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Vézelay vs. Cluny-Le Puy

2020 Camino Guides

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Hi Peregrinos,

I´m having a hard time deciding my route from Vézelay.

I can either walk the official Vézelay route (the Via Lemovicensis), or I can walk from Vézelay to Cluny, then from Cluny to Le Puy. That one isn´t an official route, but it goes through the Morvan, and it connects to the Via Podiensis at Le Puy.

There isn´t a whole lot of people who have completed the last one - I hear there are less pelgrims, and it might be more expensive. I also hear waymarking is very good at the Via Lemovicensis, whereas to Le Puy, you have to either create a route or follow a guide.

I was wondering if anybody can tell me more about the differences between these routes. I like a bit of challenging terrain and vistas, which I know I can expect on the Via Podiensis, and maybe when I cross the Morvan.

I checked out a whole bunch of photographs and info on the Lemovicensis, can´t find so much info on the other one. Any experiences would be welcome :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
Hi Gwaihir,
Pilgrims numbers on the voie de Vézelay are small, on the route from Vézelay to le Puy, I can say that pilgrims are rare. And the section through the Morvan is quite small compared to the part from le Puy to Spain.
The Via Lemovicensis is well marked and documented. There is almost no problem to find accommodation and the contact with the locals is very good. On the other hand, from le Puy you will have a lot of people walking and it can difficult to get a bed during high season.
You may contact Huberta and Arno, at the Esprit du Chemin, they could have information on the leg Vézelay/Cluny/le Puy.
Buen Camino, Jacques-D.
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Thank you Jacques!

I found @KiwiNomad06 blog from a different thread, and it´s been very helpful.

From the photos there seems to be more inclination in the terrain and (if I am not mistaken) it also looks greener. It might be harder to find frequent places to buy food and to stay.

I´m going to read on a bit more and decide whether I want to go the "difficult" way or not ;)

Thank you for the tip!
 

Camino Mick

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2015, fineterre 2015 , Lisbon 2017, Vezalay 2019 Arles 2019, planning VDLP 2021
I have been walking from Vézelay now for 10 days. For the first 4 days walking way marking was great , from then on it has been sporadic at best . Strongly recommend navigational APP .Since Bourges I have consistently come to y and x intersections that do not have any way marks , navigation would have been based on luck without APP . I have arrived at villages that the MMDD advises services should be available , but find all are closed if not for the day but permanently . Arrived in Chârost at 3pm , after 25 km,32 degrees 75% on busy roads with little or no verge. Trucks passing within 1 or 2 metres at 100km /hr and found not a thing open , not even the Marie . Please be aware that much of the time is spent on very busy roads. I walked today into Châteauroux along an extremely busy Highway for 3 hours , almost no verge and high speed traffic within 1meter .. Accomodation has been hard and I have had to walk 3-5 km off track to get a bed in a Gite . Not one blog I have read spoke of this. After the beauty of the Le Puy way this has been a major disappointment .I have walked over 1000km in France and know and love it . Chemin Vézelay has to date been a major disappointment.
 

Pville

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (Aug/Sept 2018)
CF (Sept 2017)
Oh my!
@Camino Mick,
I’m so glad I happened upon your comments. I have solo-walked the CF (from SJPdP to Santiago, Sept 2017) and via Podiensis (Le Ouy to SJPdP, Aug 2018). I recently learned of the Vezelay and have just begun my research.
• I found the Le Puy route to be sparsely traveled (and more so by native French walkers on their 2-week holiday vs Pilgrims) - perhaps 10% in volume of walkers vs the CF. In fact, on many days I saw no walkers whatsoever
• I found the Le Puy wall to be more difficult (more and longer, steeper climbs and descents); the first third or so had spectacular landscapes & scenery; and I found the last third from Aire-sur-l’Adour to be uninteresting, and the last two days were, disappointingly, mostly road-walking into SJpDP.
• I chose to stay in private gîtes and chambre d’hôtes, and in places had to carefully plan ahead as the infrastructure isn’t as well developed as on the CF.

It sounds as if the Vezelay may be even more sparsely walked, with much road walking.
I will continue my research.
 

Pville

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (Aug/Sept 2018)
CF (Sept 2017)
Hi Peregrinos,

I´m having a hard time deciding my route from Vézelay.

I can either walk the official Vézelay route (the Via Lemovicensis), or I can walk from Vézelay to Cluny, then from Cluny to Le Puy.
@Gwaihir
Have you decided on your route? Merci!
 
Last edited:

Barbara

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte (twice)and Primitivo, Sureste, In France From home Tours and Vézelay, also Le Puy.
Hi Mick
I had a very different experience to yours on the Vezelay route. I walked with my donkey, joining the route at Bénévent and never had any problems with accommodation. I mostly stayed with individual families who welcome pilgrims into their homes, sometimes in tiny refuges run by local associations, and a few times in the tent kindly carried by the donkey. One or two gites d'êtape as well, bed and breakfast, and I think one hotel and a riding stable. On two occasions I asked to camp and was invited to use the spare room. There was some road walking, yes, St Astier comes to mind, but not an unbearable amount.
Courage! It's a lovely route.
On the whole I prefer the road less travelled, rather than the busy stretches, as I like to meet the residents rather than exclusively pilgrims, but each to their own, as someone once said.
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Heya Pville, nope but Vezelay is getting very close - about 50km left - so I will be deciding soon :p Most likely I will walk the Le Puy route, as Barbara said above - I like a different experience and the path less trodden. I will let you know about my decision soon.
 

Pville

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy (Aug/Sept 2018)
CF (Sept 2017)
The Le Puy is wonderful (the first third is challenging but with spectacular scenery!).
Bon chemin! 👣👣👣
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Decided on going through the Morvan and then I might branch off somewhere to Clermont Ferrand (and follow the chemin there) or go to Le Puy, not sure yet!

Made a detour through Anthien (Vezelay-Anthien-Brassy-Lac des Settons) because I wasn't sure yet, and the folks at L'Esprit du Chemin (in Le Chemin) helped me decide. Awesome refugio btw. If you are ever there, go by it.
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Little update on this thread. As you know I decided to go through the Morvan. It was very dry there (usually it's more humid) and warm. The vistas were good, I thought the Morvan was pretty but not spectacular.

Got a bit of very dry, hot trail afterwards with a lot of pastures and mainly hills. Can't say I enjoyed that, but perhaps that's because most of my Via Campaniensis had looked like that and I needed to see broad horizons/have vistas. I was really second-guessing my decision to walk the Le Puy route.

After Saint Leon, the area got very, very green compared to the rest of the country (even compared to the Morvan) and near the borders of Puy de Dome spectacular vistas on the national parks.

However!

Voie Le Puy is not for the faint-hearted. Prepare for difficult ascends and descends. Plenty of GR-3 trail is indistinguishable from a river bed, one of those wild-rapid-river beds but without the water. Lots of loose stone.

Can't say more about the Le Puy route because I've done the first and second section of it and am now continuining on the Via Alvernha (Clermont-Rocamadour-Cahors).
 

Frauke

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lemovicensis, Campaniensis
Little update on this thread. As you know I decided to go through the Morvan. It was very dry there (usually it's more humid) and warm. The vistas were good, I thought the Morvan was pretty but not spectacular.

Got a bit of very dry, hot trail afterwards with a lot of pastures and mainly hills. Can't say I enjoyed that, but perhaps that's because most of my Via Campaniensis had looked like that and I needed to see broad horizons/have vistas. I was really second-guessing my decision to walk the Le Puy route.

After Saint Leon, the area got very, very green compared to the rest of the country (even compared to the Morvan) and near the borders of Puy de Dome spectacular vistas on the national parks.

However!

Voie Le Puy is not for the faint-hearted. Prepare for difficult ascends and descends. Plenty of GR-3 trail is indistinguishable from a river bed, one of those wild-rapid-river beds but without the water. Lots of loose stone.

Can't say more about the Le Puy route because I've done the first and second section of it and am now continuining on the Via Alvernha (Clermont-Rocamadour-Cahors).
Hi!

I have a question about your via Campaniensis - how was the asphalt ratio? And then especially on the part from Troyes to Vezelay? Thanks!
 

Gwaihir

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Nijmegen (Holland) to Fisterra, July-November 2019.

Future: Te Araroa, NZ
Hi Frauke!

To be honest it's hard to remember. But I hate asphalt, so I think that if there was many, I would have remembered. There are mainly dirt roads and some asphalt after Troyes, but never big roads (small ones with very little traffic).

You can download the gpx track and load it into an app like Pocket Earth (I recommend it, but it's not free) to see where the asphalt bits are. Or I think you can also view it in Google maps (with kmz files).
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
... There was some road walking, yes, St Astier comes to mind, but not an unbearable amount.
Don’t forget also the voie vert now runs from Perigueux... you can jump off at St Astier for an overnight and then continue on towards Mussidan. I was walking along this section on Sunday and realised there are now Camino markers on the path.

And if schedules allow Thursday is market day in St Astier and worth an hour of your day 😎

Ps I live 10 minutes from St Astier... so I’m a little biased but I think the area is beautiful 😊
 

Frauke

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lemovicensis, Campaniensis
Hi Frauke!

To be honest it's hard to remember. But I hate asphalt, so I think that if there was many, I would have remembered. There are mainly dirt roads and some asphalt after Troyes, but never big roads (small ones with very little traffic).

You can download the gpx track and load it into an app like Pocket Earth (I recommend it, but it's not free) to see where the asphalt bits are. Or I think you can also view it in Google maps (with kmz files).
Thanks so much!
 

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