Le Puy, is to use BlaBlaCar.com, this is a car sharing site, widely used in France, and at 8 – 10 euros per passenger, works out cost effective aswell, and a great opportunity to practise your French.
    We covered this section of the route in nine days, and were lucky to have the most beautiful weather. The terrain is reminicent of walking in the Yorkshire Dales meets the Brecon Beacons meets The Peak District. In short, it is beautiful.
    That said, some of the paths are no more thatn sheep tracks, but the route is well signposted. The French are even building eco friendly toilets in the more remote areas.
    We met dozens of people of all nationalities walking, some going all the way to Santiago.
    In a nutshell, The Le Puy route ( so far ) feels like the Camino Frances must have been like ten or fifteen years ago. We have been met by nothing short of the most warm and genuine welcome by hosteliers, auberge owners and hotel owners along the way.
    The choice of places to stay, sleep and eat are less abundant than in Spain, but are very well organised. Needless to say, being France, the food is outstanding, they should call this route “The Way of Michelin Stars”.

    On a spiritual level, the Le Puy route has landmarks to rival Cruz de Ferro, all along the route. Every Church, chapel and landmark is open.

    If anyone is thinking of walking this route, then we can highly recommend it.

    Bon Chemin

    • Nadia on August 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Paul, thank you for your overview the Le Puy route. Heading there in a few days, now feeling comfortable to go.

    • Peter CURTIN on January 13, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Hi, travelling to Le Puy in May 2015 to walk to SJan, what’s the weather like in May and June?

      • Suzi on March 13, 2015 at 11:11 am

        Hi, I am also travelling to Le Puy in May (starting 31st) and walking to Figeac. Would also like to know about the weather if you have had any response.

    • Gil Tucker on April 19, 2015 at 8:52 am

      would love to know the name of a village with accommodation just out of Le Puy about 10 to 15 klms on the Camino

      • Leslie on April 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

        We walked for 17km on the first day out of Le Puy, but there is a village called Saint Christophe sur Dolaison after about 10km. The name of the place where we stopped is Montbonnet.

        • Pat gale on May 7, 2015 at 9:06 pm

          Hi Leslie I was reading some of your comments and enjoyed your knowledge. The remarks about not taking a tent on the trail etc. My question is I am 65 and like to walk is this pilgrimage possible for me to do alone?

    • lynnriding2013 on January 10, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      How did you find Conques to St Jean compares to Le Puy to Conque? We did the latter in 2013 and are thinking of picking it up again in Conque. What time of year did you walk? We will have to do it in July so a bit worried it will be very hot.

      • Paul on January 13, 2016 at 8:23 pm

        Hi There. We picked up the route in Conques in July, and walked to Eauze. Then in the October, we returned and walked from Eauze to St Jean. Le Puy to Conques is without doubt the toughest part of the whole Le Puy route. After Conques, the ascents are not as severe. The weather was hot, but as long as you set of just before sunrise, you get a good portion of the day complete before it gets too warm. It was stunning. We plan to do the whole route again, when work allows. Enjoy and Bon Chemin


  4. kenny taylor on August 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Paul that was a good description of the route, and i look forward to my walk in September, thanks for the info..

    • Jim Grace on August 20, 2014 at 7:37 pm

      I walked this route in September a few years ago. The weather was OK but often cool; I took a fleece and was glad I did. Going over the Aubrac Plateau I experienced cold lashing rain. Check the weather forecast before you set out and go prepared. Jim

      • kenny taylor on August 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        hank you Jim i will be prepared…

    • Paul on August 20, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Kenny, we have since completed the route as far as Eauze. It continues to be beautiful and full of hidden and secret gems, enjoy.


  5. kenny taylor on August 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    thanks Paul for that, cant wait to get there..

  6. paul wroblewski on November 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Hi, since my last post, we finished the route. From Eauze to St Jean Pied de Port. We were fortunate enough to have some great weather, even at the end of October.
    The whole route is a joy to walk, and the last five days the Pyrenees beckon in the distance. Each trip we have met some really interesting pilgrims from all across the globe, even quite a few who were walking all the way to Santiago. The French are, as they should be, very proud of the Le Puy route, and as such, everyone we met was very welcoming. The communal meals in the Gite’s are several notches above the ones on the Spanish Camino.
    It is worth learning a little French before embarking on this route, by no means essential, but it does help and the French appreciate you trying.

    We did meet very few British walkers on this route which surprised us, as this is such a gem .

    Finally, it was a joy to walk into St Jean Pied de Port and view it as a destination rather than a starting point.

    For anyone who has walked the Camino, then the Le Puy route is a great next adventure.

    Next year, Via Francigena.

    Bon Chemin


    • Suzi on March 13, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your post. I am very excited to be starting in Le Puy at the end of May this year. I did the Camino de Santiago from St Jean to Santiago 2 years ago and cannot wait to walk in France. A question is it quite easy to book into the Gites along the way? What are the rates for a night and how much should I budget for per day for food and accommodation (excluding any emergencies?)

      Would be great to hear back from you.

  7. Jim Grace on November 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Were you ever in the Navy? I remember someone with you name.
    Jim Grace

  8. paul wroblewski on November 5, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Hi Jim, no i was never in the Navy. We walked the route in sections, between April and October this year.


    • Jim Grace on November 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to reply.
      My son and I have walked the Le Puy route in stages over five years; we finished our last stage by walking into Pamplona this year.
      Buen Camino

      • Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm

        Jim—Where did you guys stay? I’m walking Le Puy to Conque with my wife and 24y old daughter in July. Need to start structuring where we’ll stop and where we’ll sleep. Don’t really want to walk much more than 15km a day. In no hurry and feet hurt too much in Spain in 2010 on the way to Santiago.
        Thanks for any help.

        • Leslie on January 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

          There is a Guide book by mien mien dodo, it is only in French, but basically a list of Gites = hostels.

        • Jim Grace on January 8, 2015 at 7:46 pm


          For the first leg I booked through a company called “One Foot Abroad”. I did have a few problems with luggage transfers and the like, but in general they were OK. The next year I did all the booking myself and found that to be dead easy.
          We generally covered between 20 and 25 kms a day so our itinerary probably wouldn’t suit you. For the record we stayed at Privat d’Allier, Saugues, Les Faux, Aumont Aubrac, Nasbinals, St Chely, Espallion, Golinhac and finally Conques.
          Try this website for excellent choices of accommodation:- http://www.chemindecompostelle.com

  9. paul wroblewski on November 6, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Jim, myself and my wife did consider walking to Pamplona after finishing at St Jean because we enjoyed the city so much when we walked the Camino last year. But sadly didnt have enough time.
    Well done, a great thing to do with your son.

    Buen Camino


  10. Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Am going to walk Le Puy to Conque and then back again to Le Puy with my wife and daughter in July, 2015. Very excited about it. Walked from St. Jean to Santiago in 2010 and much in my heart was able to find the space and the peace to bubble up into my consciousness. A miraculous trip. A question for any of might know.
    1. How early should I try to get over night reservations for three?

    • Leslie on January 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      We booked the day before for each stop apart from a few that we knew would be okay.

      Why not join the forum and get more help? http://www.caminoforums.com/

      • Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 4:46 pm

        Joined the forum. will chart a course and will try to find the time along the way to pull out my paints and write something about it for the rest of your/our crew when I return. Probably start walking July 10, 2015.

    • paul wroblewski on January 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Gregg, depending the type of accomodation you want to stay in, and particularly that time of year, i would book as far in advance as you dare. The Le Puy route is becomming very popular. Not so much with people walking the whole route at once, but a lot of people breaking it up into sections. Le Puy to Conques, as Leslie has said, is probably the toughest part of the whole route, beautiful, but tough. Miam Miam Dodo is a brilliant giude, and the 2015 issue is now out. Its in French, but very easy to follow. When i get a moment, i will post all the places we stayed at between Le Puy and Conques. There are some gems.



      • Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm

        Paul—many thanks for your assistance. I’d prefer to stay in small hotels rather than large albuergues as I did in Spain. Too much noise. I’m old and need my sleep for the next day’s traveling. There will be three of us. My wife, daughter, and myself. We’ll be in no hurry.
        Another question. I thought because the Le Puy to Conque route has been described as so beautiful that we’d just turn around and walk back to Le Puy once we’ve gotten to Conque. From my experience in Spain, there is a level of relaxation that takes at least a few weeks of walking in order to allow for more quiet spiritual feelings to emerge. It is these feelings that I want to revisit. Does the route as it moves past Conque towards St. Jean have as much appeal as between Le Puy and Conque? If so, perhaps we’ll just keep walking toward St. Jean.
        Again many thanks,
        Buen Camino, Paul

  11. Paul wroblewski on January 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Gregg, no problem. Sounds like we stayed in the same places. Doing the Spanish Camino, myself and my wife stayed in a mixture of Hostels/ Casa Rurals and Paradors, ….one Parador.

    I would continue from Conques onto St Jean as the route has a varying profile throughout and never gets boring. We finished our first leg last Easter in Conques, then returned in the summer to complete the route, and I remember at Easter leaving behind some great companions, and a twinge of envy as we heard those friends ringing the bell at the small chapel on the opposite side of the valley as they continued on their way.
    Carry on to St Jean.
    There are many things along the way that rival The Camino.

    Buen Camino


  12. Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    great talking to you, Paul. I’ll realign my thinking and we will proceed southwest after reaching Conque. Merci.

  13. Gregg Grinspan on January 8, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Many many thanks for your insight. I found the same when I walked form St Jean to Santiago in 2010. I called ahead to accommodations I found in my guidebook and was always able to find a place for the night. My concern was that I’ve read that the Le Puy route, while not being nearly as busy, has a relative dearth of the type of accommodation we’d like. So, calling ahead and lining them up makes sense.
    Buen Camino,

  14. Gregg Grinspan on January 14, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    Peter—I walked from St Jean to Santiago in May-June of 2010. On May 4, we got 5 inches of snow as we climbed the northern tier of the Pyranees toward Roncasvalles. The early leafing of the beech forest was an immature green, lighter and more luminescent than they would be 3 weeks later. The play of the white snow on this dense early Spring forest was magical. By early June on the high plain it was hot and dry during the day. Never unbearably so, though. Traveled very light and had a light weight headset with music in my iPhone. There is a stretch of miles and miles when the walk is on a graveled smooth path maybe 10-15 feet wide. It winds through plains that are covered with green (wheat?) at this time of the year. I comment on this piece of your journey because the path is lined during this period with red poppies and other white and blue flowers for what seemed like a hundred miles. Beethoven’s 9th in my ears, the sun high, nothing but the periwinkle blue of the sky, the sopranos reaching in the final movement while at the same time the stems of the flowers were all reaching for heaven. Just way too much for me. Broke down into shoulder shaking weeping. More snot in my mustache than I knew what to do with. These pictures are to give you a short heads up at the majestic inspiration that awaits you. Buen camino.

  15. Bill on January 15, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    I’m planning on walking in April this year- the route from Le Puy all the way to Santiago-was thinking of taking a bivi bag as back up-do many folk camp on the Le Puy route at all?

    • Leslie on January 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      I saw two young men camping. I don’t know what the law / rules are for wild camping in France.

      • Bill on January 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm

        Many thanks Leslie.

  16. Heather on January 28, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    I walked from St. Jean to Santiago in September 2010 and wanted to begin in le Puy until I discovered it was equally as long as from St. Jean to Santiago. 800 km was enough to begin!
    Walking the Camino was definitely one of the highlights of my life – spectacular. I am planning on returning to do the le Puy route in September of 2016 when I will turn 70. (it honeslty does not feel like me writing that, but I was born in 1946 🙂 This discussion has been wonderful, because it is the first time I have had the route fleshed out in some detail, and I thank you all for this very helpful information. It also might stimulate me to brush up on my French now. I discovered my limitations on my previous Camino experience which left me disappointed that I couldn’t engage fully in discussions – and often those were with French Canadians – a travesty for me as I live in British Columbia, Canada and should have a better facility with French.
    During my walk in 2010, I carried a pack with 15 lb. I started staying in Refugios but I slept so little I began staying in hostals and small hotels – thankfully because bed bugs became a huge issue for those staying in the refugios. Only during the last 100 km. did I start booking places in advance with it being a Holy year and a national holiday. It is interesting to hear many have bags carried on the le Puy route (a necessity or good marketing?) as well as having to book ahead. This discussion has excited me about planning for real for September 2016. Thankyou!

  17. Paul on January 29, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Heather, firstly, you will enjoy this route as it has such a varied landscape. I lost count of the times we stayed in beautiful villages, only to find the next day, we would walk into another beautiful village, saying ” wished we’d stayed here” In other words, you are spoilt for choice. The Le Puy route feels like the Spanish Camino must have done about 20 years ago, not over populated. And as I put in my comments, it’s great to walk into St Jean as a destination. Brushing up on basic French is a great idea. Enjoy, you will love it.

  18. Heather on January 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks Paul,
    I can feel the momentum building and a definiteness of purpose that wasn’t always there before. I am talking about September 2016!

    • Jim Grace on January 29, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      I have walked from Le Puy to St Jean but in one week stages and at different times of the year. I started fro Le Puy in September. The weather was generally fine but I had two or three days of rain going over the Aubrac plateau. Don’t underestimate this place; it is one of the highest points of the whole journey and very exposed. I was pretty cold on some days. One of the advantages of having your luggage transported is that you can take clothing appropriate for a variety of weather conditions. Have a good trip, memories of my own journey will stay with me forever.

  19. ehmacmill on January 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    Dear Jim,
    Yes, these journeys become a deep part of our being don’t they? I feel the same way about my first Frances Camino experience in 2010. It was life changing.
    Thank you about your heads up re: the Aubrac plateau. I was looking into the terrain recently, and there is some very interesting, but – exposed, barren? areas. I only just realized too, that puy translates to volcano – which I understand volcanic activity has caused unique land formations in Le Puy. I will consider what you say about the variety of clothes needed here in comparison with the Frances route.


  20. Gregg Grinspan on January 30, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Good to hear about your trip, Jim. My wife, daughter, and I will be walking Le Puy to Conque or further in July. Anyone with any experience on the way during that period?

    • paul wroblewski on February 2, 2015 at 9:25 am

      Hi Gregg, July will be very warm. Be sure to have plenty of water with you, particularly as far as Conques. The first ten days of this route is very hilly and you will find that there are fewer opportunities to refuel on route. It’s beautiful though.

  21. Jim Grace on February 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Gregg,
    My son and I walked from Espallion on to Conques and then on to Cahors in July. It can be very hot, and we had a few days of light drizzle. Conques is quite small but very quaint. It may pay off to book a room. Having said that we travelled with an Irishman that just found accommodation as he went and he ended up in the dormitory of the monastery which he said was just fine. Conques is like something from Harry Potter; we were having a drink with this same guy and he remarked that he wouldn’t be surprised if he saw a dragon go flying past! Leaving Conques the path is quite steep and for quite a distance; Decazaville the next major town is a real dump – avoid if you can.

  22. Gregg Grinspan on February 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Jim—wonderful that you and your son had this time and adventure together. My daughter will have the good fortune of being with her father and her dear mother. We shall have the time of our lives! Thanks for the information on that part of the Path. We’ll begin to start our planning in earnest at the end of February. Very excited.
    Buen Camino, Jim.

  23. Mila Caceres on February 1, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    I have been enjoying the running commentary between you all. Particularly enjoyed and found helpful Paul and Jim’s responses to Gregg’s questions.

    I have 3 questions for you if you would be so kind that would help me greatly:

    1. TIme to start:
    was thinking of first week in May. In your opinions is that too early? Is a week later better or is it no never mind? ( I wanted to get as far as I can no later than 2nd week in June….as want to avoid heat.
    2. Baggage transfer and booking ahead:
    I used to carry it all but the last couple of walks did baggage transfer. The downside is flexibility, having to reserve so you know where the bag is going to be.
    When researched before, it was hard to assure daily baggage transfer on the Lepuy route. Sounds like it is now part of the infrastructure? Is there a particular company you recommend? Do you recommend baggage transfer or carry it all?? Do you feel in May and June should book several days ahead?
    3. Shoes:
    Do you need to use high tops? I have worked down from waterproof leather high top boots to low top light weight hikers with gortex that claim to be waterproof.
    Thanks so much!
    (I have walked 250miles of the Frances 4 times and the GR 5 from Amsterdam to Geneva but only soloed on the Frances, so want to mind my “p”s and “q”s!!

    • Leslie on February 2, 2015 at 8:56 am

      May sound great, everything will be open and it will not be busy yet.

      Re booking ahead and baggage – it is easy for both – for baggage I saw two companies, I will update this at some point with the names, but you will see them quite easily. We booked ahead at least half of the days as those stop were in Gites that were not big. The rest were pilgrim hostels and we had no problems.

      I wore goretex walking shoes and wished I had worn boots. I have walked the Camino Frances twice in the same type of walking shoes without issue – but many parts of this route are rough underfoot. My choice of boots would have been my light weight goretex ones, not my heavy winter leather ones.

  24. Mila Caceres on February 2, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Thanks Leslie for your input which are very helpful. Getting very excited about this trail!

  25. Gregg on February 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    So, Leslie, light weight Goretex boots for July from Le Puy to Conque?
    I also read that the temperatures were not that high in July and could be in the high 50s at night. Not true? My wife would like it more equatorial and was going to bring a couple of fleeces.

    • Leslie on February 6, 2015 at 8:07 am

      I would go with the lightweight Goretex boots.

      When we walked in 2012 it was 35 celsius during the day – 95 fahrenheit. Hotter than usual, but you just never know.

  26. Mila Caceres on February 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Hello again all! Am looking at the stages and wondering if anyone has recommendations for the way they broke up their walk from Conques to Saint Jean ( villages you recommend to stay and maybe that are memorable one way or the other).
    Having volunteered at Santiago, the bed bug issue is big on the Frances in the Auberges. Any tips re types of accommodations to avoid??

  27. Gregg on February 2, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Great quesiton, Mila. We’d be interested in the same information about places to stay going South from Conque. And, certainly, beg bugs would put a real damper on what we are looking forward to as a family stroll on a spiritual path.

  28. Jim Grace on February 2, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Can’t promise to answer all of your questions but I’ll give it a go.
    I haven’t walked that part of the Camino in May, so I’m not qualified to comment. I met someone who had and she said that she needed to wear gloves going over the Aubrac plateau; bear in mind that weather is changeable from year to year. Personally I would leave it a bit later – it might be hot but we aren’t talking about the Sahara here now are we?
    Baggage transfers. I used a company called something like La Malle Postalle, but there are others, (one has a name something like “Jacobins”). Most gites or hotels will have a booking form so that you can ask them to organise the transport for the next day on the evening that you arrive. We took rucksacks that we could manage, but there were days when my son was tired so we just put all the heavy gear into his rucksack and travelled light for the day. This is particularly useful if you are confident of the weather forecast for the next day and don’t need to take all your waterproofs.
    When I started out from Le Puy I went to the Pilgrims centre on Rue Cardinal someone or other. The chap recommended wearing boots, (I had bought both boots and cross trainers). I think that his advice was sound, and have worn boots ever since, although there are parts like from Moissac for instance where trainers would be best.
    Places I particularly enjoyed: Conques, (watch out for the dragons), Figeac, Auvillar, Navarrenx, loads more. If you go to Aide sur L’Adour avoid Hotel de la Paix at all costs – it makes Fawlty Towers look sane!

  29. Mila Caceres on February 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Haha! Fawlty Towers indeed!. I am very much looking forward to this my first walk on the LePuy journey and hope I will be as generous as you when I get to the other side.
    thanks so

    • Gregg Grinspan on March 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

      Very excited about our Le Puy to Cahors journey in July. There will be four of us and I have begun making the reservations for our nights. The planning which is important to me because I don’t ever want to be someplace at 4 or 5pm and already been told by a few places that they are full. My very heartiest recommendations for planning are:
      1. http://www.godesalco.com/plan/podense —this is a vertical list of all the potential stops along the way from Le Puy to St Jean Pie d’Port with distances between the locations. I was able to determine how far we would walk and then was able to back up if I found later in my planing that we’d end up having a day with too far to travel.
      2. Miam Miam Dodo—Unbelievably helpful. Everything mapped out. All the services available in each location. Types of accomodations. Telephone numbers…but most importantly email addresses.

      With these two resources you can plan your path and establish your accomodations at the same time. I need rooms for four or two doubles as we will be four walking. And I’ve found more often than not that the hotel or gite owner was able to make a room that fit us. The hoteliers and owners of B and B’s have been rapid responders and very cordial and welcoming.
      At first I was concerned about a guide book that was in French. Je ne parle pas Francais. But, this book is a must.

      3. last but not least. Google translate. Was able to express myself to the only French speaking with clarity and they back to me.
      As we say in Spain, buen Camino.

  30. Fred on March 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Read all the comments and they are very helpful.
    4-yrs ago my wife and I walked the Camino from St Jean to Finesterre. A truly wonderful experience which is the driving force behind our desire to walk from Le Puy to St Jean (liked the comment about getting to Le Puy as a destination rather than a starting point). We planned very little, carried a too heavy pack (10-12 kg). Now we are perhaps going to the other extreme- considering working with a self-guide company that plans the trip for us, but we are still willing to walk with a pack (taking Leslie’s advice of keeping it 10% of our body wt). We plan on leaving in mid-September. We walked the Spanish Camino at the same time of yr, toward the end we were often the only ones in the albergues.
    So my questions:
    Do we need to work through a company or is it possible to go day-to-day or walk into a town and find a good place to stay? Considering the time of yr?
    If we work through a company does anyone have suggestions? Good or bad.
    What is a reasonable number of days to finish considering the distance and sight-seeing. Places worth staying an extra day? I see companies offering the trip from 30 to 37 days. It took us 36 days (w/ 3-4 no walking days) to get to Finesterre from St Jean.

    • Leslie on March 30, 2015 at 5:02 am

      I think at that time of the year it will be very easy to find somewhere to stay in every town and village.

      There are two companies along this route that offer bag carrying services, as I hurt my back I used them for a week and it was great.

      You need the Mien Mien Dodo guide book. Thi is only in French, but very simple – it is really just maps and a list of accommodation with email addresses and tel numbers.

      I would allow the same time you used on your journey from St Jean to Santiago. I hope this helps – for more info it is worth joining the forum and asking specfic questions there – http://www.caminodesantiago.org.uk/

  31. Suzi on March 30, 2015 at 2:58 am

    Hi Gregg,
    Thank you for the info – I am trying to plan how much money I need daily for my walk – food and accommodation and worked it out to around 50€ a day per person – as I am not pre-booking accommodation I just wanted to know what you are paying for a double room and if that rate includes breakfast?

  32. Gregg Grinspan on March 30, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    We are staying in a combination of Hotels and Chambre d’hotes, which are near the top the food chain for this relatively inexpensive area of France. In these locations we’re paying about 30-45E/d without food. I greatly recommend Miam Mian Dodo. You will see exactly what accomodations are available wherever you are on the Le Puy Route all the way to the Pyranees with all prices included. A must.

    • Gregg Grinspan on April 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      just got to these comments. Many thanks to everyone who has given information. I fully agree that the Miam Miam Dodo is an absolute necessity. I don’t say that lightly. I have looked at and booked via the internet all the spots to stay overnight for myself and my 3 family members and have been able to choose with the visuals from google images. Amazing!!
      We’ll be walking from Le Puy to Cahors. It’ll take about three weeks because we’ll only be walking between 9 and 13 miles a day. Easy peasy.
      Very excited…as you can tell by this note.
      Will try to bring my impressions to those who would try this route upon my return.

      • paul wroblewski on April 29, 2015 at 7:21 am

        Hi Gregg, enjoy, enjoy.

  33. Fred on April 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Reading all the comments. We are considering using a booking company. Is anyone familiar with La Caminade’s self-guided tours? Or, of any website that would rate self-guided tour groups?

  34. Lynn on April 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

    My husband and I will be starting from Le puy on May 16, and going the whole way to santiago de compostella by mid July (though about 2 weeks will be on bikes across the meseta in Spain)… Can’t wait! I have spent a LOT of time booking all the accommodation. We were going to book baggage transfer, but in the end thought we would try a few days at least with packs to see how we will go. We are staying in hotels so only have to carry clothes and guide books mainly, not sleeping bags etc. We didn’t want to get looked down on those who carry their own packs@

    • Paul on May 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Hi Lynn, you will have a guaranteed trip of a lifetime.


  35. Gregg Grinspan on May 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks to everyone for their help and direction. Now I wonder if any of you have considered or even walked the variant route from Figeac to Cahors, La variante du Cele? I’m going to investigate. We many want to try it. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  36. Gregg on May 8, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    For Pat—-You alone know your own level of stamina, leg strength. I have reduced the distance in which we will travel every day because my feet began to hurt after about 12 miles when I walked in Spain. So, we measured distances and will be only walking from 8-12 miles (13-20 kilometers) on this trip. If you’re going to be walking in the summer months probably best to get an early start and be where you want to go by only a bit after noon. There were many areas along the plain in Spain that were basically treeless and there were days that the sun was brutal. An alternative is to walk early, take a siesta during the heat of the day and finish up from 3-5 or so. You’d probably best insure you have accommodations for those days, though, so you know where you’re sleeping. All in all, if you are someone who is contemplating doing this walk you know you’re own strength. Miam Miam dodo is a must to find places along the way to stay and eat. You’ve lived long enough to know how to pace yourself.
    I certainly wish you a very buen camino and am sure it will be an extremely positive experience for your life.

  37. Heather Miller on May 11, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Gregg. I am planning on walking this route in the fall of 2016, and this information is very helpful.
    Sounds like you will have a great journey. Buen Camino.

  38. Gregg on May 14, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Heather—We are in the final stages of planning our Le Puy to Cahors walk beginning July 5. Although it is impossible to have any specific expectations because the Camino will provide experiences that are completely unforeseen, we do expect that we will have a very full and exciting journey….probably beyond our wildest pictures. We’ll open the door to the small hotel or gite in which we slept the night before early in the morning and walk out into another adventure. Nothing like the early morning. Birds are excited but the land is very quiet.
    An opportunity of truly magnificent proportions awaits you.
    Buen Camino

  39. Selena Purssey on May 15, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I am planning Le Puy route, doing 1 week of walking twicea year. Are there any busses or transport that will return me to my car??

    • Leslie on May 18, 2015 at 6:44 am

      There are two companies along this route that will move baggage and people. I used them to return to Le Puy from Conques. I can’t find their details right now, when I do I will list here. But they are easy to spot once you start walking as they have vans everywhere along the route.

  40. Gregg on January 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Leslie—We walked from Le Puy to Estaing in July, 2015. Absolutely beautiful walk and ran into truly wonderful people from France, Austria, the Czech Republic. Food was outstanding. Much tastier than that which I remember in Spain. Only problem was the heat. By the time we got to St. Come d’Olt the temperature was 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Too hot!! So, we grabbed a car and drove north to get out of the heat. Ended up in Belgium and Holland. Was wonderful up there, too, but cooler!!

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