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Full Chemin du Puy, from Le-Puy to Saint-Jean in February

TPop

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
February 2023
Does anyone have any insight for hiking the full Chemin du Puy from Le-Puy to Saint- Jean in February. I am planning the hike with my husband and will we will be leaving February first form Le-Puy. Also need some good map resources. Thanks
 
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C clearly

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Welcome to the forum! This thread has been moved to the forum section specifically for the Le Puy route. If you click on the Voie du PUY-EN-VELAY in blue above the title of this thread, you will see other threads discussing this route. Others will likely reply here as well.
 

Cullo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Del Norte and Primitivo
Does anyone have any insight for hiking the full Chemin du Puy from Le-Puy to Saint- Jean in February. I am planning the hike with my husband and will we will be leaving February first form Le-Puy. Also need some good map resources. Thanks
My wife and I completed the same journey in 2018 commencing in August - the weather was a mixed bag but it did not detract from what was a wonderful experience. Even though we only had a limited grasp of French, we found the best maps were in Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. Buen Camino/bon journee!
 

Cullo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Del Norte and Primitivo
My wife and I completed the same journey in 2018 commencing in August - the weather was a mixed bag but it did not detract from what was a wonderful experience. Even though we only had a limited grasp of French, we found the best maps were in Miam Miam Dodo guidebook. Buen Camino/bon journee!
Meant to say, we commenced walking in April - je suis tres desole
 
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dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Europe in February? Highly unpredictable but tending to the cold and wet. In May 2022 there were blizzards. Not common but that's climate change for you. For navigation, Wikiloc should have uploaded routes and I believe the Voie de Puy En Velay follows GR routes. If you google GR and the places you pass through that will probably lead to good maps. I haven't walked this route but have walked part of the Chemin D'Arles which is mainly GR. The red and white bars marking GR routes are brilliant and a better system than the yellow arrows.
 

dick bird

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Europe in February? Highly unpredictable but tending to the cold and wet. In May 2022 there were blizzards. Not common but that's climate change for you. For navigation, Wikiloc should have uploaded routes and I believe the Voie de Puy En Velay follows GR routes. If you google GR and the places you pass through that will probably lead to good maps. I haven't walked this route but have walked part of the Chemin D'Arles which is mainly GR. The red and white bars marking GR routes are brilliant and a better system than the yellow arrows.

Just found this. Apparently it is GR 65. GR = grand randommement = French for big wander. GRs are offically designated and marked walking routes and as I said in the other post, extremely easy to follow. Buen Camino.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
In february there will likely be snow, especially in the Aubrac region (a high plateau of ~1300m altitude, think of the scottish highlands).

In case of heavy snow you might need to walk on roads instead of the hiking path or skip some sections alltogether. Bring adequate gear. I assume if you're walking that time of year you're experinced hikers and know how to deal with winter conditions.

I haven't walked in winter, but guess that many gites will be closed - from what I know most of them are only open april-october. You'll need to plan well to be sure to have a place to sleep at night and might have to walk longer distances to reach a town with an open gite (february is out of walking season for this GR).

The miam miam Dodo guide book should include the information about gites being open or not at the time you're walking as well as contact details to make reservations. It is in french but very easy to understand.

For maps, I like the ones from IGN. Have used them for walking through all of France this year. Never got lost.

Happy planning, and enjoy your winter adventure on the way from Le Puy :)
 

TMcA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I have twice hiked across the Aubrac Plateau (located on the first portion of the route). Neither time in winter. As @good_old_shoes just mentioned the elevation is above 1000m and many gites will be closed. Ski areas are located near the GR65, so that indicates snow is common in this region in the winter. On the plateau the trail is occasionally marked in places by rock cairns that are not very tall and that might not be visible. I love this route but I would not recommend it for February travel. However, my experience is limited to crossings in April and late September. So I would recommend writing to the tourist office in Aumont-Aubrac and getting their advice. I think they will respond to an inquiry in English. The office's address is: aumont@aubrac-lozere.com
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés : Sarria-Santiago (2013)
Via Podiensis : (2014-17)
Via Tolosana : Arles-Toulouse-(2018-19)
Does anyone have any insight for hiking the full Chemin du Puy from Le-Puy to Saint- Jean in February. I am planning the hike with my husband and will we will be leaving February first form Le-Puy. Also need some good map resources. Thanks
I don't recommend the Aubrac in winter as it will be covered in snow, it will be hard to follow the trail and places to stay and eat will be few and far between. The main hiking season stsrts in April.You might consider joining Rob Forrester's Le Puy group on Facebook for resources.
 
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LTfit

Veteran Member
Gîtes start to close down in October. Le Puy to SJPdP might therefore be very tricky. The Camino Francés in Spain on the other hand is definitely doable though there too you may encounter snow at the higher elevations.

On October 31st one year I woke up to a pack of snow leaving Atapuerca and one morning in January leaving O Cebreiro. Luckily in both cases was the snow gone later on in the day. In both cases I never had a problem finding open albergues.
 

MichaelC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2023: Via Francigena, Lucca to Rome
Another thing to think about: the pilgrim ritual of arriving at an albergue, hand washing your clothes, and hanging them out to dry in the sun isn't going to work when it's cold and wet and the sun goes down early.

I don't really know how people who walk in the winter do it!
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
If your heart is set on walking the Le Puy route, and your only available time is February, despite all the warnings about snow and closed lodgings mentioned above, then you might be best advised to "flip-flop", ie, walk the second half first, from Cahors to SJPP, which is at a much lower elevation and also closer to population centers. That leaves the first half, Le Puy - Cahors, for March, which while still cold and chancy, is less likely to be dangerous. Getting from SJPP back to Le Puy would then prove to be its own roundabout challenge. You have many, many options available. Enjoy the journey!
 

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