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Luggage Transfer Correos

Arles vs. Le Puy

2020 Camino Guides

Stroller123

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Italy to Finisterre and back (20xx)
I'm not sure if this is the right section.

It looks like I can't cross the pass of Great Saint Bernard from October to June, the alternative would be getting a bus from the last Italian town to the first Swiss one. Or getting some crazy Italian guides to walk me through the peril of avalanches (joking). The same goes for the Moncenisio pass. So, this option is now on hold.

Taking the road from Liguria and South of France is way too expensive and a bit out of the way since I'm planning to include the Cammino di San Carlo that ends in Viverone.

So, the only way to get out of Italy looks the Montgenevre pass. I'm not happy about it as I'll need to cross Turin (I hate big cities) and since there are migrants trying to get illegally into France, I'll be probably stop and search by the gendarmerie every few Kms, which is going to be distressing. This might change by the time I'll go, which is not gonna be anytime soon.

From the Montgenevre pass I'll reach Arles, but from there I'm not sure what to do.
Originally I wanted to take the Geneva route to Le Puy, then Lourdes then SJPDP, but I don't think is a good idea walk from the Montgenevre pass to Geneva. So I was thinking to go from Arles to Lourdes to SJPDP, or from Arles to Le Puy, Lourdes and SJPDP.

I want to get specifically to SJPDP because only once there I'll decide if I want to take the Frances or the Norte.

So, which one did you prefer to walk the Camino de Arles or the Camino de Le Puy?
 
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MethaV

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014 Camino Frances
2017 Le Puy en Velay-Cahors
2018 Cahors-SJPdP
Le Chemin Piemont Pyrénéen (2019)
Camino from Le Puy to SJPP is absolutely marvellous, but I didn't try Arles so I cannot compare.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
The Arles route has the reputation of being hotter, more strenuous, longer stages, fewer accommodations, and fewer pilgrims than Le Puy. But I haven't walked it myself. The Geneva route, which I did walk, is quite lovely with good accommodation.
 

backpack45scb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001 CF, 04-6 LP, 07 Port, 08-10 Arles, 11 Mozá,12-13 Gen-LP. 00-10 PCT, 15 Norte, 16 Primi
The Arles route is my favorite, because of the beauty and because of the variety of scenes and challenges. However, one of the best parts is where it crosses the Pyrenees, so I would not divert to Lourdes and SJPDP. Stay on it until you get to Puenta La Reina. At that point you can continue to Santiago on the Frances, or walk back to Pamplona and take the train to Irun. I assume there is also a walking route from Pamplona to Irun, though I have not done that. All that said, Geneva to Le Puy and from Le Puy to SJPDP is wonderful, so it is hard to make a bad choice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I'm another of these folks commenting who has only done one of the routes, the Arles from Toulouse. There's not a lot of infrastructure, but the countryside is excellent and the locals helpful and hospitable. If you're a history buff, you'll love it. I would agree with backpack45scb that the crossing of the Pyrenees from Oloron Sainte Marie to Jaca is spectacular. There is a trail (GR78) from Lourdes to Oloron Sainte Marie, and I think that there is a thread on this somewhere
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@Stroller123 , I have only walked from Le Puy so cannot comment on other options.

From Le Puy to Moissac there is good frequent pilgrim infrastructure. After Le Puy the infrastructure is good but a bit more spread out. Stuff that may interest a pilgrim is spread along the entire route.

As an aside I have walked from Canterbury towards Rome in September 2018, stopping at Chaumont, Haut Marne. I could not have got that far without the tent I carry.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

Stroller123

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Italy to Finisterre and back (20xx)
Thanks to all for the input.

A bit more information:

I don't know yet when I'll be able to make the journey, but I don't want to leave later than the 1st of March, that's why I can't cross the pass of Great Saint Bernard on foot.

I love camping, I'm the kind of guy who would rather sleep in a tent than a five stars hotel, so I'll try to include as many campings as possible, if they are enough to justify the excess weight of a tent I'll bring it with me (I have this: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/santiago-to-rome.51831/#post-570264). Otherwise for emergency only a tarp or a poncho will do. I don't do "wild camping" in a non wild areas, so my concern would be to find camping sites open in Spring.

The reason I want to get to SJPDP is because by the time I'll get there I'll probably be on the road for a couple months already, so I may want more company than the previous route had offered me, or I may be fine and in that case I'll opt for walking the Norte.

I want to visit Lourdes, but I may change my mind during the journey. But during the planning I want to include it as my destination after Santiago would be Fatima. So, I would regret to pass so close to it and not be able to visit it.

The Le Puy route would be much more straightforward to me if coming from Geneva, otherwise if I take the Montgenevre - Arles route, I'll need to walk up from Arles to Le Puy and down again to Lourdes and up again to SJPDP. All this can be avoided by taking the bus to cross the tunnel of Great Saint Bernard, stay on the Francigena to Lauseanne, then walking to Geneva.

I'm still unsure, but probably a 30 min bus ride will avoid me a lot of ups and downs and crossing Turin...
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
... Lauseanne, then walking to Geneva.
... or not. Historical pilgrims would have taken the boat. I took the train. GittiHaare reports the pilgrim infrastructure between Lausanne and Geneva is ... well, below dismal (trying to avoid unprintable language). The route from Geneva has quite a few camping places, as I recall.
 

Stroller123

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Italy to Finisterre and back (20xx)
... or not. Historical pilgrims would have taken the boat. I took the train. GittiHaare reports the pilgrim infrastructure between Lausanne and Geneva is ... well, below dismal (trying to avoid unprintable language). The route from Geneva has quite a few camping places, as I recall.
What a bummer! I haven't checked the accommodations, but I look it up on Google Earth and for the most part it looked like a nice city walk near the lake. Without pilgrims accommodation that area it's gonna be very expensive. That stretch should be only 60 Km, if I can push it a bit I might be able to do it in two days, so the problem should only be for one night, max two.
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
What a bummer! I haven't checked the accommodations, but I look it up on Google Earth and for the most part it looked like a nice city walk near the lake. Without pilgrims accommodation that area it's gonna be very expensive. That stretch should be only 60 Km, if I can push it a bit I might be able to do it in two days, so the problem should only be for one night, max two.
I used to live in Geneva, and there's definitely a beautiful walk around the lake, which ends in central Geneva and turns into the Rhône river. At the same time, you can see the largest lake in Western Europe (Lake Geneva / Lac Leman), the largest fountain in Europe (the Jet d'Eau) and the largest mountain in Europe (Mont Blanc). In and around Geneva, you can see two mountain ranges in opposite directions: the Alps and the Jura.

There is only one youth hostel in Geneva that I know about, which is central, near the lake in the Pâquis. But even that would be expensive by the standards of most other countries (I am guessing here, but probably something like CHF40/bed).
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
Have walked both the Arles and Le Puy(twice) routes. The Le Puy route is my favourite. The Arles route, at the beginning, is through some big cities. I enjoyed it more after Toulouse.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Geneva definitely a beautiful walk around the lake, which ends in central Geneva and turns into the Rhône river. At the same time, you can see the largest lake in Western Europe (Lake Geneva / Lac Leman), the largest fountain in Europe (the Jet d'Eau) and the largest mountain in Europe (Mont Blanc). In and around Geneva, you can see two mountain ranges in opposite directions: the Alps and the Jura.
I absolutely agree - Geneva is beautiful, with plentiful services and a well-marked route. It's just the section from Lausanne to Geneva that's problematic.
 

ShellyAnn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Le Puy in March (2020)
Have walked both the Arles and Le Puy(twice) routes. The Le Puy route is my favourite. The Arles route, at the beginning, is through some big cities. I enjoyed it more after Toulouse.
Any experience walking Le Puy in early spring? March is my only option. Not put off by the elements, just want to know that it is doable. Any thoughts you have would be welcome. Because of the time of year I am torn between the Arles Way and Le Put.. cheers.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Any experience walking Le Puy in early spring? March is my only option.
You'll have (at least) two challenges with that timing. First, you start on a high plateau (Le Puy through Conques) which is vulnerable to snow still. Second, at least half the Le Puy route accommodations are only open from Easter to All Saints. Miam Miam Dodo gives complete info as to planned openings, and also contact info so you can send an email for reservation. You'll be reserving in advance, not because you are competing for bed space, but because you just might be the only walker that week, and you want to ensure Madame and Monsieur aren't taking off to visit the grandkids.
 

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