The Via Podiensis from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques is fast becoming one of Europe’s top camino routes. The combination of beautiful countryside and scenic villages make it a favorite, but it might also be the French cooking! This pilgrimage walk includes nine days of the favorite villages of the Via Podiensis. Walk with guide Giovanni Ramaccioni and pilgrimage author and Pilgrim Paths founder, Sandy Brown, to discover life on the Camino in France and enjoy this emerging pilgrimage wonderland.
Itinerary for Le Puy to Conques
June 16, 2024 – Arrive in Le Puy-en-Velay
Meet for orientation and dinner. Overnight in Le Puy.
June 17, 2024 – (23.3km/miles) Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Privat-d’Allier.
After departing Le Puy from its cathedral church and receiving a blessing by its bishop, we walk uphill in the French Massif Central, enjoying high pastures leading toward Mount La Margueride. A tricky descent into Saint-Privat awaits us as the final hurdle. Overnight in Saint-Privat.
June 18, 2024 – (19.5km/miles)
Saint-Privat-d’Allier to Saugues. We are now in the territory of the Gévaudan, where there are still echoes of mysterious killings that happened by man or beast in the 18th c. Today is more wooded, and also more hilly, with a picturesque stop at La Medeleine cave. Overnight in Saugues.
June 19, 2024 – (19.3km/miles) Saugues to Comaine du Sauvage.
We climb consistently on this mountainous day up to the village of Le Sauvage and the way is made through pine forest with frequent mountain meadows for livestock including cattle and sheep. Overnight Sauvage.
June 20, 2024 – (28.2km/miles) Domaine du Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac.
Today we move from the Massif Central to the Aubrac plateau in a forested walk that concludes in the Saint-Côme Region National Park. A highlight is the descent into Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole and its castle. Overnight Aumont-Aubrac.
June 21, 2024 – (25.8km/miles) Aumont-Aubrac to Nasbinals.
We are now above 1000m in elevation, and due to cold winters the area is sparsely populated, which makes for fantastic walking through small villages, with chapel dotting the expanse. Overnight Nasbinals.
June 22, 2024 – (32.2km/miles with options for van service to reduce distance)
Nasbinals to Saint-Côme-d’Olt.
The villages of Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac and Saint-Côme-d’Olt are some of the most picturesque you will see anywhere, and connecting them are forests of walnut, beech, and oak. Watch for the English Tower in d’Aubrac, now converted to pilgrim lodging. Overnight Saint-Côme’d’Olt.
June 23, 2024 – (19.3km/miles) Saint-Côme-d’Olt to Estaing.
We make our way through forests and, in Espalion, the largest town on the route outside Le Puy itself. The Romanesque churches of Perse and Saint-Michel are the stars of the day, but Estaing’s charm and its castle will win many hearts. Overnight Estaing.
June 24, 2024 – (approx 23km/miles) Estaing to Espeyrac.
Two routes lead to Espeyrac, with one being easier with more asphalt and the other being hillier but more beautiful. The group will decide based on its own preferences – or will maybe split up and compare notes later. Once in Espeyrac we enjoy the quiet and beauty of this typical French rural village.
June 25, 2024 – (12.1km/miles) Espeyrac to Conques.
We pass through Sénergues, a castle town of ancient pedigree on our way to Conques, widely recognized as the most beautiful town on the Chemin Le Puy. The old abbey here is scene to a final celebration as we look back over an amazing trip on one of France’s most beloved pilgrim trails.
June 26, 2024
– Depart Conques for further adventures.