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Via Podiensis May 2023

AlexB

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés
Morning and Merry Christmas All.

Please can someone recommend how’s Le Puy in May. I have walked the Camino Frances and I want to start Le Puy on the 19th of May 23, I checked and there a couple of bank holidays in France, is it going to be as crowed as the Frances? I may need to book all the Gites
 
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May is the most popular month on the Via Podiensis, and the busiest. It will be busy [at the the Le Puy - Conques segment] as there are five French holidays that month. The route has only about 1/10 of the traffic as the Camino Francés, so there is less infrastructure, gîtes are smaller and fill up quickly, especially if several people are walking together. The French like to bridge the holidays and walk it for a week or two at a time, so few are through-walkers. Weather can be variable but you'll have the spring flowers.
 
You'll miss the May 1 (May Day) and May 8 (V-E Day) (both fixed dates) holiday weekends, leaving only Pentecost/Whitsun to navigate. This is a movable feast and falls on May 28 in 2023. If you are leaving Le Puy on 19th, you should reach Conques over the Whitsuntide weekend. I recommend you book all lodgings from Le Puy to Conques and maybe 1 day past Conques. After that, the population of walkers will tail off, and you can most likely return to the usual practice of calling 1-2 days out.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
You'll miss the May 1 (May Day) and May 8 (V-E Day) (both fixed dates) holiday weekends, leaving only Pentecost/Whitsun to navigate. This is a movable feast and falls on May 28 in 2023. If you are leaving Le Puy on 19th, you should reach Conques over the Whitsuntide weekend. I recommend you book all lodgings from Le Puy to Conques and maybe 1 day past Conques. After that, the population of walkers will tail off, and you can most likely return to the usual practice of calling 1-2 days out.
Thanks i will take the advise and reserve up to Conques
 
Morning and Merry Christmas All.

Please can someone recommend how’s Le Puy in May. I have walked the Camino Frances and I want to start Le Puy on the 19th of May 23, I checked and there a couple of bank holidays in France, is it going to be as crowed as the Frances? I may need to book all the Gites

Hi AlexB,

As recommended by others above, I would definitely book ahead through to Conques. The 18th of May is the Ascension Day holiday and there is also the transhumance festival in the Aubrac region on 28 May.

I am also planning to start from Le Puy on 19 May. :) I have been making reservations through to Conques and it is already quite heavily booked in some areas. I'm not sure what distances you are planning to walk or your accommodation preferences are, but if you have questions about a particular location, let me know and I will try to help if I can.

Good luck with your planning and hope to cross paths with you on the trail!
 
Wow. reservations already? I plan to start 13 May. Am planning to keep my distance under 15Km for the first week or so. I guess maybe I should try to book soon also.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi AlexB,

As recommended by others above, I would definitely book ahead through to Conques. The 18th of May is the Ascension Day holiday and there is also the transhumance festival in the Aubrac region on 28 May.

I am also planning to start from Le Puy on 19 May. :) I have been making reservations through to Conques and it is already quite heavily booked in some areas. I'm not sure what distances you are planning to walk or your accommodation preferences are, but if you have questions about a particular location, let me know and I will try to help if I can.

Good luck with your planning and hope to cross paths with you on the trail!
Thanks a lot, i tried to use Booking but it doesn’t as many options as the Gronze, should I start making reservations directly with the Gites?
 
Wow. reservations already? I plan to start 13 May. Am planning to keep my distance under 15Km for the first week or so. I guess maybe I should try to book soo


That's the least expensive way [making reservations directly]--I wouldn't worry too much this far out if you're walking by yourself, unless you plan saying in the Aubrac region during the Transhumance [starting just before May 28 between Saint-Côme-d'Olt - Aubrac]. Some gîte owners are not even allowing reservations too far out because of abuse by some walkers reserving multiple places for the same period. If you're by yourself there can sometimes be a cancellation even if a place is "booked up." Closer to the date you will definitely want your first few days booked, and possibly the Gîte d´étape Le Sauvage in the Domaine du Sauvage if you are planning on staying there as there is nothing else around. Also if you want to stay in the Abbey's gîte in Conques they do allow for a few walk-ins but it can fill up quickly as there are often retreats held there.
 
Thanks for the info. At the least, I'll start planning where I would like to stay my first few days. I wasn't really planning to book things until 4-6 weeks out.
 
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I'll be picking up the camino from Cahors on May 4th. I've found the easiest way of booking ahead is directly with the gites. I've booked through to Pamplona with only one or two stops needing to be booked through a third party search engine.
 
Hello, I am stepping out on the first day of April. Is it necessary to book in advance? I don't think this is a busy month. I was anticipating showing up at the Tourist Information Centre in Le Puy en Velay the day before in regards to booking gites...
 
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Wow. reservations already? I plan to start 13 May. Am planning to keep my distance under 15Km for the first week or so. I guess maybe I should try to book soon also.
The first gite that I contacted for a reservation in Montbonnet on 19 May was 'complet'. 😮 I would definitely start thinking about reservations, especially in the smaller/popular places.

Good to know others are planning to start around the same time - hope to see you out there.
 
Hi Alex,

Yes, I would. I've used both Booking.com and direct reservations.
Thanks, I started sending emails to the gîtes and booked a couple by booking, I see the majority of accommodation its going to be directly, seems they dont use Booking very much.
 
Hello,
I wrote a post about walking in April. I guess with no replies, no one is sure.
Fair enough.
I do anticipate Easter being a busy time. April 9th this year. I will be booking ahead!
 
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Hello,
I wrote a post about walking in April. I guess with no replies, no one is sure.
Fair enough.
I do anticipate Easter being a busy time. April 9th this year. I will be booking ahead!
Hi sunflowers,
I wouldn't expect April to be busy, but I don't have direct experience, just going on what I have read previously on this forum. Some gites won't be open until mid-April though (according to MMDD), so definitely check in advance.

Hope this helps, and bon chemin. 🙂
 
A friend and I walked the VIa Podiensis, from Le Puy to Moissac, from May 11 - 31, 2022. We had pre-booked all gîtes from Le Puy to Moissac, and we were glad we did. Several places at which we stayed were at capacity. Long distance walking virtually exploded in popularity with the relaxing of Covid restrictions in 2022. The reason we stopped at Moissac, was because accommodations were too difficult to find between there and SJPP without having to walk 35 kms in a day, which is a bit of a stretch for a couple of gentlemen in their 70's. We are returning to Moissac in late April 2023 to complete the trek, and again, our plan is to book all accommodation in advance. Having an accommodation waiting for you, certainly removes a fair amount of uncertainty from your shoulders. And by the way, within 2 days of starting, the long pants were replaced by shorts and there were several days in the 30 - 35º C range. Another tip, when booking in advance find out if a demi-pension is available. Not all gîtes provide meals, and you may find yourself needing to find a restaurant as soon as you arrive in a town because they too may require reservations. Buen camino, bon chemin!
 
A friend and I walked the VIa Podiensis, from Le Puy to Moissac, from May 11 - 31, 2022. We had pre-booked all gîtes from Le Puy to Moissac, and we were glad we did. Several places at which we stayed were at capacity. Long distance walking virtually exploded in popularity with the relaxing of Covid restrictions in 2022. The reason we stopped at Moissac, was because accommodations were too difficult to find between there and SJPP without having to walk 35 kms in a day, which is a bit of a stretch for a couple of gentlemen in their 70's. We are returning to Moissac in late April 2023 to complete the trek, and again, our plan is to book all accommodation in advance. Having an accommodation waiting for you, certainly removes a fair amount of uncertainty from your shoulders. And by the way, within 2 days of starting, the long pants were replaced by shorts and there were several days in the 30 - 35º C range. Another tip, when booking in advance find out if a demi-pension is available. Not all gîtes provide meals, and you may find yourself needing to find a restaurant as soon as you arrive in a town because they too may require reservations. Buen camino, bon chemin!
Hi, for a non French speaker what platforms do you use to book? Is it a matter of going through a guidebook and contacting each gite direct?
 
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Hi, for a non French speaker what platforms do you use to book? Is it a matter of going through a guidebook and contacting each gite direct?
I recommend using something like Google translate for your emails. Although I am fluent in speaking Canadian French, I still use a translation app to check my written European French. We book direct with the gite. Most of them we select using either Google maps or through a browser search of the town where we want to stop.
 
Hi, for a non French speaker what platforms do you use to book? Is it a matter of going through a guidebook and contacting each gite direct?
Taswalk - some gites can be booked through Booking.com, but many you will need to contact directly. You can find an example email on this page https://solocamino.com/speaking-french/ and another one here: https://ilovewalkinginfrance.com/booking-accommodation/

Bill905 - thanks so much for sharing your experience, that is really helpful. 🙏 I am also only going as far as Moissac this year. So far, I've booked through to Figeac, and hoping to get the rest sorted out soon. Bon chemin for the next stage of your journey.
 

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