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 Le Puy-en-Velay to Aumont-Aubrac, the former one of the oldest towns in France. Walk between 19- 33km per day, enveloped by the Velay Massif, strolling through ancient villages such as Saugues, and to wonderful viewpoints such as Margeride Plateau. 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 Aumont-Aubrac
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy
- Velay Massif
- Saint-Privat-d’Allier, Aumont-Aubrac and other traditional villages
- Numerous churches, castles and medieval towns
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive in Le Puy-en-Velay
Le Puy Camino starts in the charming town of Le Puy-en-Velay, nestled between the Auvergne volcanoes and the Rhone Alpes. You feel you are stepping back in time, wandering the cobbled streets of the old town. Enjoy a walk up to Notre Dame de France for some fantastic panoramic views of the town and surrounding volcanic landscapes.
- Accommodation: Hotel Le Régina or similar in Le Puy-en-Velay
Day 2: Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Privat-d’Allier | 23km
Today your walk takes you across the Velay Massif, enjoying stunning scenery all day long before reaching the pretty village of Saint-Privat-d’Allier. Between Le Puy and Saint-Christophe, the route rises from 625m to 966m and crosses the vast plateau that leads to the Velay Massif. The trail faithfully adheres to the ancient pilgrim route as far as La Roche before joining another of the old trails that comes from Ramourouscle at Saint-Christophe. To be a real pilgrim, you should start from the door of Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy cathedral and go down the grand steps to La Rue des Tables and, just after passing the fountain, turn left into Rue Raphael, which opens out into the Place du Plot. You then follow Rue Saint-Jacques leading into Rue des Capucins.
- Walking for the day: 23km, 4-5h ↑550m ↓335m
- Accommodation: B&B La Cabourne or similar in Saint-Privat-d’Allier
Day 3: Saint-Privat-d’Allier to Saugues | 19km
Today you walk a shorter distance, but the ascents and descents make it a very challenging stage. However, it is a very rewarding day with superb views of the Velay Massif and strolls through traditional villages and hamlets such as Rochegude and Combriaux. From Monistrol, the climb is quite steep to reach Montaure (1,022m) on the edge of the Gevaudan plateau. As far as Montaure, the route follows the exact ancient pilgrims’ trail and then the historical trail goes off to the right. A new route has now been developed which is just as direct but more pleasant for walking to Saugues, where you stay for the night.
- Walking for the day: 19km, 4h ↑565m ↓480m
- Accommodation: B&B Les Gabales or similar in Saugues
Day 4: Saugues to Saint-Alban | 33km
This is a long but fascinating day. There are farm cafes in Contaldes and Chazeaux and a restaurant in Chanaleilles, just off the trail, but their opening hours can be irregular. So we recommend that you get supplies in Saugues before leaving. There is a patisserie almost opposite the hotel and there is a supermarket and another bakery on the way out of town. Today, your walk takes you to Le Sauvage, a farming area perched on top of a hill dating back to the times of the Templars. You then enter the Lozère region at Saint-Roch chapel (a great spot for a picnic) before finishing in Les Faux or Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole. Accommodation tonight at a charming auberge in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, or at Les Faux.
- Walking for the day: 33km, 7-8h ↑560m ↓560m
- Accommodation: Auberge Saint-Jacques or similar in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole
Day 5: Saint-Alban to Aumont-Aubrac | 21km
A lovely day of undulating, rural terrain, crossing small rivers through forests, fields and into small villages. Enjoy a scenic walk on the Aubrac Plateau. Your journey today ends in the charming town of Aumont-Aubrac. The heart of the old town was formerly surrounded by ramparts. 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.
- Walking for the day: 21km, 5h ↑330m ↓480m
- Accommodation: B&B Les Sentiers Fleuris or similar in Aumont-Aubrac
Day 6: Departure
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departure. Extra nights are available upon request
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 at nearby places.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel Le Régina (Le Puy-en-Velay)
- B&B La Cabourne (Saint-Privat-d’Allier)
- B&B Les Gabales (Saugues)
- Auberge Saint Jacques (Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole)
- B&B Les Sentiers Fleuris (Aumont-Aubrac)
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 31-33km (7-8h) 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). Le 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.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended arrival airport for this tour is Lyon. The alternative airports are Paris Orly and Paris Charles de Gaulle.
By train or bus
Arrival in Le Puy-en-Velay: You can get to Le Puy-en-Velay by train, from Lyon airport you can get a shuttle tram express to Lyon Part‐Dieu station. You can also fly to Paris with onward connection by air or TGV (high-speed) train to Lyon where you change for Le Puy (direct or via St-Etienne). For timetables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).
Departure from Aumont-Aubrac: At the end of your trip, you can take a train to reach various points in France (Clermont- Ferrand, Lyon, Paris, Montpellier). These are the Intercités trains or regional TER trains. 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 website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).
- 5 nights in private en-suite rooms
- All breakfasts and three dinners on days 2, 3 and 4
- Digital route description and maps
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one piece up to 20kg 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 and entry fees (payable on the spot)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras & 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