This is one of the prettiest routes of all the Camino walks. This 8 day Pack Free walk showcasing the highlights of the popular pilgrim Le Puy Camino route from the French medieval towns of Le Puy to St Jean Pied De Port in the Pyrenees. This walk can be completed on its own or joined to our Spanish Camino walks for a longer 12 day or 20 day journey. It has been specifically designed for Australians who have limited time. We begin our walk into the charming town of Le Puy exploring stunning mountain scenery and pretty French medieval towns and villages along the way to the Pyreenes. We have hand-picked each of our hotel so that you will enjoy unique stays in chateaus along the way, indulging in superb cuisine and french local wines every day. Each day is flexible allowing our guests to enjoy a shorter walk or opt-out of any day’s walking and explore the local villages.
Your 8 day walking holiday includes:
Guests will need to organise their own flights to Lyon in France the day prior to the tour. Direct flights operate throughout the day from Paris to Lyon, France (1 hour 10 min flight).
Meet our representative in Lyon at 8am in the foyer of the Hotel Carlton Lyon –MGallery by Sofitel, from here we transfer (2 hour drive) to Christophe-de-sur-Dolaison at 912m near the town of Le Puy. To maximise our time, this mornings walk will take us on a section of the Camino starting in the village of Christophe-de-sur-Dolaison and walking back towards Le Puy. This offers our guests a spectacular way to arrive into Le Puy with its dramatic volcanic outcrops adorned with chapels and statues. Once we arrive into Le Puy we will enjoy a relaxing lunch in the main square and so up the atmosphere of this medieval town. After lunch, we walk directly to our hotel, Le Regina where your bags will be waiting and you can check in to your room. This afternoon you have the option to join a sightseeing tour (no extra cost) with your guide including the Cathedral and the 10th century medieval Michel d’Aiguikhe chapel dramatically perched on a volcanic rock overlooking the town. Alternatively, enjoy some free time to explore this quaint town at your leisure. The old city is a delightful maze of small streets with pastel-painted building and shops some selling lace, as this town once famed for its lacemaking. Tonight join your group for dinner in a local restaurant specialising in regional food which is accompanied with French wines. In the evening after dinner you can stroll around the town and see the pretty illumination of significant buildings.
This morning before breakfast, guests have the option to attend the 7am mass at the old 12th-century cathedral. The Cathedral provides a pilgrim blessing for departing pilgrims. Afterwards, we head back to the hotel for breakfast. This morning we transfer from Le Puy to St-Privat-d’Allier (23 mins) to start our walk. St-Privat-d’Allier is a small village at 875m altitude and overlooks the Allier gorges. We follow the trail above the town enjoying spectacular mountain views as we make our way to Rochegude a hilltop village. We pass one of the many Hundred Years War watch towers which can be seen throughout the countryside as we descend to the valley floor and the town of Monistrol d’Allier for relaxing lunch stop. This pretty village with its old stone houses has an idyllic location along the bank of the Allier river-facing volcanic cliffs. After lunch, we avoid the strenuous uphill mountain climb of almost 500m by enjoying a short transfer to the village of Le Vernet (14 mins) where we pick up our walk. From Vernet, our walk descends 4.5kms into the French town of Saugues rich in history and famous for its woodturning of clogs. Enjoy some free time in Saugues for about half an hour to explore the castle and town. Afterwards, we transfer to our accommodation (40 mins). Tonight we enjoy a feature stay in a historic chateau at the Le Chateau D’Orfeuillette, a unique 4-star hotel offering quirky modern interiors. Dinner tonight will be in the chateau’s 1 Michelin star restaurant offering modern cuisine with a regional flavour accompanied by French wines.
This morning we enjoy a wonderful breakfast in the Chateau before transferring to the next section of our walk (38 mins). Today’s walk takes us from Nasbinals to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac. We begin in Nasbinals a charming little village nestled at 1200 metres above sea level with a 12th-century church. From here our walk gradually climbs as it crosses the Aubrac plateau a UNESCO World Heritage site with volcanic granite landscapes, stark lakes, beech forests and open green hillsides with wildflowers during spring. We cross a stone bridge over a pretty stream before reaching the village of Pascalet. We traverse to the highest point of the Camino at 1324m before gradually descending into the small medieval village of Aubrac with its gothic church tower. The bells of the tower would help pilgrims in the middle ages find their way in stormy weather. We stop in this pretty town for lunch before continuing on to the villages of Belvezet and Del Sail. We descend into the charming village of Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, with its stone cottages set in a beautiful green valley. Here we’ll enjoy some free time for about half an hour to explore the village. Afterwards, we transfer 55 mins to the remarkable Château de Labro a stylish and elegant luxury accommodation set in a historic castle with grand interiors, a gourmet restaurant, and swimming pool set amongst the vineyard your stay here will be truly unique.
Easier Option. An easier option walk is available today. Walk with the group to Aubrac. After lunch, spend some time in town at leisure before travelling with the guide to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac for free time to wander around this cute village.
Enjoy breakfast in the chateau before we transfer back to the trail (30 mins). Our walk today takes us through the many beautiful villages of the Lot Valley from St Pierre to Conques. From St Pierre, we cross the old stone bridge over the Astruges river as we head out of town towards the village of Le Briffoul, the church of Tredou and the village of Verrières. At lunchtime, we arrive into the gorgeous medieval town of Estaing set on the banks of the river. This is a pretty town of turrets, castles, lantern-shaped roofs and dungeons. Enjoy lunch at a local Estaing restaurant with its delicious regional cuisine. After lunch we’ll explore the Cathedral and enjoy a walk following the Lot River. We’ll then transfer to Fontromieu (40 mins) where we recommence our walk through the peaceful countryside as we pass the village of St Marcel and walk through the forest descending into one of the prettiest medieval towns in the whole of France, the beautiful town of Conques. The track into Conques is a stony path with a steep descent but worth it with spectacular views over the town. Our accommodation tonight is the centre of Conques at the Hotel Saint Foy. Situated opposite the abbey, this old 17th-century hotel, has terraces and pretty private gardens to relax after a day’s walking. Tonight enjoy dinner indulging in wonderful meals by the chef featuring local fresh produce and wines.
Easier Option. For those not wanting to join the afternoon walk, travel with our driver to Conques with free time to explore this magnificent medieval town.
After breakfast we farewell Conques and transfer to Grotto de Peche Merle, Caberets to visit the cave paintings, like that of the Spotted Horses which are over 29,000 years old. This is one of the few prehistoric cave painting sites in France that remain open to the general public. This vast 2km cave is adorned with nearly 700 prehistoric painted or engraved patterns. Afterwards, we’ll walk from Caberets to St Cirq Lapopie generally considered a moderately challenging route taking an average of 4hours. We’ll then transfer to Cahors. We enter the city by crossing the impressive Valentre Bridge, the gateway to Cahors which spans this River Lot. Cahors has a rich Celtic history before becoming a large Roman City with monuments that can still be seen today. From Cahors, we transfer to our accommodation at Chateau Mercues (15 mins). This special accommodation will be another highlight of your trip as we spend the evening in a 13th-century castle which overlooks the famous vineyard of Cahors. Formerly the residence of the Bishops of Cahors, this historic building has been transformed into an elegant hotel with lavish decor and antiques. The chateau is set amongst extensive gardens with an outdoor swimming pool. Before dinner, we enjoy pre-dinner drinks on the rooftop balcony of the castle overlooking the valley. Afterwards, we dine on the magnificent cuisine in the hotel restaurant created by the resident chef, with a range of perfectly chosen wines.
Easier Option. For those not wanting to join the afternoon walk, travel with our driver to Cahors with free time to explore this magnificent medieval town.
After breakfast we depart the chateau and visit the Pont Valentre to explore a bit more closely before transferring to Larresingle. Enroute we will stop with some time at Auvillar (1 hr 15 mins). Located on the banks of the Garonne River, Auvillar was voted one of the most beautiful villages in France. After we continue our drive to Larresingle (1 hr) where we start our walk to Montreal. Along this route we will cross the stone bridge of Pont d’Artigues and the old Chapel de Routges and a chateau. Eventually we walk into Montreal de Gers, a charming town with medieval and half-timbered houses. From here we transfer (50 mins) to our accommodation for the evening, the 11th century La Monastère De Saint Mont. Once a monastery this property has been transformed into a chic and vibrant hotel. Enjoy a superb dinner featuring regional specialities and local wine.
After breakfast, we farewell our hotel and transfer to nearby Aire-sur-l’Adour to explore the town, a settlement has existed here since roman times although it is only a trace of the name that still exists. Afterwards we’ll transfer to the start of our last walk for the trip. (1 hr 40 mins). Today’s walk takes us from the small town of Gamarthe to Saint Jean Pied De Port in the Pyrenees. We cross the stone bridge over the river Bassaguibele and make our way to Col d’Oyhanzarre. On our walk, we pass many pretty Basque villages, beautiful rivers, chateaus and enjoy spectacular views of the Pyrenees. We eventually arrive at the gate of the old town of Saint Jean Pied de Port at the foot of the Pyrenees and our final destination. This charming town with its cobbled streets is always buzzing with lots of pilgrims with those that have walked from Le Puy and those starting their Camino Francés from here to Santiago in Spain. Our last night is spent in the charming Les Chemins D’Elika, an old coaching inn ideally located only 400m from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port’s citadel. Tonight enjoy a celebratory dinner in a local restaurant featuring authentic Basque food and wine. Your dinner companions will be your fellow travellers and those joining the Camino route from here into Spain.
After breakfast we farewell everyone and those departing here will be transferred to Bayonne. (1 hour drive). Airport drops off at Biarritz airport are also available (4kms from Bayonne).
Direct flights operate throughout the day from Biarritz to Paris France (1 hour 20 min flight).
For those wanting to continue their trip please see our longer versions of this walk into Spain.
We run regular scheduled tours each year from May to September, the ideal time to do this walk. We will also consider opening up a new departure date if we have enough demand. Email us at email@example.com
(Please note if you are booking 3 months or less before departure – we will need to confirm accommodation with our suppliers is still available and an alternative of similar standard may be offered instead).
Date of your choice is available for groups of 8 people or more. Subject to availability.
Please contact us for more details on (02) 9975 4553 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note your tour price does not include flights to / from the countries visited. We are offering our clients a service to book their international flights and any other travel plans during their holiday. If you would like our Flights Specialist to organise these requirements, please email us at email@example.com with your requirements.
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Spot Special saving of up to $500 per couple or $250 per person available on specific departures when you pay in full at time of booking.
Private groups of 10 - 12 people can choose the date of their choice. Subject to availability.
Please note your tour price does not include flights to / from the countries visited. We are offering our clients a service to book their international flights and any other travel plans during their holiday. If you would like our Flights Specialist to organise these requirements please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements.
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