Arrive in stunning Le Puy-en-Velay, one of the four main starting points for the pilgrimage to Compostela. Pilgrims gathered at the magnificent Cathédrale-de-Notre-Dame before their departure.
Follow the pilgrims’ route past churches of volcanic rock and fields where the famous green lentils of Le Puy grow. Their distinctive taste is said to be due to the volcanic soil in which they grow. Arrive in the small town of Saint-Privat D'Allier. Distance: 22 km, elevation gain 580 m.*
Head across the plateau through Rochegude, a frontier stronghold; pause at the chapel of St. James where pilgrims stopped for devotions. Today’s destination is Saugues which English mercenaries, left unemployed by the end of the Hundred Years’ War, occupied until they were paid off.
Distance: 18 km, elevation gain 400 m.*
Cross the Margaride plateau, through pine forests and small villages and past ruined castles to Domaine du Sauvage, a scattering of farm buildings near the site of a pilgrims’ hospice. A taxi will pick you up and transfer you back to Saugues, where you’ll spend a second night.
Distance: 19 km, elevation gain 200 m.*
Start with a taxi transfer to Domaine du Sauvage, from where you head into the countryside past the Chapelle Saint-Roch; visit Le Rouget, built of the red sandstone so widely used in the region. You’ll see it again in the cathedral and chateau when you arrive in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole.
Distance: 13 km, elevation gain 350 m.*
Walk through woods, across moors, beside pastures with old stone walls, and along an ancient Roman road to the charming town of Aumont-Aubrac.
Distance: 15 km, elevation gain 200 m.*
Enjoy another day among beautiful pastures and moors before climbing to Montgros, near the cross- country ski centre of Nasbinal.
Distance: 24 km, elevation gain 220 m.*
This is your last day on high plateaus. Pass through Aubrac where the Brothers Hospitalier once kept an estate in order to protect the pilgrims. Arrive at the pretty town of Saint-Chély-D’Aubrac.
Distance: 20 km, elevation gain 500 m.*
Walk through remote country to the fortified town of Saint-Côme-d’Olt, designated one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.
Distance: 22 km, elevation gain 420 m.*
Enter the Lot River Valley; visit wonderful old towns like Espalion and Saint-Pierre de Bessuéjouls on your way to Estaing, another Plus Beau Village.
Distance: 11 km, elevation gain 150 m.*
Beautiful canyon scenery and simple villages mark the route to Espayrac graced by an old stone cross and the church of Saint-Pierre.
Distance: 15 km, elevation gain 300 m.*
A short day’s walk takes you to Conques, clustered around the huge abbey church of Ste-Foy, where the relics of Ste. Foy, a Christian martyr, once drew thousands of pilgrims. Conques itself is a magical destination in a dramatic setting.
Distance: 22 km, elevation gain 250 m.*
Explore Conques before departing for home or other destinations.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.