GR 65 Way towards Compostela from Le Puy-en-Velay to Figeac

The first part of the Via Podiensis towards Santiago de Compostela is 252 km long. It can be covered in 10 to 12 days of hike. After visiting Le Puy-en-Velay and its historical buildings, you will cross the gorges of Allier, then the Aubrac. It’s in Conques or Figeac, in the valley of Lot, that your pilgrimage will end. Unless you want to carry on…

The stopovers on the Saint James GR 65

Here are some examples of hike on the Way of Santiago de Compostela. However, many other possibilities exist, do not hesitate to contact us contact us for more information.

…in 3 days in the valley of Lot, from Conques Figeac

  • Day 1: from Conques to Decazeville, 20 km (about 5h of walk),
  • Day 2: from Decazeville to Montredon, 10 km (about 2h30 of walk),
  • Day 3: from Montredon to Figeac, 19 km (about 4h45 of walk).

…in 4 days from the Velay to Aubrac, from the Puy-en-Velay to Aumont-Aubrac

  • Day 1: from Le Puy-en-Velay to Montbonnet, 16 km (about 4h of walk),
  • Day 2: from Montbonnet to Saugues, 24 km (about 6h15 of walk),
  • Day 3: from Saugues to Le Sauvage, 19 km (about 4h45 of walk),
  • Day 4: from Le Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac, 27 km (about 6h45 of walk).

…in 7 days from AUmont-Aubrac to Conques

  • Day 1: from Aumont-Aubrac to Prinsuéjols, 16 km (about 4h of walk),
  • Day 2: from Prinsuéjols to Nasbinals, 16.5 km (about 4h of walk),
  • Day 3: from Nasbinals to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, 17 km (about 4h15 of hike),
  • Day 4: from Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac to Saint-Côme-d’Olt, 16 km (about 4h of walk),
  • Day 5: from Saint-Côme-d’Olt to Estaing, 20.5 km (about 5h of walk),
  • Day 6: from Estaing to Golinhac, 16 km (about 4h of walk),
  • Day 7: from Golinhac to Conques, 21 km (about 5h15 of walk).

Preparing your hike on the way to Santiago de Compostela

Following the itinerary of the Saint James

We recommend you the TopoGuide of the FFRandonnée to follow the itinerary of the Saint James from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques or Figeac. It contains all the necessary information to prepare your stopovers and follow the path:

  • Detailed plan of the departure
  • Detailed geographical mapping with IGN maps
  • Description, step by step, of the path
  • The accommodation along the way
  • Some thematic sheets to learn about the history of the way while walking

Where to sleep on the way of Santiago?

On the Via Podiensis (way from le Puy) of the Saint James (GR 65), you will find many accommodations. Campsites, bed and breakfasts, stopover gîtes or even hotels, for all tastes and all budgets!

It’s a rather frequented itinerary, thus, we recommend you to book your first nights and then book as you go.

Consult our guide of accommodation and useful information.

Which daily budget take on the way to Santiago de Compostela?

Your budget will depend on the type of accommodation you will choose. The less expensive solution stays the bivouac on campsite but your backpack will be heavier! Indeed, you will have to carry tent, portable stove… Many stopover gîtes, bed and breakfast or hotels are available along the way. According to their quality and the services they offers you may spend between 30 and 60 euros per day per person.

Transportation of luggage and trip back

Fancy making carry your backpack? Portage and transport services exist on the way to Saint- James. They take care of carrying your luggage to your next stop…you’re then hiking light! This services can also take you back to your starting point in Le Puy-en-Velay or some other place…

Consult our partners of transport services on the Saint James’ way.

When can you walk on the way of Santiago de Compostela?

Travelling on the way of Santiago de Compostela in its entirety takes about 2 months of hike! The pilgrims who make the whole way usually leave from the month of April to arrive at Santiago de Compostela before the heat of summer.

Nevertheless, the trail goes by more than 1300 meters of altitude after Saugues. There, the winters can be long and harsh. Thus, we advise you the period of May to October.

In any case, before leaving for your trip, check the weather!

Markings and maintenance

The way of Le Puy-en-Velay of the way of Santiago de Compostela is an itinerary certified “sentier de Grande Randonnée” (long-distance hike) by the Walking French Federation. It’s the GR 65 and it is marked in white and red by the volunteers of the Walking Committee of Haute-Loire, Lozère, Aveyron and Lot. Follow the markings to reach your destination!

If you wish to support the markings work of the Walking Committees’ teams, you can sign up for:

  • A membership card in one of our hiking clubs
  • A “Randocarte”, membership of the Walking Committee, directly from our online shop, section Randocarte

Religious information

The Creanciale

The Creanciale is document testifying of the state of pilgrim. The creanciale commits the one who delivers it as well as the one who presents it to its hosts along the way. It a strong sign of affiliations to the pilgrims’ people. It’s also a sign of mutual and confident welcoming between the pilgrim, Christian or not, and the Church, as the creanciale has to be deliverd by hand after an interview with a delegate explicitly representing the Catholic Church on the Christian meaning of the pilgrimage.

It can’t be delivered by mail. You can obtain it after the masse and benediction in the Cathedral of Le Puy or at the opening times of the sacristy.

The Credencial del Peregrino

If you can do without the Credencial in France, it is almost essential in Spain. This passport stamped at every stopover makes it possible, if necessary, to justify your pilgrimage status in France and Spain. Some religious communities or private individuals can – according to their availability – welcome isolated pilgrims for the night if they have this passport.

The Credencial can be obtained from a Jacobean association in Le Puy-en-Velay or near your place.

The Compostela

It’s a certificate of pilgrimage which is delivered to the pilgrim when he arrives in Santiago de Compostela, after presentation of the Creanciale (or Credencial) duly stamped. The Compostela is given by the office of pilgrims of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.

The masses in the Cathedral Notre-Dame du Puy

  • All year long, mass at 7 am, followed by traveling blessings, except from November to March at 7:30 am from Monday to Friday.
  • All year long, mass at 10:30 am.
  • For the liturgical mass (Holy Week, Easter, Assumption…) please contact + 33 (0)4 71 09 79 77 or www.cathedraledupuy.org

History of the way of Saint James

The way starting from Le Puy-en-Velay of the Saint James (via Podiensis) is described from the 12th century.

It’s one of the 4 major Jacobean ways (with Paris, Vézelay and Arles) to join the Spanish sanctuary of Saint James the Great. The pilgrims used to come on this Galician land to honor the relics of the Christ’s apostle, martyred in 44 in Palestine.

Why Le Puy-en-Velay?

It’s in the 10th century that Bishop Gothescalk was the first pilgrim to go to Santiago de Compostela. He decided to strengthen the links between the Marian city of Le Puy-en-Velay and the Spanish sanctuary by building, in 962, a chapel dedicated to Saint-Michel on the volcanic rock of Aiguilhe.

The appeal of the town of Le Puy-en-Velay increased during the following centuries, the city and its cathedral attracting millions of pilgrims who came to pray the statue of the Black Madonna. Some of them used to travel around 1600 kilometers towards Compostela. And it’s this link, between these two shrines of pilgrimage, which still constitutes the peculiarity of this pilgrimage route.

Since 1998, the UNESCO has included the Cathedral of Le Puy-en-Velay, the city’s Hôtel Dieu and some sections of the way between Le Puy and Ostabat, in the World Heritage of Humanity, increasing the notoriety of this itinerary

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