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Chemin de Vezelay vs Chemin du Puy

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
Have you walked the Camino routes from both Vezelay and Le Puy? I have been planning to start in Vezelay, but Anna Sar's video series along the Chemin du Puy is so beautiful, it makes me wonder if I should walk that one instead. I'm sure the Chemin de Vezelary is also beautiful but I'm hoping someone who has walked both can provide impressions about one vs the other. Thanks.
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I have only walked the Chemin du Puy, the entire trail once plus many segments from le Puy to Cahors twice. It is facilitized...there is food and lodging available its entire length and at frequent intervals. It passes through 6 or 7 of "The Most Beautiful Villages in France." Most of the hikers are French and most people will be speaking French at communal meals in many places where you might stay, so the only downside is that if you don't speak intermediate level French, you might feel isolated by language.

I don't believe the Voie de Vézelay is nearly as facilitized as the Chemin du Puy. Other forum members may correct me about this. My guess is that you will meet fewer non-French hikers. The predominance of French is going to be even greater.

Bon chemin.
 

OZAJ

Member
Past OR future Camino
Mozarabe/VdlP/Sanabres (2008) Norte (2009) Vezelay/Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2010) etc.
I have only walked the Chemin du Puy, the entire trail once plus many segments from le Puy to Cahors twice. It is facilitized...there is food and lodging available its entire length and at frequent intervals. It passes through 6 or 7 of "The Most Beautiful Villages in France." Most of the hikers are French and most people will be speaking French at communal meals in many places where you might stay, so the only downside is that if you don't speak intermediate level French, you might feel isolated by language.

I don't believe the Voie de Vézelay is nearly as facilitized as the Chemin du Puy. Other forum members may correct me about this. My guess is that you will meet fewer non-French hikers. The predominance of French is going to be even greater.

Bon chemin.
I have only walked Vezelay, but I strongly suspect that the above comment is correct. Fortunately I do have intermediate French.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012 Lemovicensis + Francés;
2016 Podiensis + CdN + Fisterra;
2018 VdlP + Sanabrés + Muxia/Fisterra
I walked them both. Beside of the above mentioned fact that the Podiensis is much more frequented they are different in character.
The Podiensis is physically more challenging, especially in the first ten days.
The Lemovicensis is smoother. Going through landscapes one could call “lovely”, interrupted by some bigger cities with historical charm (i.e. Bourges, Limoges, Perigeux). Topographically the hardest part is the name giving region of Limousin but it’s easy doable.
A good source of information is the website of the association of voie de Vezelay. It gives you good overview of the options, the accommodation possibilities and gps tracks of the way.
So, if you’re looking for social contacts a nearly perfect infrastructure for hikers and a perfectly marked route you should opt for the Podiensis.
If you prefer a more contemplative walk with seeing no fellow pilgrim over some days and expecting the unexpected in some occasions you should choose the Lemovicensis.
Just my 2 cents.

Ultreia
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have only walked the Chemin du Puy, the entire trail once plus many segments from le Puy to Cahors twice. It is facilitized...there is food and lodging available its entire length and at frequent intervals. It passes through 6 or 7 of "The Most Beautiful Villages in France." Most of the hikers are French and most people will be speaking French at communal meals in many places where you might stay, so the only downside is that if you don't speak intermediate level French, you might feel isolated by language.

I don't believe the Voie de Vézelay is nearly as facilitized as the Chemin du Puy. Other forum members may correct me about this. My guess is that you will meet fewer non-French hikers. The predominance of French is going to be even greater.

Bon chemin.
I walked this route in 2015 and I can count on one hand the number of people who spoke even basic English. I speak no French so I was no help either. Yes dinner in the Gites were quiet for me but i still laughed and enjoyed the amazing world class meals. Any issues I had like having someone call for a reservation in the next day's gite or getting food in town, banks etc took a little effort but I it always worked out. It is a wonderful camino and even with no French if someone wants to do it they definitely should for sure!
 

Glenshiro

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - León, Camino Frances (2012 - 2019)
In five years' walking the Puy route in stages I only met two Brits - and one of them lived in Wisconsin. Very few Americans, the occasional Aussie, Kiwi or South African. My schoolboy French got me around, but I seldom joined in the conversation if they were all French speaking. Nonetheless (and it is hard going in parts) I'd do it again like a shot.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
I have walked the entire Le Puy Route x 3 because I love it so much.
Well marked trails, excellent pilgrim infrastructure, other pilgrims, but not hoardes, lovely villages, small towns only, fabulous and varied countryside.
I have met several people over the years, who walked the Vezelay route.
It is very solitary, they say, lots of villages without facilities and sometimes finding suitable accommodation was difficult. Lots of walking on quiet roads. This could be worse in covid times.
It is much flatter as far as terrain goes and not as varied as Le Puy Route.
It depends on what you seek as an experience.
Have you walked the Camino routes from both Vezelay and Le Puy? I have been planning to start in Vezelay, but Anna Sar's video series along the Chemin du Puy is so beautiful, it makes me wonder if I should walk that one instead. I'm sure the Chemin de Vezelary is also beautiful but I'm hoping someone who has walked both can provide impressions about one vs the other. Thanks.
 

BrianLCrabtree

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
I walked them both. Beside of the above mentioned fact that the Podiensis is much more frequented they are different in character.
The Podiensis is physically more challenging, especially in the first ten days.
The Lemovicensis is smoother. Going through landscapes one could call “lovely”, interrupted by some bigger cities with historical charm (i.e. Bourges, Limoges, Perigeux). Topographically the hardest part is the name giving region of Limousin but it’s easy doable.
A good source of information is the website of the association of voie de Vezelay. It gives you good overview of the options, the accommodation possibilities and gps tracks of the way.
So, if you’re looking for social contacts a nearly perfect infrastructure for hikers and a perfectly marked route you should opt for the Podiensis.
If you prefer a more contemplative walk with seeing no fellow pilgrim over some days and expecting the unexpected in some occasions you should choose the Lemovicensis.
Just my 2 cents.

Ultreia
Thank you, everyone, for your replies ... very helpful. What about weather on the Podiensis? My current thinking (and hoping) is to reach Fisterra by the end of October (not this year!), taking 12-14 weeks if I can get the approval to be in the Schengen area for that long. That would mean starting around August 1. How hot are the conditions in August? Could I manage by early morning starts and completing the walk by early afternoon?
A bit more detail is that I hope to walk the Primitivo in late May-early June of 2022 for my first Camino experience and then this much longer pilgrimage in 2023 as I retire from career or at least take a sabbatical leave of absence. All of this is God and body willing, of course! I walked a 185 km pilgrimage over seven days to my ancestral home here this past May and did fine.
Thanks for the good wishes and same to all of you.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
Thank you, everyone, for your replies ... very helpful. What about weather on the Podiensis? My current thinking (and hoping) is to reach Fisterra by the end of October (not this year!), taking 12-14 weeks if I can get the approval to be in the Schengen area for that long. That would mean starting around August 1. How hot are the conditions in August? Could I manage by early morning starts and completing the walk by early afternoon?
A bit more detail is that I hope to walk the Primitivo in late May-early June of 2022 for my first Camino experience and then this much longer pilgrimage in 2023 as I retire from career or at least take a sabbatical leave of absence. All of this is God and body willing, of course! I walked a 185 km pilgrimage over seven days to my ancestral home here this past May and did fine.
Thanks for the good wishes and same to all of you.
The weather is so fickle these days.
In June/July 2019 it was extremely hot, but I coped, setting off early.
Just have a good hat, cooling clothes, walk slowly and take lots of water.
Enerlyte is good if you get a bit dehydrated. Allow enough time to walk some shorter stages.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the Via Podiensis the month of June 2018 as far as Auvillar, including a side yrip to Rocamadour, and veering off on the Cele Variant. Thankfully I walked it with three Camino girlfriends so we enjoyed our own company as none of us speaks French.
I agree with the other comments; most walkers seemed to be groups of 4-10 older French people, and rarely was English spoken, although we managed ok like others have said.
It was a delightful walk and although I love Spain, I appreciated the differing architecture, amazing food, and culture.
 

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