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!
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
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
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
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
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
Today you will discover the secret Célé valley! Follow the road that winds the river through typical Quercy villages like: Espagnac and its lovely 13th century church, Saint Sulpice and its troglodyte houses, Marcilhac and the ruins of its Benedictine abbey church, then Sauliac, and Cabrerets with its prehistoric cave of Peche Merle. You will find the Lot river again, few kilometers later, in Conduché, and you will just have to cross the bridge for the overnight in Bouziès.
Challenge: 54km, 80m ascent, 150m descent
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
End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful city of Cahors and its Valentré Bridge.
All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
From Paris to Le Puy-en-Velay (approx. 6h - 540 km/336 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
Panier capable Cross Racer/Tourer
Cube Electric Hybrid
GPS tracks are available on request