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Via Podiensis

Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Having completed the CF 3 times to date and having very much enjoyed and appreciated the different experiences each time around I decided to take the plunge and try a French Camino.
This time around due to time limitations I unfortunately have to step off the chemin in Moissac having started in Le Puy.
Al I can say is that I would highly recommend this route, the picturesque idyllic quality of the scenery, the friendliness of the locals and the food, especially the food.
If you are a budget traveler as I am then it works out slightly more costly than the CF (approx €30-€40 per day), if not than you are spoilt for choice.
And what a dramatic departure from the Notre Dame cathedral in Le Puy.... they even supply the credencial after the pilgrims mass and 'benediction des pèlerins'..
 
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Vagabonder

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
I hope that you are having a lovely walk. It is beautiful and my husband and I enjoyed it very much. And you are right, a wonderful send-off from the cathedral after morning mass. Great meals along the way, we had demi-pension whenever available. Ambiance couldn’t have been better.
Tomorrow we finish the Camino Primitivo, we’ve found it very different walking in Spain. But also wonderful. Bon chemin!
 

Michelle G Daoust

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, SJPP to Santiago (2014)
Caminho Portuguese, Lisbon to Santiago (2017)
Sounds lovely…and I keep hearing about the fabulous food!
Wonderful that you are enjoying a new path after your previous walks. My husband and I from BC, Canada, leave on August 7th from Le Puy (spending several days in Paris prior to the walk).
Do you have a suggestion for a gites in Le Puy for two nights?
I have the Miam Miam Dodo for lists of accommodations as we walk. I also speak passible French - many people from different countries?
May each day bring you joy! 😊
 

Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I hope that you are having a lovely walk. It is beautiful and my husband and I enjoyed it very much. And you are right, a wonderful send-off from the cathedral after morning mass. Great meals along the way, we had demi-pension whenever available. Ambiance couldn’t have been better.
Tomorrow we finish the Camino Primitivo, we’ve found it very different walking in Spain. But also wonderful. Bon chemin!
Ah the Primitivo, definitely one on my to-do list. I hope the numerous and substantial ascents and descents were not too trying on your feet and tendons. Buen Camino.
 

Plato

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sounds lovely…and I keep hearing about the fabulous food!
Wonderful that you are enjoying a new path after your previous walks. My husband and I from BC, Canada, leave on August 7th from Le Puy (spending several days in Paris prior to the walk).
Do you have a suggestion for a gites in Le Puy for two nights?
I have the Miam Miam Dodo for lists of accommodations as we walk. I also speak passible French - many people from different countries?
May each day bring you joy! 😊

I stayed in the above, it was pretty basic but clean and quiet.. and located not too far from the Notre Dame cathedral..

However, in the event that you are not familiar with the gronze.com website, I found it to be an invaluable guide and source of information... Considering you are planning on staying 2 nights I would check it out. The Miam Miam Dodo is supposed to be very good as well. The advantages of both these guides is the fact that they are regularly updated.

Bon chemin a vous deux ..
 
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Vagabonder

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
We’ve used gronze almost exclusively.
Great places we found: in Aumont-Aubrac, Ferme du Barry. In Saint -Chély d’Aubrac, gîte d’étape Saint-André. In Saint-Côme d’Olt, Couvent Angèle Merici. Estaing, Hospitalité St. Jacques (donativo). Decazeville, gîte d’étape les volets bleus.
I’ll see what else I can remember.
Not many English speakers. In over 800 km we met three Americans, four Aussies, one Canadien, and two Germans who spoke English. We speak French so got the total immersion that we wanted.
 

Michelle G Daoust

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, SJPP to Santiago (2014)
Caminho Portuguese, Lisbon to Santiago (2017)

I stayed in the above, it was pretty basic but clean and quiet.. and located not too far from the Notre Dame cathedral..

However, in the event that you are not familiar with the gronze.com website, I found it to be an invaluable guide and source of information... Considering you are planning on staying 2 nights I would check it out. The Miam Miam Dodo is supposed to be very good as well. The advantages of both these guides is the fact that they are regularly updated.

Bon chemin a vous deux ..
Merci!
 

Leaderene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
Having completed the CF 3 times to date and having very much enjoyed and appreciated the different experiences each time around I decided to take the plunge and try a French Camino.
This time around due to time limitations I unfortunately have to step off the chemin in Moissac having started in Le Puy.
Al I can say is that I would highly recommend this route, the picturesque idyllic quality of the scenery, the friendliness of the locals and the food, especially the food.
If you are a budget traveler as I am then it works out slightly more costly than the CF (approx €30-€40 per day), if not than you are spoilt for choice.
And what a dramatic departure from the Notre Dame cathedral in Le Puy.... they even supply the credencial after the pilgrims mass and 'benediction des pèlerins'..
I started my first Camino in Le Puy en Velay and after many Caminos I still love the Via Podensis and encourage people to walk it. Much quieter, less commercialised and with fabulous food. Loved every step.
 

Vagabonder

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
Ah the Primitivo, definitely one on my to-do list. I hope the numerous and substantial ascents and descents were not too trying on your feet and tendons. Buen Camino.
We had three days that were definitely tougher than anything we’d experienced on le Chemin du Puy, otherwise I’d say they were pretty similar in difficulty. Certainly worth doing.
I’ve been walking a lot for many years, and have a great local place to train going up and down ridges. It was harder for my husband, who blames it on his age, 72, but I think it has more to do with training.
 
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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Much quieter, less commercialised and with fabulous food
It is more quiet, but in my experience certainly not less commercialised. Most gites in France are private business, while in Spain there are many municipals and parroquials.

Only in France have I seen "donativos" that sent away pilgrims to sleep in the street because they couldn't pay the fixed rate (!) of at least 35+€ per night. I also remember a gite communal telling me I'm not a pilgrim because I said I can't pay for a single room with demi pension 50€ + I think it was? (The dormitory was complet with day walkers) and will go to the campsite instead..."only tourists go to campsites". Sure.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed that route, it is very beautiful. And I will walk it again, soon. But it is VERY commercialised.
 

Vagabonder

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
It is more quiet, but in my experience certainly not less commercialised. Most gites in France are private business, while in Spain there are many municipals and parroquials.

Only in France have I seen "donativos" that sent away pilgrims to sleep in the street because they couldn't pay the fixed rate (!) of at least 35+€ per night. I also remember a gite communal telling me I'm not a pilgrim because I said I can't pay for a single room with demi pension 50€ + I think it was? (The dormitory was complet with day walkers) and will go to the campsite instead..."only tourists go to campsites". Sure.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed that route, it is very beautiful. And I will walk it again, soon. But it is VERY commercialised.
The only donativo we stayed at in France was in Estaing and it was definitely pay what you can. A great place. Spain was probably a bit cheaper but we had a harder time finding albergues that offered demi-pension and we had to eat at restaurants the majority of the time. In France we had demi-pension around 80 percent of the time, price ranging from €30-37. So it cost a little more but for us worth it for the ambiance around the dinner and breakfast table.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
A lesser walked path does not automatically mean "less commercialised", is all I want to say.
 

BillW

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Sounds lovely…and I keep hearing about the fabulous food!
Wonderful that you are enjoying a new path after your previous walks. My husband and I from BC, Canada, leave on August 7th from Le Puy (spending several days in Paris prior to the walk).
Do you have a suggestion for a gites in Le Puy for two nights?
I have the Miam Miam Dodo for lists of accommodations as we walk. I also speak passible French - many people from different countries?
May each day bring you joy! 😊
I'll be leaving from Le Puy on August 16, so maybe we'll cross paths.

In case you didn't know, Monday, August 15 is a national holiday in France (Feast of Assumption). Expect lots of walkers that first weekend and more places will be closed than usual (although I've heard many things are closed on Mondays normally).

Be well and hope to see you out there. Buen Camino/Chemin!
 

Michelle G Daoust

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, SJPP to Santiago (2014)
Caminho Portuguese, Lisbon to Santiago (2017)
I'll be leaving from Le Puy on August 16, so maybe we'll cross paths.

In case you didn't know, Monday, August 15 is a national holiday in France (Feast of Assumption). Expect lots of walkers that first weekend and more places will be closed than usual (although I've heard many things are closed on Mondays normally).

Be well and hope to see you out there. Buen Camino/Chemin!
Hi Bill. Thank you for that info re: Aug. 15th national holiday 🤩….will keep that in mind when walking. We have booked two nights in Le Puy and the first night in Saint-Privat-d’Allier…and we’ll go from there (seems booking the night before, or the morning of the walk is the way to go on this Chemin. I surely hope we cross paths…where is home for you?
 
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BillW

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Bill. Thank you for that info re: Aug. 15th national holiday 🤩….will keep that in mind when walking. We have booked two nights in Le Puy and the first night in Saint-Privat-d’Allier…and we’ll go from there (seems booking the night before, or the morning of the walk is the way to go on this Chemin. I surely hope we cross paths…where is home for you?
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. See you on the trail!
 
F

Former member 99290

Guest
Only in France have I seen "donativos" that sent away pilgrims to sleep in the street because they couldn't pay the fixed rate (!) of at least 35+€ per night. I also remember a gite communal telling me I'm not a pilgrim because I said I can't pay for a single room with demi pension 50€ + I think it was? (The dormitory was complet with day walkers) and will go to the campsite instead..."only tourists go to campsites". Sure.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed that route, it is very beautiful. And I will walk it again, soon. But it is VERY commercialised.
Gosh, I'm sorry to hear of that experience. That's not good. I certainly didn't come across that on the Le Puy (2014), Arles (2016) or Piemont (2022) routes. It's true that many gites in France are not exclusively for pilgrims - walking / hiking is such a popular past-time - but I've only experienced warm hospitality from gite owners. I hope when you do walk the Le Puy again, you don't encounter this. Bon chemin.
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I hope when you do walk the Le Puy again, you don't encounter this. Bon chemin.
I had many wonderful experiences, too, and keep the walk in very good memory. I wouldn't repeat the same path again otherwise. The very few bad experiences certainly did not spoil the entire way!

I just find it strange that people will call the Le Puy with all the private business gites "less commercialised" than the Camino Francés with its many traditional albergues of which many do not exist to make money for the owner but are run by volunteers.

I have walked a "Camino" in Germany recently where I met almost no pilgrims at all, but it's still totally commercialised, as you share the accommodation with the normal tourists of the area. 2,50€ for a bottle of water, almost 20€ to pitch your tent at a campsite.

I simply don't see how less pilgrims walking equals less commercialisation.

On some routes it's certainly true, with all the donation based acceuils jacquaires at private people's homes, but I just don't see it on the via podiensis.

It is a fantastic walk, though, and I still highly recommend it, totally agree with that part of the OP!
 

NavyBlue

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy and Camino Frances. Via Francigena. Tro-Breiz in progress.
I'll be leaving from Le Puy on August 16, so maybe we'll cross paths.

In case you didn't know, Monday, August 15 is a national holiday in France (Feast of Assumption).
Hi,

A bit of luck for you to be in Le Puy on August 15 : a very special day, as expected in a city dedicated to Mary. Street processions, displaying the famous "black virgin", etc.

P1030448r.JPG

More here for this year : https://www.villes-sanctuaires.com/agenda/le-puy-en-velay

and pics from 2021 events : https://www.leprogres.fr/societe/2021/08/15/revivez-les-fetes-mariales-du-15-aout
 
Last edited:
F

Former member 99290

Guest
I just find it strange that people will call the Le Puy with all the private business gites "less commercialised" than the Camino Francés with its many traditional albergues of which many do not exist to make money for the owner but are run by volunteers.
Maybe it's just a question of interpretation, regarding the OP's comment that the le Puy is 'less commercialised' - which rang true to me.

On many of the routes I've walked in France, Spain and elsewhere - including the Le Puy Way - the pilgrim population is just a small part of life for the towns and villages we pass through along The Way, though I’ve always felt that we are a welcome part.

On the Frances - it seems that everything is 'geared' to pilgrims, which is understandable. Yes, there are 'traditional albergues' some of which are not for profit and / or run by volunteers. And also, these days there is a large amount of infrastructure including commercial establishments and enterprises designed specifically to meet the 'needs' of ever growing numbers of walkers. The last two occasions that I spent any time on the Frances (at the end of the Arles / Aragones way back in 2016, walking back towards Pamplona, and from Melide at the end of the Primitivo in 2019) I was surprised to see a coffee van on the Alto de Perdon and vending machines dispensing compeeds.
 
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Create your own ad
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

Leaderene

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
Camino Portuguese
Camino Ingles
It is more quiet, but in my experience certainly not less commercialised. Most gites in France are private business, while in Spain there are many municipals and parroquials.

Only in France have I seen "donativos" that sent away pilgrims to sleep in the street because they couldn't pay the fixed rate (!) of at least 35+€ per night. I also remember a gite communal telling me I'm not a pilgrim because I said I can't pay for a single room with demi pension 50€ + I think it was? (The dormitory was complet with day walkers) and will go to the campsite instead..."only tourists go to campsites". Sure.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed that route, it is very beautiful. And I will walk it again, soon. But it is VERY commercialised.
Depends what you mean by commercialised. I meant that there was little in the way of souveniers etc. I stayed in small hotels and BnB's including farmhouses so did not use the albergues and therefore didn't have your experience. I started my Camino there in 2008 so a while ago now though have walked Cahors to Lectoure on a number of occasions.
 

Vagabonder

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to SJPP (2019)
Depends what you mean by commercialised. I meant that there was little in the way of souveniers etc. I stayed in small hotels and BnB's including farmhouses so did not use the albergues and therefore didn't have your experience. I started my Camino there in 2008 so a while ago now though have walked Cahors to Lectoure on a number of occasions.
You are right, there was very little in the way of souvenirs. Twice we stayed on farms, only the two of us having dinner with farmer and wife, which was a great experience. Otherwise we stayed in gîtes d’étape, usually run by pilgrims, who had much helpful information to share at the communal dinner. Missed that experience on the Camino Primitivo, most of the Albergues that I found didn’t offer dinner.
 

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