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Paris/Tours vs. Vezelay vs. Le Puy Routes

Ray J

Where exactly are we?
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2015)
Portuguese & Rota Vicentina (2016)
Le Puy & Paris to Moulins (2017)
Via Francengina (2018)
Planning my next trip and would like information from anyone who has done the Paris/Tours, Vezelay, and/or Le Puy routes (all ending if SJPdP).

I've looked through recent posts in the forum, so I have an idea of places to stay, where to eat, amount of asphalt, etc., so that's not what I'm looking for. For lack of a better way of putting it, I'd like opinions on which of those routes is the most scenic and provide the most "Wow!" moments visually. (Of course, any other thoughts on things you think I should know are greatly appreciated.



Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I began walking the Paris route 18 months ago and had to stop due a back injury, so can't give any comment on that one, other than I enjoyed what I saw. I have walked the Vezelay path from Troyes, and the Le Puy route, along with the Arles route from Toulouse. My information is probably now out of date, but will just jot down a few of my thoughts on the various routes. The le Puy route is certainly spectacular. The scenery has great wow factor, but this is a reasonably busy route (for France). When I walked it, to me, it felt more like a long distance walk as opposed to a pilgrimage. The reason for this is that many Europeans (but not all) drop into the way for a few days holiday walking, with no intention of ever heading for Santiago. They are walking to be "in nature" and to see the scenery, and some times this gives the le Puy route a very different "feel" . The people on the Vezelay route are pilgrims, and are far fewer than on the le Puy path. By comparison I spent many weeks on my own on this way, without seeing either a long distance walker, or a pilgrim. I came down through Limoges and really enjoyed the old buildings and villages I passed. The forest variant is supposed to be a delight on this path. It is a less strenuous path, very "pilgrim friendly", but it doesn't really have the "wow" factor in terms of scenery. Lovely pilgrim specific accommodation though, as opposed to the gites for walkers and pilgrims on the le Puy route. I also enjoyed the short stint from Toulouse, and from what I have heard there is plenty of "wow" factor if you were to leave from Arles. Janet


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Do you want solitary walking or not? If yes, the Arles or Vezelay. If you want some company, spectacular scenery, glorious river towns and pretty villages, Le Puy.


Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Arles route for Wow! scenery, LePuy if you want those "wows" to include a village.
Camino(s) past & future
I live next to the Grand Châtenet section
As I live on the Tours route I can only vote for that and here in the Charente-Maritime it's fantastic countryside and people.

If you come this way I'll make you a british cuppa.

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