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Any up to date info on 'Via Arverna"?

mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
I am interested in walking the "Via Arverna" in May 2018, I have seen the post by Gittiharre in July 2016 and Glenshiro in October 2017. There is a web site for Via Arverna, that is very good , but I am keen to hear from anyone who has walked this route, and can give me practical advice.
 
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gittiharre

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I wish I could give you first hand experience. Welcome to the forum Mal Kiwi!
 

Finch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese
Via Averna
I am interested in walking the "Via Arverna" in May 2018, I have seen the post by Gittiharre in July 2016 and Glenshiro in October 2017. There is a web site for Via Arverna, that is very good , but I am keen to hear from anyone who has walked this route, and can give me practical advice.

I walked the Via Arverna from Clermont Ferrand to Brioude in early October 17. I used the route identified on the ‘Tracegps’ maps provided by the link on the Via Arverna website (this fantastic website is currently accessible). The route on the maps was accurate and the actual path was reasonably well signposted. I printed a series of A4 map sections at a large scale from the Tracegps site to use while walking (to save phone battery). These prints were invaluable. The path is not straight and requires careful navigation using the maps. I mostly used Airbnb’s to stay at and pre-booked all my accommodation. Some of the sections proposed on the Via Arverna website are quite long and I reduced the length of one of these. Easy to do using Airbnb accommodation and the area map on the Airbnb website. I believe at least the first two-thirds of the route has a good train service to/from Clermont Ferrand for those not wishing to do it all in one go. Certainly Brioude is well served by trains. I should say I met nobody else at all walking the route and nobody to ask directions. I didn’t get the feeling the walk is particularly well known locally. I imagine there might be more people walking it in the summer though. This section of the route is fairly low level and passes through lovely countryside. I really enjoyed the walk and plan to go back this year to do another 5 days or so starting at Brioude. Let me know if there is anything else l can help with.
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
This is the walker I wrote about in October 2017 - thanks for posting.
 

mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
Thankyou for your invaluable and practical advice about the via Arverna, It must have been getting quite cold in October, looks like some other sections are very exposed. Would you give me an estimate for the amount of road walking you did? There appears to be an alternate route Champeix to Jumeaux, any thoughts on this?
Did you find any walking guides of this route that you thought were worthwhile?, Any accommodation you stayed in, that were memorable and would recommend? Any local foods that I must try? Problems with Dogs?
Thankyou again,
 
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Finch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese
Via Averna
Thankyou for your invaluable and practical advice about the via Arverna, It must have been getting quite cold in October, looks like some other sections are very exposed. Would you give me an estimate for the amount of road walking you did? There appears to be an alternate route Champeix to Jumeaux, any thoughts on this?
Did you find any walking guides of this route that you thought were worthwhile?, Any accommodation you stayed in, that were memorable and would recommend? Any local foods that I must try? Problems with Dogs?
Thankyou again,

One wet day and one cold misty morning. Otherwise warm, occasionally hot and sunny. It was early October. I was told the weather tends to be fine in autumn. Fairly minimal road walking. Maybe 10%. Regarding guides l did try but couldn’t find anything.

Accommodation l would recommend:
1. Maison de la Monne in Olloix: smart hostel
2. 23 Rue Gabriel Roux, Issoire: Airbnb
3. 16 Rue de Port, Brassac-les-Mines: Airbnb
4. Maison Forte de Flageac, 2 Rue du Breuil, Flageac, Cohade: Airbnb and a bit of a walk from Brioude
There was also an Airbnb in Auzat-la-Combelle that was very cheap and which is not recommended by me.

No thoughts on the alternative route apart from l am sure it is likely to be just as pleasant. One dog crept up behind me and started barking loudly but no problems apart from that. Food? Well it’s your usual French fare. Plenty of meat if that’s what you like. I liked the rabbit. Cheap local wine. There’s a lovely friendly little restaurant called the Hotel de l’ille on the bridge that crosses the river Allier just on the edge of Jumeaux. 4 course lunch about 15 euros. Short walk from there to Brassac-les-Mines
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
Thanks for posting. As a matter of interest, what was your average daily walk? And did you eat with your Airbnb hosts or was there somewhere available locally?
 

mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
One wet day and one cold misty morning. Otherwise warm, occasionally hot and sunny. It was early October. I was told the weather tends to be fine in autumn. Fairly minimal road walking. Maybe 10%. Regarding guides l did try but couldn’t find anything.

Accommodation l would recommend:
1. Maison de la Monne in Olloix: smart hostel
2. 23 Rue Gabriel Roux, Issoire: Airbnb
3. 16 Rue de Port, Brassac-les-Mines: Airbnb
4. Maison Forte de Flageac, 2 Rue du Breuil, Flageac, Cohade: Airbnb and a bit of a walk from Brioude
There was also an Airbnb in Auzat-la-Combelle that was very cheap and which is not recommended by me.

No thoughts on the alternative route apart from l am sure it is likely to be just as pleasant. One dog crept up behind me and started barking loudly but no problems apart from that. Food? Well it’s your usual French fare. Plenty of meat if that’s what you like. I liked the rabbit. Cheap local wine. There’s a lovely friendly little restaurant called the Hotel de l’ille on the bridge that crosses the river Allier just on the edge of Jumeaux. 4 course lunch about 15 euros. Short walk from there to Brassac-les-Mines

Many thanks for sharing your experiences
The four course lunch on the Allier sounds perfect to me, then a lie down!
 

Finch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese
Via Averna
Many thanks for sharing your experiences
The four course lunch on the Allier sounds perfect to me, then a lie down!

Not a problem. One other experience to share. The Via Arverna website stage 1 description suggests catching a bus to the edge of Clermont Ferrand to avoid walking through the suburbs. I was glad l did this even though it’s cheating. And the suburbs looked pretty uninteresting from the comfort of the bus, plus the first day was a little shorter than it would have been otherwise (about 25 km instead of 30.5 km)
 

Finch

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese
Via Averna
Not a problem. One other experience to share. The Via Arverna website stage 1 description suggests catching a bus to the edge of Clermont Ferrand to avoid walking through the suburbs. I was glad l did this even though it’s cheating. And the suburbs looked pretty uninteresting from the comfort of the bus, plus the first day was a little shorter than it would have been otherwise (about 25 km instead of 30.5 km)

Re distance I did one very short day about 6 miles (which involved the lunch l mentioned at Jumeaux) and the rest were 17 to 20 miles a day. Re eating there was nothing in Auzat-la-Combelle and poor choice in Brassac-les-Mines. Otherwise the first night hostel/hotel had a good restaurant, and Issoire and Brioude plenty of places to eat. I carried some emergency food in case of lack of restaurants
 
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mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
Re distance I did one very short day about 6 miles (which involved the lunch l mentioned at Jumeaux) and the rest were 17 to 20 miles a day. Re eating there was nothing in Auzat-la-Combelle and poor choice in Brassac-les-Mines. Otherwise the first night hostel/hotel had a good restaurant, and Issoire and Brioude plenty of places to eat. I carried some emergency food in case of lack of restaurants

I am at Massiac now, just rereading your notes/replys. I forgot about the airbnb that you "didnt recommend", stayed the night there, luckily my next night was in total contrast, 6 out of 5 stars! You can imagine that may is very quiet, it appears that many hotels and even your restaurant in Jumeaux are shut or on holiday. My impression is that prices are low, weather has been good but forecast for heavy rain over the weekend. No other walkers that i have seen, odd day trip people. The distances have been a problem, difficult to reduce the days length, I am, rather my feet aren't happy with too many 30 ks a day. Malcolm
 

mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
Re distance I did one very short day about 6 miles (which involved the lunch l mentioned at Jumeaux) and the rest were 17 to 20 miles a day. Re eating there was nothing in Auzat-la-Combelle and poor choice in Brassac-les-Mines. Otherwise the first night hostel/hotel had a good restaurant, and Issoire and Brioude plenty of places to eat. I carried some emergency food in case of lack of restaurants
.
 

mal kiwi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Astorga to Santiago, 2015 Le Puy to St JPP, 2016 Lisbon to Santiago
(2018) Camino via Arverna
Finch
I am now at Cahors, the end of the via Arverna,resting.
Without too much detail, i want to say that this camino is very different from others i have walked. As you noted the web site is excellent, with suggestions on how to approach various subjects like accomodation and walking distances, a must read before each days "stage". I used Orux and the maps in a phone GPS, that can be downloaded from their web site, though the trail marking was very good, as it follows many intersecting GR trails.
I stayed at airbnbs early on, then small hotels, then gites/hostels as i got closer to the more popular GR trails. The first long distance walkers i met were after Murat, then again from Rocamodour onwards. If you walk in may it is very quiet. The month of May has changeable weather, is quiet, springtime and its beauty, cheaper being low season. I would imagine august/sept as being another camino. I found difficulty with the length of the stages, trying to get them to my fitness level. I would like to hear of your experiences this year on this walk and i am happy to give you more detail. Regards
 

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