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Starting September 8, booking accommodation

andarilho

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Podiensis start planned for September 2022.
Hi everyone,

How many days ahead should we book accommodation (2 people), based on starting in Le Puy on September 8, 2022 ?

We'd be very grateful for a current consensus on this issue from pilgrims who have begun the Podiensis just after the summer holidays (about the same date of the year). Most of the similar threads are 5 years old and more.

Thank you and Bon Chemin!
 
Last edited:
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andarilho

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Podiensis start planned for September 2022.
I’m interested in the answer as well. Planning roughly the same start date and the same route, unless it cools down earlier, then I’ll start in August.
Hi Lexicos,
The same question on another forum provided some interesting and informed replies. Have a look at the private FB Group 'Camino - Via Podiensis - GR 65 - Chemin du Puy-en-Velay'.
Naturally, can't expect a definitive reply and approaches varied a lot. But from that info so far it seems most reasonable to book several days in advance. I'm supposing about 4 or 5 days ahead should provide a balance between flexibility and the stress of potentially not finding somewhere. I'm also supposing that the earlier stages may be more crowded than the later stages due possibly to a drop-out factor amongst others. Might try keeping a note of how it goes. Bon Chemin!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
It has been a long time (2015) since I walked that fantastic route so my information is probably quite useless. I did start about the same time in September. I never had a problem with the number of people. But if you are staying in Gites it is very important to book ahead so the Gite owners know how many people are coming and how much to prepare for dinner. I have no French but Gite owners would call ahead for me. I didn't even have a translator. I just pointed to the Gite and mimed I wanted to have dinner and breakfast also. Great and different camino and amazing food. Haha
 

lisagb

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi everyone,

How many days ahead should we book accommodation (2 people), based on starting in Le Puy on September 8, 2022 ?

We'd be very grateful for a current consensus on this issue from pilgrims who have begun the Podiensis just after the summer holidays (about the same date of the year). Most of the similar threads are 5 years old and more.

Thank you and Bon Chemin!
I would definitely book ahead. I didn’t last year when I went in September and it was stressful trying to find places. Also I had to change my days and distances because of a lack of places. I had the MiamMiam book and had to email and phone every place and most said they were full. So do it now! Hopefully you speak some French as most people on this route do not. It is so so beautiful and I am continuing on from Cahors to Eauze this year. I like doing little chunks and then going to other places in Europe 😊😊. Buen Camino!! Lisa
 
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Hi everyone,

How many days ahead should we book accommodation (2 people), based on starting in Le Puy on September 8, 2022 ?

We'd be very grateful for a current consensus on this issue from pilgrims who have begun the Podiensis just after the summer holidays (about the same date of the year). Most of the similar threads are 5 years old and more.

Thank you and Bon Chemin!
As I mentioned in Robert Forrester's Via Podiensis FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViaPodiensis , September is the second busiest month [after May] on this route, and Le Puy-Conques the busiest section. A lot of people that have been putting off walking because of the pandemic are interested in walking and I understand last year was crazy enough. I'd recommend 3 days in advance and to definitely have your first few days booked. If you plan to stay in Le Sauvage [the only place around] or Conques [popular place anyway] I'd book even further out.
 

andarilho

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Podiensis start planned for September 2022.
... But if you are staying in Gites it is very important to book ahead so the Gite owners know how many people are coming and how much to prepare for dinner. I have no French but Gite owners would call ahead for me ...
Hi It56ny, yes, we'll certainly be booking ahead. We're just trying the gauge the balance between undercooking and overegging that. We've got quite a few years 'other' Camino experience, we very much like the 'adventure' element, and we're flexible. So we're comfortable with a 'middle-ground' approach. We're also not constrained by a particular distance target or return date. I have only a few words of French, but my partner has been super-busy over past weeks brushing up on her French!! Of course there could be surprises, but, hey, we're adaptable and resilient, so should be fun! Thanks again :)
 

andarilho

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Podiensis start planned for September 2022.
As I mentioned in Robert Forrester's Via Podiensis FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViaPodiensis , September is the second busiest month [after May] on this route, and Le Puy-Conques the busiest section. A lot of people that have been putting off walking because of the pandemic are interested in walking and I understand last year was crazy enough. I'd recommend 3 days in advance and to definitely have your first few days booked. If you plan to stay in Le Sauvage [the only place around] or Conques [popular place anyway] I'd book even further out.
Hi jouffroy47, that's super, thank you - pretty much aligns with what we are thinking, based on the info so far. We're aiming for 4 maybe 5 days ahead or so. Of course there's a possibility of surprises, but we're well used to those, have about a decade's general Camino experience and love the adventure element. So adaptability and resilience are no problem. We're also thrilled to have no distance targets or return date constraints and my partner has been busy as heck brushing up on her French, mine's awful!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I shall be arriving in Le Puy on Sept. 9, beginning my walk from Le Puy on Sept. 11. I have booked my two nights in Le Puy in private accommodation. I am waiting for Dave Whitson's new English language guidebook on the Podiensis, to be published by Cicerone Press on July 15. I have pre-ordered a copy. He introduced this new guidebook in May in a thread on this forum. As I wish to stay in private rooms as much as possible and I eat vegetarian, I need all the help I can get in finding accommodation. For example, I found one place in Saint-Privat-d'Allier where the host offers a vegetarian meal, if requested in advance, and states that he speaks English. But a photo of the dormitory shows a crowded room with beds very close together- about as far as you can get from my preferred private room. I am a reasonably sociable pilgrim and my French should be adequate, but I want to avoid crowds in this time of pandemic. So I wish to have as much information as possible before booking accommodation. And I don't really know how far I shall be comfortable walking on the first part of this route. Maybe a few shorter days at first, and send my pack ahead, to get accustomed to the terrain. I understand that tourist offices in France will book ahead for pilgrims if asked. I have located a tourist office in Le Puy. Right now, I know that I cannot book far ahead, as I just don't know how far I shall be comfortable walking each day at the beginning. Every camino is a different challenge.
 

andarilho

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Podiensis start planned for September 2022.
I shall be arriving in Le Puy on Sept. 9, beginning my walk from Le Puy on Sept. 11. I have booked my two nights in Le Puy in private accommodation.
Hi Albertagirl, thank you for your comment. Your overall plan looks very similar to the approach we'll use, and from looking at all the info I've gathered over past days, it seems a very suitable middle-ground approach. We'll use the MiamMiam guides, and I picked up an online summary guide in English from
which seems to provide a lot of information in summary form. I agree with you about trying to avoid crowded accommodation and we'll do our best to do the same too. Wishing you 'Bon Chemin' and hope our paths cross on the way! :))
 
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Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
Hi! Walked LePuy route in 2018, not a French speaker, walked with a vegetarian friend, and I’m forced to eat gluten free. We used the tourist information centers in bigger towns to help us book +/- 4days in advance to ensure hosts could accommodate our dietary needs. Most TIs were very helpful, and some Gite hosts would also call ahead, as needed. Route was busiest up to Conques, then sporadically busy afterwards. Definitely a favorite route of mine!! Although appealing to walk without resos, your French hosts will appreciate a heads up to plan for meals so I definitely encourage reservations a couple days in advance. I found walking in France taught me to take more breaks and enjoy the peacefulness of the way. Having reservations encouraged less ‘racing’ atthe end of the day.
 

Suzanne H

Camino Junkie
Time of past OR future Camino
CF'17; LePuy'18; Porto/Coastal'19; Portugal? '22
@Albertagirl you are right to plan shorter days — I know you’ve been walking a lot this past year but the first 8-10 days out of Le Puy are a bit hilly and worth planning 20k or less. Don’t push it. If you’ve got the time to spare, it’s totally worth it to enjoy the countryside.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Chemin Le Puy 2023
Hi @Albertagirl,

I'm in a similar situation to you, in that I am seeking private rooms and am vegetarian. I won't be walking until May 2023 but I have been doing a lot of research in order to plan my stages. I thought I might be able to help. :)

If you're going to stay in Saint Privat then the options for a private room are pretty limited, as far as I can tell. However there is Un Escargot dans sa Coquille which offers private rooms, a kitchen, and a cafe/restaurant. If you're going to stop earlier at Montbonnet, then there a few possibilities, I think. In particular, L'escole is vegetarian friendly and can also offer a private room. I did see other possibilities in Montbonnet as well.

I'm still trying to decide whether to stop at Montbonnet or walk on to Saint Privat on the first day, but I think @Suzanne H is right - shorter stages are probably best to start with.

Hope this helps and let me know how you get on - I look forward to following your journey! Bon chemin.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I would like to take a moment to than all who are offering helpful comments, especially about accommodation. I am very grateful for all suggestions.
 

LauraWalks

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello all –

Thank you very much for the helpful comments and spirit of your discussions.

I too will be walking the Le Puy route in September. My first Camino, so excited. (Like Albertagirl, I am also vegetarian. I have read in numerous posts that gite hosts are flexible for vegetarian diets if they have enough advance notice. I think I will be OK with that).

A question: Due to my schedule, I am considering two starting dates: September 2 or September 13. If it makes a difference, I would like to reduce likelihood of crowds. I know that September is a busy month, and it is difficult/impossible to predict. That being said – does the number of pilgrims leaving Le Puy generally slow down by September 13 or is that still prime time to begin the journey?
 
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2022
Somewhere on the Forum I read that weekends are busier in the Gites, so it may be necessary to book those 4-5 or so days in advance. For example, I'm arriving on a Monday, so I've decided to book all the way through Sunday due to this.

FWIW...I start August 17, and I have found it easy to book places via email/web site. I don't speak French but Google Translate works great. I'm sure they are doing the same thing on the other end.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I think that I shall stay in the Chambres d'hotes this year, and shall ask at the tourist office in Le Puy to book me a room for a few days, as available. Walking in France will be a new experience for me, except for from Oloron Ste Marie on my second camino walk. I feel that I need all the help I can get. I may look for available rooms in the Chambres d'hotes myself and see if I can find anything for my first night or two out of Le Puy, in Montbonnet or Saint-Privat-d'Allier, before I leave home.
 

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