By foot and by minibus on the most beautiful part on the famous Via Podiensis: From Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port you will walk by the impressive landscapes of Auvergne and visit on the way the cultural, artistic and historic resources of the region.
This original hike connects the most beautiful stages of the St James' way with minibus drives and visits of artistic, cultural and historic wealth of Auvergne along the famous pilgrimage paths.
On the Via Podiensis the pilgrims used to arrive from Notre Dame du Puy-en-Velay to the goal of their trip, Santiago de Compostela. The historic and symbolic meaning of this way is nowadays deeply important. It begins in teh region of Gévaudan, leads through th area of the Aubrac and the valley of the Lot to finaly arrrive above the village Conques southwesterly of the Pyrenees.
Day 1: Le-Puy-en-Velay
Meeting point at 6 pm at the hotel in Le Puy-en-Velay.
Day 2: Le-Puy-en-Velay – Monistrol d'Allier
After having visited Puy-en-Velay, you will be trasnfered in the heart of the volcanic mountain range of Devès. The raised bog, that surrounds the Lac de l'Œuf, marks the beginning of a long ascent in the gorges of the Allier, which are the natural frontier between the_Velay_ and the Gévaudan. After crossing the place Rocheguide, well known for its chapel Saint Jacques, the way continues to Monistrol d'Allier.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 11.5 km / 7 mi
Day 3: Monistrol d'Allier – Nasbinals
You will pass along Saugues, a hamlet that is famous for its Tour des Anglais and its mushrooms fair and along the “Tour de la Clauze”, that emerges from a giant bloc of granite. Then the hike continues through the montagne of Margaride and the ancient province of the Gévaudan.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 11.5 km / 7 mi
Day 4: Plateau de l'Aubrac
From Nasbinals this stage leads you to the centre of the high plain of the Aubrac, where the immemorial ritual of the Almabtriebs is still alive and is celebrated on the 25th of May. In the village Aubrac you will see the vestiges of an old cloister. Finally, you will visit the cascade of the Déroc as well as the lake of St. Andéol, which is well known for its landscape worthy of a scene of a film.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 10 km / 6 mi
Day 5: Vallée du Lot – Conques
On the morning, you will hike in the direction of St Come d'Olt, a village rewarded by the label „one of most beautiful village of France“, and then to Estaing.
On the afternoon, you continue to Conques, a loved place of the pilgrims. From the East, the view on the village is breath-taking: During the descent in the narrow gorges of the Ouche, you will reach the Dourdou, that flows in the Lot northward, and gaze at the place with its pointed housetops, on which the three towers of the basilica Sainte Foy outperform.
Duration: 3h30 – Distance: 9 km / 5.5 mi
Day 6: Figeac – Vallée du Célé
With the bus, you come to the beautiful city of Figeac, an important stop for the pilgrims and the native town of Champollion. Then you will visit the lovely village of Espagnac-Stainte-Eulalie and Marcilhac in the green valley of the_Célé_. On charming paths borded with dry walls you will walk until Sauliac-sur-Célé near Cabrerets.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 10 km / 6 mi
Day 7: St-Cirq-Lapopie and the vallée du Lot
During this hiking day, you will cross the Lot on a suspension bridge in Bouziès, in order to continue on the lovely riverside path, that is properly hang to the cliff. Finally, you will visit the town of St-Cirq-Lapopie which stands over the Lot on a rock prominence.
Duration: 4h – Distance: 15 km / 9.3 mi
Day 8: Causse de Gramat – Gorges de l’Alzou – Rocamadour
Today, the hike leads you to the limestone plateau of Gramat over the gorges of the Alzou to the mountain village of Rocamadour, part of the UNESCO-World Heritage Site, that has been a place for pilgrimage for centuries as believers come here to pray the black Madonna (Vierge Noire).
Duration: 3 to 4h – Distance: 12 km / 7.5 mi
Day 9: Cahors – Montcuq – Lauzerte
You leave Cahors and its famous bridge Pont Valentré to go hiking in the direction of Montcuq, of which the houses are built on a terraced hill. On the top stands an old square keep, last witness of a castle which was destroyed by Louis XI. On the arid limestone plateau of Quercy you continue to Lauzerte.
Duration: 4h30 – Distance: 17 km / 10.5 mi
Day 10: Moissac – La Romieu – Condom
After the visit of Moissac, that used to be an important place of the road to Compostela, you walk to La Romieu. From there, you continue in the direction of Condom. The way leads you through an area that builds a frontier between the „high“ and „white“ Armagnac (In Lectoure) and the „low“ and „black“ Armagnac (In Eauze) in the South, where dense black oak forests predominate.
Duration: 4h30 – Distance: 16 km / 10 mi
Day 11: Eauze – Arthez-de-Béarn – Gave de Pau – Maslacq
Today you have the possibility to discover the village of Eauze with the high towers of the church Saint Luperc and the Jeanne d'Albret_'s timbered house. From the perched mountain village _Arthez de Béarn, you will descend to Gave de Pau and to Maslacq.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 11 km / 6.8 mi
Day 12: Navarrenx – Ostabat – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
You leave the valley of Gave de Pau, approach the wooded hills of the Basque country and reach finally the valley of Navarrenx. You pass along the historic place Ostabat, from where the three biggest part of the St James's way, the ways from Puy, Vézelay and Tours, converge. The last part of the hike goes from Lacare to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the middle of verdure, sheep flocks and typical houses with red painting.
Duration: 4h – Distance: 10 km / 6 mi
Day 13 : Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port – Pau
After the breakfast in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port the hike comes to its end. You will be transfered to the train station of Pau, at approx. 10:30 am.
For more information you can request our detailed information sheet via email. Please indicate which tour you are interested in.
Our hiking programm begins at the train station of Le Puy-en-Velay and ends at the train station of Pau.
Your organise the arrival and return by yourself and extend your trip on your option.
For groups of 6 persons at least, we can arrange the dates and the content of the trip.
An organised guided tour in english can also be set.
With your enquiry, please let us know the number of your party and the dates of your holiday.
12 overnight stays, full board, french licenced guide, carrying of the luggage, transfers with the minibus, driver, visitor's tax
Travel to Le Puy-en-Velay and the train station of Pau, drinks, entrance fees, insurance in case of cancellation
Can be booked by individual travellers!
Guaranteed departure: 4 persons (max. 8 persons)
Not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Last possibility of cancellation from the tour operator: 21 days before the beginning of the trip
Overnight stays in B&B and hotels form different categories in double room Bathroom with shower and toilets.
Single room possible, with a price surcharge.
Dinner and reakfast in the restaurant of the accommodation or in independents restaurants.
Average duration of the hike: 3 to 4 hours a day without any particular difficulties.
French speaking licensed guide
For groups of 6 persons at least, we can arrange dates and content for the trip.
An organised guided tour in english can also be set
The Pilgrim's passport allows you to have a written document of your prilgrimage and be part of the pilgrim of St James' community. You can purchase this passport for 5,- € in Puy-en-Velay and have it stamped at every stage.
There are two type of passport:
1. The catholic passport Créantiale, available at the cathedrale of the Puy after the Mass at 7 am or during the opening hours of the sacristy between 10 to 12 am and 2 to 6 pm.
2. The lay passport, Crédential, available at the pilgrim reception in the Rue Cardinal de Polignac in Puy-en-Velay.
We recommend you an eco-friendly journey with the train to Le Puy-en-Velay.
You can find more information on our detailed info sheet, that we send you gladly on enquiry!