The Chemin du Puy is one of four ancient routes taken through France that eventually join up with the Camino de Santiago. Covering an epic 750km, this segment is from Aumont-Aubrac to Conques, both medieval towns and the latter home to one of the most important abbeys en route. Walk between 14- 26km per day through an array of magnificent medieval villages, the Lot Valley and some ancient places of worship. Staying in small, comfortable accommodation, with your bags transported for you, there are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy fine French, regional fare along the way.
- Via Podiensis to Conques
- Historical villages such as Aubrec and Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac and Saint-Côme-d’Olt
- Église Saint-Pierre de Bessuéjouls
- Lot Valley
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Day 1: Arrival in Aumont-Aubrac
You start your trip in Aumont-Aubrac. The heart of the old town was formerly surrounded by ramparts and the Place de L’Hotel-de-Ville was at the old gate of the city. The old town has preserved houses of the 16th and 17th-century with sculpted stone facades. Just up the road is Laigouile outlet store, a famous French family firm, based only a short drive away, that makes handmade knives and other items such as pens.
- Accommodation: Hotel Prunières or similar in Aumont-Aubrac
Day 2: Aumont-Aubrac to Nasbinals | 26km
Today the landscape changes completely as you reach the higher parts of the GR65 long-distance trail. The landscape changes from woodland and meadows to a wilder windswept moorland, with streams, drystone walls and huge boulders deposited into fields by glacial melt after the last Ice Age.
- Walking for the day: 26km, 6h, ↑360m ↓230m
- Accommodation: Hotel Le Bastide or similar in Nasbinals
Day 3: Nasbinals to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac | 16km
Today is your last real day in the high grasslands and transhumance areas. You pass the highest point of the whole 750km route between Le Puy‐en‐Velay and Saint-Jean-Pied‐de‐Port (1,366m) just before the descent down toward the historical village of Aubrac.
- Walking for the day: 16km, 3-4h, ↑200m ↓550m
- Accommodation: Hotel des Voyageurs or similar in Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac
Day 4: Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac to Espalion | 22km
From Saint-Chely-d’Aubrac, start descending to the Lot Valley as far as the medieval village of Saint-Côme-d’Olt, one of Les plus beaux villages de France (an official accreditation in France) on the Lot River. From Saint-Côme-d’Olt, continue along the Lot to Espalion. Espalion has a medieval bridge over the Lot and the riverfront is lined with buildings with characteristic wooden balconies that used to be old tanneries.
- Walking for the day: 22km, 4-5h, ↑330m ↓715m
- Accommodation: Hotel de France or similar in Espalion
Day 5: Espalion to Estaing | 12km
Today’s walk continues along the Lot Valley. The Église Saint-Pierre de Bessuéjouls is one of the oldest along the route and has an a magnificent Romanesque chapel on the first floor of its bell tower. Your day ends in Estaing, with its castle spotted by pilgrims from a distance.
- Walking for the day: 12km, 3h, ↑190m ↓190m
- Accommodation: B&B Chez Tifille or similar in Estaing
Day 6: Estaing to Golinhac | 14km
Today is a straightforward walk and, although there are some potentially muddy paths, there is a lot of road walking on quiet tarmac roads, so if you have trainers, you might consider wearing them instead of heavier footwear. Most of the steep climbing is completed early on so that you can enjoy views across the hills towards Golinhac. Although this is a short day and you will probably make it to a restaurant in Golinhac by lunchtime, if you want to start later, we recommend that you bring supplies from the small supermarket and bakery in Estaing.
- Walking for the day: 14km, 3-4h, ↑450m ↓120m
- Accommodation: B&B La Landette or similar in Golinhac
Day 7: Golinhac to Conques | 21km
From Espeyrac, the GR65 leads you to the old pilgrims’ village of Senergues with its fortified château and church. Ascend onto the Campeux Plateau to arrive at one of the most famous places en route, the ancient village of Conques. It is quite a straightforward day, about 80% on minor tarmac roads, but the path sections can be muddy and the descent into Conques is short, but quite steep and stony.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 4-5h, ↑310m ↓660m
- Accommodation: Auberge Saint Jacques or similar in Conques
Day 8: Departure
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departure.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of welcoming B&Bs and simple, comfortable hotels, with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms. Accommodation along the Camino route are usually stopover places, and unfortunately, we sometimes have a limited choice. All accommodation has been carefully selected for location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Extra nights can be booked at any of the locations along the way. If you choose a double or a twin room, we will do our best to book this, but it will not always be possible to confirm the requested room type.
Important: We aim to book you into each town listed on the itinerary. However, in case of low availability, we may book you into accommodation in other nearby places.
Click to view default hotels
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included (usually a simple buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. There are many local restaurants available near to hotels for dinners.
Difficulty and terrain
This walk is graded moderate to strenuous and includes walks of up to 26km a day, and some of the walks are fairly strenuous with steeper ascents/descents. A reasonable level of fitness is required. This route can be challenging for those with little walking experience (read more about difficulty grades). The Puy Camino follows a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows, but please take care at intersections. There are sections on the route where you will divert to follow the red and white stripes of the GR routes. There will often be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through unknown and unmarked terrain. We provide you with maps, and you can call our local assistance phone number anytime.
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of April until the end of October.
The weather in southern France is varied. In general, you can expect a mild warm climate and pleasant temperatures for walking of between 19C and up to about 26C in summer months. Summers in the south of France are hot, dry and sunny. Late spring and early autumn are less hot but usually still very pleasant and typically warm enough to spend your evenings eating outside.
The flexibility of self-guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
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Our recommended arrival airport for this tour is Paris Charles de Gaulle.
By train or bus
Arrival in Aumont-Aubrac: At Gare de Bercy in Paris, take a train to Clermont-Ferrand where you take a bus (direction Mende) to Aumont-Aubrac.
Departure from Conques: As Conques does not have a train station, you have to take a taxi to Cransac. At Cransac you take the train to Brive-la-Gaillarde. From there you can easily reach various points in France. You can also take a shuttle bus to reach another train station or to travel back to the starting point. For timetables and further information check the French national train website (SNCF).
- 7 nights in private en-suite rooms
- 7 breakfasts
- Digital route description and maps (Please note, that the information pack for this tour is digital only and will be emailed to you prior to departure. Printed documents can be delivered to your first accommodation at extra charge.)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one piece up to 13kg per person; each additional piece should be paid)
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches and dinners, drinks and snacks
- Additional luggage
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes & entry fees (payable on the spot)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights