France’s most popular pilgrim route to the Pyrenees.
The Le Puy Route, known as the Chemin de St Jacques, is the most popular of the French routes to Santiago. It begins in the town of Le-Puy-en-Velay and continues for 740 kilometres through stunning provincial villages set along the serene banks of the Lot River. After terminating in St Jean Pied de Port, close to the Spanish border, the trail joins the Camino Frances and follows the path over the Pyrenees and into Spain, all the way to Santiago de Compostela, some 795km later.
While many aspects of walking a Camino – friendship, reflection, shared purpose, health and wellness – remain the same no matter the country, walking a Camino in France is still a different experience to that of Spain. Take, for example, the food. Imagine buttery croissants and freshly baked baguettes, both of which are ‘essential’ for keeping your energy up, perhaps enjoyed with a glass of the local wine. Then there are the landscapes – dirt paths winding their way around the deep valleys, rivers running through wine country and the majestic peaks of the Pyrenees in the south. All of which is complemented by the warmth of the French people, who have been welcoming pilgrims for hundreds of years.