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Newbie needs some help to start camino from South France

2020 Camino Guides

TheLuther7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future - Camino de Santiago (2019)
Hello everyone,
I am planing to walk Camino de Santiago this year starting from June. I want to do a longer trip, I don't need to rush or anything, so I was thinking to start somewhere place like Montpellier/Carcassonne or some place around, and see a bit of France as well during my camino.
I couldn't find any properly described routs in web, so I am not sure if this is a good idea or not.
Does any of You had experience with this kinda route before? Which cities chose to stay? How much should I be prepared to pay for one night? Are there places like camino "shelters" I Could use with pilgrim passport? Should I make bookings for staying in France, or it possible to find an affordable sleeping place like on rest of French Route in Spain?
Thanks in advance for your sage advice!
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Search for the chemin d'Arles. There is a branch dedicated to it on this forum, with many options for variations. There you will find many of your answers.

Also try the Confraternity of St James website- csj.org.uk for general info on the routes.

Bon chemin
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Neither Montpelier nor Carcassonne are places to get terribly excited about. Large parts of Montpelier have a decided North African feel and Carcassonne has sold it's soul to the tourist dollar. I would try Toulouse but bus up to Moissac and walk the Le Puy Camino from there.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
Hello everyone,
I am planing to walk Camino de Santiago this year starting from June. I want to do a longer trip, I don't need to rush or anything, so I was thinking to start somewhere place like Montpellier/Carcassonne or some place around, and see a bit of France as well during my camino.
I couldn't find any properly described routs in web, so I am not sure if this is a good idea or not.
Theluther7,
Montpellier is on the Arles route. Very nice town. I walked Arles-SDC Sept-Nov 2015, using Miam Miam Dodo for maps and accommodation. I don't speak French, but the information is mainly in symbols. I got a copy from the tourist office in Arles, although you can buy it online (just make sure you buy an up to date copy).
Be aware that it's not a busy route. I had company for maybe a week between Arles and Toulouse, but walked Toulouse-Somport-Obanos, where the route joins the Francés, entirely alone.
I took a side trip on the train to Carcassonne and loved it.
Bernice
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I agree do the Arles Route or the Le Puy. Some beautiful countryside walking. Great sites to sleep in and eat. The sign markings are smaller than the Spanish Caminos so you have to take more care. Get a guide book for these caminos. They will help. Remember when you walk through small villages either get food and eat before 1pm and most shops, restaurants and pharmacies in villages can be closed for long periods in the day. Most shops will say 2 or 3 to close but in my experience often they were closed earlier than their signage said.
 

marie Louise

New Member
I have walked from Toulouse along the Chemin d'Arles route towards Pau, then just before Pau, at Maubourguet, i branched off to Lourdes and from there joined the Chemin Piemontese towards the Samport Pass across the Pyrenees. Lovely route but not many walkers en route. In France you sleep at the Gites (family run), in shared rooms and often with breakfast and evening meal included. A lovely experience, but you need to book at least the day before. The Miam Miam Dodo of the particular routes is indispensable. It will also give you lists of possible accommodations with contact details and prices.
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
The Arles Camino is very uninteresting until Montpellier which is a lovely and very friendly city. Beyond St Guillen Le Désert it gets challenging through the hills but levels off after that. It IS a quiet Camino but goes through beautiful country.
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hello @TheLuther7
The Voie de Piemont and also the GR78 will take you from Carcassonne via Oloron-St-Marie to St Jean-Pied-de-Port or, alternatively, over the Somport Pass to Jaca in Spain from whence one can follow el Camino Aragonese to Puente la Reina. The Voie de Piemont/GR78 is lovely in May.

Forum conversations : Voie de Piemont : https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/the-piémont-route.53/

Cheers
Lovingkindness
 
Last edited:

TheLuther7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
future - Camino de Santiago (2019)
Thank you all for your comments and useful advices.
I have few more thoughts in my head.
I am gonna walk alone, and I don's speak French at all. Which route would be safest and have easy way of finding place to sleep without booking it (especially in french)?
 

High Endeavours

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 13
VdlP 14
LePuy 15
Invierno DosFaros CP 16
88 Templ Japan 17
Sicily Arles-Santiago 18
Norte 19
I walked it from just after Montpellier beginning Sept 21st last fall and finished in Santiago 53 days later. I’ve also walked the Le Puy. Both are very good, the Le Puy much busier. The Arles route was excellent with lots of variety and the 4 day crossing of the Pyrenees was a highlight. Great villages and small towns, plus some really interesting cities to visit as well. My blog is listed below if you want a look for yourself. I liked both routes, so will leave it to you to research and decide which one calls you. My other blog covers the !e Puy route on two separate visits in 2015 and during late 2016. I speak only a little French and was fine each time. The Arles is less travelled which I prefer, though many prefer more company and you’ll definitely find this on the busier Le Puy. Both routes are well marked and safe to walk alone. The Miam Miam Dodo Guide’s are all you need and are well done. The custom in France is to book your accommodation a day ahead if possible so the gite will be prepared for you. The operator will call ahead for you, but as shown in the guide this isn’t a problem as many operators speak English and those that do are clearly marked. Hope this helps. Have fun!
 
Last edited:

gerip

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Hello everyone,
I am planing to walk Camino de Santiago this year starting from June. I want to do a longer trip, I don't need to rush or anything, so I was thinking to start somewhere place like Montpellier/Carcassonne or some place around, and see a bit of France as well during my camino.
I couldn't find any properly described routs in web, so I am not sure if this is a good idea or not.
Does any of You had experience with this kinda route before? Which cities chose to stay? How much should I be prepared to pay for one night? Are there places like camino "shelters" I Could use with pilgrim passport? Should I make bookings for staying in France, or it possible to find an affordable sleeping place like on rest of French Route in Spain?
Thanks in advance for your sage advice!
Try Godesalco.com. All the French routes are there and you can plan your walk with stops that will give you a list of accommodations. Not as extensive as in Spain, but folks are well familiar with pilgrims on those routes.
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
I am gonna walk alone, and I don's speak French at all.
Although 85% of the walkers in France are French, that leaves 15% who are from other places, most of which will speak some English. It will be a lesson in humility and needing to rely upon the kindness of strangers (this is the essence of the pilgrimage experience, no?) but very doable. You'll be so grateful for what comes your way!

Which route would be safest and have easy way of finding place to sleep without booking it (especially in french)?
Do not worry - your fellow pilgrims and your nightly hosts will be happy to call ahead to make reservations for you. (The local accent is so thick, even speaking some French is not all that much help.) Since the LE Puy route has more walkers, it has much more lodging and services available. All of rural France is quite safe.
 

Cookiedave

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French way 2019
Hi all,
I want some help please...
Someone told be about a web site ( I cant remember name) that you can write info on and at the end you have a pdf of a planed day by day camino frances spreadsheet (to work out where you will be and when approximately)....
This sounds silly but as my wife is joining me on the last 100km and we want to go to fintinstere etc it would be handly to have...
Does anyone know the site
regards
 

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