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The Full Way of St James - From le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
style :
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Duration :
16 days
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period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB560
Pilgrimage E-Bikes Cycling
price in double room from: € 1795
The Full Way of St James - From le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

The Full Way of St James - From le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

  • Discover the full Via Podiensis by bike
  • Possibility of historic visits along this beautiful itinerary
  • Taste the culinary delights of the region and the hospitality of your accommodation hosts
  • Appreciate the contrasting landscapes and architecture between the regions passed
Map Way of Saint James in France full route
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Route
Day 1: Arrival in Le Puy-en-Velay
Day 2: Le-Puy-en-Velay - Monistrol-d'Allier - Saugues (46 km)
Day 3: Saugues - Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole - Aumont-Aubrac (44 km)
Day 4: Aumont-Aubrac - Nasbinals - Estaing (78 km)
Day 5: Estaing - Espeyrac - Conques (36 km)
Day 6: Conques - Saint-Parthem - Figeac( 43 km)
Day 7: Figeac - Vallée du Célé - Bouziès (54 km)
Day 8: Bouziès - Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - Cahors (35 km)
Day 9: Cahors - Lauzerte (39 km)
Day 10: Lauzerte - Moissac - Auvillar (47 km)
Day 11: Auvillar - Lectoure - Condom (59 km)
Day 12: Condom - Eauze - Aire sur l'Adour (79 km)
Day 13: Aire sur l'Adour - Arzacq - Maslacq (67 km)
Day 14: Maslacq - Navarrenx - Saint-Palais (48 km)
Day 15: Saint-Palais - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (34 km)
Day 16: End in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Day 1:    Arrival in Le Puy-en-Velay

Arrival in Le Puy-en-Velay, capital of Haute-Loire.Located in the South-East of the Massif Central, surrounded by a volcanic landscape which is dominated by rocky peaks rising from the valley floor, this Auvergne town is a major pilgrimage site, with its Romanesque Cathedral of Notre Dame and Hôtel-Dieu listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the starting point of the famous Via Podiensis, one of the routes to Santiago de Compostela, since the Middle Ages. Don't forget purchase your pilgrim passport to have it stamped throughout the journey to your final destination!

Day 2:     Le-Puy-en-Velay - Monistrol-d'Allier - Saugues (46 km)

You start your first cycling day from the cathedral, the route climb out to leave the town of Le Puy. It goes through the Monts du Velay, where green lentils are grown, before going down into the Haut-Allier gorges. Then the itinerary takes you through a variety of landscapes and terrain before reaching the Plateau de la Margeride and its ascent just before Saugues, the last difficulty of this stage. You are ending your day in Saugues which is famous for the mysterious Beast of Gévaudan and its mushrooms!

Challenge: 46km, 1050m ascent, 625m descent

Day 3:    Saugues - Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole - Aumont-Aubrac (44 km)

Today, you start from Saugues, a small town famous for its English Tower, its Mushroom Fair and the legendary Beast of Gévaudan. The route continues into the Margeride plateau and through the Truyère valley before reaching the charming village of Aumont-Aubrac. Pass front of St Roch Chapel, highest point of your stage with an altitude of around 1300m and cross pretty hamlets of Le Rouget, St Alban sur Limagnole and Les Estrets. You stay for the night in the town of Aumont-Aubrac, located in the heart of Lozère, an important point on the pilgrimage route.

Challenge: 44km, 800m ascent, 730m descent

Day 4:     Aumont-Aubrac - Nasbinals - Estaing (78 km)

Leaving Aumont-Aubrac, the route goes through pine groves before reaching the Aubrac plateau, you cycle above an altitude of 1000m, covered with pastures as far as the eye can see. Just after the village of Nasbinals, famous for the "transhumance" (end of May), you pass the highest point of the Way of St James (col d'Aubrac - altitude 1340m). Continue to the nice village of Aubrac where starts the long steep descent of almost 30 km!! Further down, in Saint Côme d’Olt (labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France), route becomes "flat" and you discover the Lot Valley and the lovely village of Estaing.

Challenge: 78km, 655m ascent, 1375m descent

Day 5:     Estaing - Espeyrac - Conques (36 km)

Get ready, because today it's one of the shorter stage but probably the most difficult (but what a beautiful!). You leave Estaing and the Lot valley with a very steep ascent to Campuac. Continue direction Espeyrac, nice village with its ruined castle of the Middle Ages. Few kilometers later, you reach Sénergues also very interesting with its castle and the Tour Carrée. Then, a spectacular route takes you downhill towards Conques, jewel of Romanesque art, and a must on the Via Podiensis!

Challenge: 36km, 680m ascent, 440m descent

Day 6:    Conques - Saint-Parthem - Figeac( 43 km)

Start today along the river Dourdou de Conques which brings you back along the Lot river. You follow the river to Livinhac-le-Haut and from there the road becomes uphill and goes on the next valley, the Célé valley. Last section on a steep ascent before reaching Figeac, pretty town of Art & History, by the Célé river. This is a very important pilgrimage connecting point, and the home town of Champollion (the ‘Father of Egyptology’ who first deciphered hieroglyphics).

Challenge: 43km, 430m ascent, 740m descent

Day 7:    Figeac - Vallée du Célé - Bouziès (54 km)

Start today along the river Dourdou de Conques which brings you back along the Lot river. You follow the river to Livinhac-le-Haut and from there the road becomes uphill and goes on the next valley, the Célé valley. Last section on a steep ascent before reaching Figeac, pretty town of Art & History, by the Célé river. This is a very important pilgrimage connecting point, and the home town of Champollion (the ‘Father of Egyptology’ who first deciphered hieroglyphics).

Challenge: 43km, 430m ascent, 740m descent

Day 8:    Bouziès - Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - Cahors (35 km)

What a day for your last cycling day... First, join the common track with the hikers before starting a breathtaking route, cut in the rock on the edge of the Lot to reach Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Take your time and discover this gorgeous village perched on a rocky, labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France. Leave Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and the valley on a steep ascent with panoramic views. Have a break in the village of Aujols! Then, continue towards Flaujac-Poujols ang go for a beautiful 5 km descent, which will then take you to your final destination, the medieval town of Cahors.

Challenge: 35km, 540m ascent, 550m descent

Day 9:    Cahors - Lauzerte (39 km)

Today, you start by leaving Cahors on the Valentré bridge. After an ascent for to leave the suburbs, you reach the village of Labastide-Marnhac and meet the hikers. Continue on small tracks & roads to Lascabannes. After few kilometers, you enter in the Tarn et Garonne on a road up to Lauzerte. The town of Lauzerte is spectacularly located on a hill overlooking a landscape of vineyards, limestone plateau and green valleys. Spend some time wandering the upper village with its medieval architecture, ramparts and picturesque town square.

Challenge: 39km, 285m ascent, 185m descent

Day 10:    Lauzerte - Moissac - Auvillar (47 km)

You begin this cycling day with a great descent to Moissac, a former major stage of The Way of St James, before continuing into the Lomagne or "hunchback Gascogne", an area of natural beauty. Between the Tarn et Garonne and the Gers, this former dependency of the duchy of Gascony is the land of white garlic, interesting houses and churches. Then you reach Auvillar, built on a promontory and classified as one of the "most beautiful villages in France". There is much to see around the town, with its circular market built in 1824, clock tower and old stone houses.

Challenge: 47km, 245m ascent, 370m descent

Day 11:    Auvillar - Lectoure - Condom (59 km)

Today, you leave the département of “Tarn et Garonne" and enter the “Gers” départment. On the way you will cycle through quaint villages as Flamarens, Miradoux, Lectoure, Marsolan, and La Romieu. When leaving La Romieu, the expansive views of the open countryside of the Gers are inspiring. The area represents the transition between the 'haute' Armagnac around Lectoure and the 'bas' Armagnac around Eauze where thick black oak woods are found and 57% of the wine crops of Armagnac are located. Condom is one of the principal Armagnac towns and is located on a spur of the rivers Gèle and Baïse. The Gothic styled cathedral of St Peter's is the key attraction, the last built in the Languedoc style.

Challenge: 59km, 555m ascent, 590m descent

Day 12:    Condom - Eauze - Aire sur l'Adour (79 km)

This morning, the cycle route takes you to Montréal-du-Gers, one of the most ancient walled towns of Gascogne (1289). Wwe recommend, on the way, a little detour through Larresingle, another of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France". Continue to Eauze, the capital of the current Gascogne. Take time to admire the slender steeple of St Luperce and the half-timbered house of Jeanne d’Albret. At the end of the day, you will come out on the Adour plain, a very open and intensively cultivated landscape. Aire sur l'Adour is separated into two parts; the lower section which is by the river and dominated by the cathedral of St Jean Baptiste, and the high town or Mas d'Aire, which is dominated by the Eglise de Sainte Quitterie where a Benedictine monastery once stood. You will sleep this evening just near in Aire sur l'Adour; in Barcelonne du Gers.

Challenge: 79km, 220m ascent, 240m descent

Day 13:    Aire sur l'Adour - Arzacq - Maslacq (67 km)

You start the day on a small departmental road between farms and cornfields until Troussin, Latrille then Miramont-Sensacq after finding again the Way of St James, still marked with shells. Later on your way, you enter the Béarn area, the relief gradually changes to make way for chestnut and ferns, announcing your entry into the Pyrénées-Atlantiques before arriving at Arzacq-de-Béarn before reaching the small village of Maslacq.

Challenge: 67km, 660m ascent, 655m descent

Day 14:     Maslacq - Navarrenx - Saint-Palais (48 km)

Today you will transition between the Béarn area and the Basque country, in the very heart of the Pyrenean. After the ancient fortified village of Navarrenx, you will cross the Gave d’Oloron. Along the way discover the Montgaston and Joantho castles before reaching St Palais, a cultural town which plays host to colourful festivals and markets. Here the street signs are in the Basque language which is typical of the region. This is also the entry point into the Lower Navarre, formerly the Kingdom of Navarre. There are a number of sights to visit including a museum containing historic pilgrim relics and a statue of St James the pilgrim.

Challenge: 48km, 380m ascent, 415m descent

Day 15:    Saint-Palais - Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (34 km)

Today, It's your last cycling day, and you don't have many kilometers left. You are in the beautiful Basque country, with its white houses and their typical red tinted half-timbering. You have to cross the Col des Palombières. After enjoying an exceptional view, the descent is very beautiful and will lead you to Jaxu, before descending a valley to reach Bustince-Iriberry, then Saint-Jean-le-Vieux. The last kilometers will lead you to "the gate of Saint-Jacques", at the entrance of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, where you will not fail to visit this very picturesque fortified citadel.

Challenge: 34km, 385m ascent, 255m descent

Day 16:    End in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

It is the end of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the pretty town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

'standard' hotels
Hôtel Ramuntcho** -Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
Hôtel Ramuntcho** (Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port)

Alice and Patrick welcome you in a friendly, family atmosphere at Hotel Ramuntcho. Ideally located at the foot of the ramparts in the heart of the old town, easy to access from La Porte de France and 100m from La Porte Saint Jacques.

www.hotel-ramuntcho.com

Hôtel Régina*** (Le Puy-en-Velay)
Hôtel Régina*** (Le Puy-en-Velay)

The hotel Regina, located at the foot of the historic center of Puy en Velay, is the ideal place to stay and explore the city. 

http://www.hotelrestregina.com

B&B La Flore- Saugues
B&B La Flore (Saugues)

It is on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostela (GR65), in Auvergne, on the borders of Margeride, in Saugues in Haute Loire, that you will be warmly welcomed at the bed and breakfast La Flore

laflore-saugues.com

Hôtel Prunières (Aumont-Aubrac)
Hôtel Prunières (Aumont-Aubrac)

In the heart of Aumont-Aubrac, ideally located between the granite mountains of Margeride and the immense basaltic plateaus of Aubrac, this hotel at the start of many excursions and hikes

hotelprunieres.free.fr

Auberge Saint Fleuret** (Estaing)
Auberge Saint Fleuret** (Estaing)

Auberge Saint Fleuret welcomes you in Estaing in Aveyron in the heart of a charming village. Enjoy a warm welcome for a gourmet stay that combines simplicity and quality.

auberge-st-fleuret.com

B&B Au Castellou (Conques)
B&B Au Castellou (Conques)

Le Castellou with its large wooden tables and its original fireplace welcomes hikers ready to discover Conques in its shell with its alleys, its ancestral houses with slate roofs in a friendly and friendly setting.

www.aucastellou.fr

Hôtel Le Quatorze*** (Figeac)
Hôtel Le Quatorze*** (Figeac)

In an old building in the heart of the historic center of Figeac and its heritage, Le Quatorze offers spacious rooms with a natural atmospher. Come and live a natural and relaxed experience in Figeac.

le-quatorze.fr

Hôtel Les Falaises*** (Bouziès)
Hôtel Les Falaises*** (Bouziès)

In the heart of the Lot valley and the Causses du Quercy Regional Park. A perfect place to relax in peace and in the heart of nature.

www.hotel-falaises-bouzies46.fr

Brit Hotel Le France*** (Cahors)
Brit Hotel Le France*** (Cahors)

Located in the city center, the Brit Hôtel Le France offers you a warm welcome. You will find comfort and well-being with its spacious rooms

cahors-france.brithotel.fr

Hôtel du Quercy* (Lauzerte)
Hôtel du Quercy* (Lauzerte)

This charming hotel provides a convenient stopover for pilgrims to rest for a night or a stay, or even to eat before setting off again.

hotel-du-quercy.fr

Hôtel de l'Horloge (Auvillar)
Hôtel de l'Horloge (Auvillar)

The Hôtel de L'Horloge is located on the edge of the Chemins de Saint Jacques, in view of the Porte de Lectoure. The building that houses it, of limestone and brick, is adjacent to the old belfry (known as the Clock Tower).

www.hoteldelhorlogeauvillar.com

B&B Les Angelots (Condom)
B&B Les Angelots (Condom)

Denis and Murielle welcome you in their old house of the 18th century, by the River Baïse, with a nice view on the harbour, he lock and the mill, 250 meters from the Cathedral  of Condom.

www.lesangelots.fr

Chambre d'hôtes La Bastide du Cosset (Barcelonne du Gers)

Florence and Freddy will be delighted to welcome you to this land, the cradle of all their passions. It is with simplicity and discretion that they will reveal to you the secrets of the authentic South West lifestyle.

https://www.bastideducosset.fr/

Gîte d'étape La Halte (Maslacq)
Gîte d'étape La Halte (Maslacq)

Right in the center of the village, at the edge of the path, 100 m from the grocery store and the restaurant, you will be warmly welcomed by Chantal in her pretty Béarn family house. In addition to the welcome, the essentials are offered to you: a comfortable bed and a good hearty breakfast !

Hôtel de la Paix*** (Saint-Palais)
Hôtel de la Paix*** (Saint-Palais)

Between ocean and mountain, this charming hotel offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Basque Country.

www.hotellapaix.com

practical info

Departure any day of the week from 15th April to 31st October.

The closest airport is Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport.

Also possibility of arrival in Paris airports Charles de Gaulle in the North and Orly in the South are served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines. They are connected with Paris by metro and bus services. From Paris you can take a train to Le Puy-en-Velay (via Saint-Etienne), see below.

You can get to Le Puy-en-Velay by train. For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF

On the end of your trip you can take a train from Saint-Jean-pied-de-Port to reach Bayonne and on to various points in France (Pau, Bordeaux, …) or Spain (San Sebastian, …). For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF

From Paris to Cahors (approx. 5h30 - 575 km/358 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

You can also take a regular shuttle bus "Compostela" at the end of your trip to reach a train station or to travel back to the starting point (more information on request).

Parking informations on request

HYBRID BIKES

Cube Tourers

  • 24 Speed Shimano Drive Train
  • Integrated Cable Routing
  • Integrated Dynamo Power LED Lights
  • Sizes available: x-small - small - medium – large

OR

"Boardman" hybrid

  • Lightweight Aluminium Frame, Carbon Forks
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • Shimano 20-Speed or 18 Speed
  • Sizes available: Extra small - Small - Medium - Large

OR

Panier capable Cross Racer/Tourer

  • Alu Frame, Carbon Forks
  • Shimano 105 Components, 11-Speed
  • Internal Cable Routing
  • Sizes available: small - medium/large

E-BIKES

Cube Electric Hybrid

  • Hydraulic Brakes, Shimano Altus 9-speed
  • Front suspension: Suntour NEX
  • Bosch Drive Unit Active Plus GEN3 (50Nm)
  • Sizes: Small - medium

GPS tracks are available on request

included

Included

  • 15 Nights in selected 2*/3*hotels
  • Breakfasts and 11 Dinners (not included in Le Puy, Figeac, Cahors and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Tourist city tax
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and maps
  • 24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

Not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to first and from last accommodation
  • Trains, busses or any transport wherever necessary
  • Other Lunches & Dinners
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, additional transfers, etc
  • Hybrid bike rental

Extras

  • Single Room Supplement
  • Solo Traveller Supplement
  • Additional nights 
  • Transfer from the train station to your hotel
  • Transfer back from your last accommodation
  • Hybrid bike rental 
  • E-bike supplement 
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