We have heard that the route will be very busy this year. We are considering starting from Vezelay and walking the last week of September and first week of October 2010. Will it be crowded and will we be able to find accommodation? Bronwyn & Laraine
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
The routes in France are never as busy as those in Spain. They intend to get busier the closer you get to the Spanish border. The Via Lemovicensis is about 900 km from Vezelay to St Jean Pied-de-Port and if you are walking 2 weeks from Vezelay I doubt you'll meet any crowds.
The CSJ website has this to say of accommodation:
More and more people are becoming aware of the difficulties encountered by pilgrims. This is due to the fact that the public authorities and the people along the route are more and more conscious that accommodation is inseparable from the welcome extended to visitors, which is generally quite good. All the way along the route itself or nearby there is a varied selection of accommodation for the pilgrim, beginning with the pilgrim refuges (the number of which is increasing steadily), not to mention the town halls (who can generally find a solution, however basic, to lodge the needy pilgrim for the night), small or large country hotels, chambres d’hôte (bed & breakfasts), or gites d’étape (fairly numerous in certain regions), and even numerous rooms for pilgrims provided by generous & charitable private individuals.
the Vezelay route is certainly the less crowded af the french walks. Even more so in the period you will be on it. We did the walk in the month if may last year and we met about a dozen walkers, only two of them doing the whole stretch, the others being local or wek end walkers. Should you require more details just let me know, will be more than happy to answer your questions if we can.
Giorgio and Elisa
We cycled from Vezelay to Limoges in Sept 08 and met not more than 5 other pilgrims. In 09 we cycled from Limoges to Mont-de-Marsan (from were we diverted to the coast and the del Norte) and came across 6 other pilgrims (and a donkey) on the voie de Vezelay. So, no, even in a holy year, I would not expect the French part of your journey to be crowded.