Le Chemin de Saint Jacques: 14 days 2019: Le Puy en Velay to Figeac is now FULL
2020 Dates: Part 1 – Le Puy en Velay to Figeac May 14-27 & Part 2 – Figeac to Condom May 30-June12
Join Spanish Steps, as we follow in the path of the first non-Spanish pilgrim, the 10th century Bishop of Le Puy, Godescalc, along the Via Podiensis from Le Puy en Velay to Figeac. Lying in the volcanic heart of the Auvergne, the curious setting of Le Puy makes for a dramatic start. Rising from a fertile and green basin, are three volcanic ‘pugs’ of rock upon which are sited important religious edifices, most notably the Chapel of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe and the Black Madonna from which many pilgrims from the eastern parts of Europe officially began their pilgrimage over the past 1000 years.
Our trail takes us through dense pine forests, the striking Allier gorge and up onto the dramatic landscapes of the volcanic Aubrac, wild, green plateau – remote, pristine and timeless with a luminous and endless skyscape to lose ourselves in (metaphorically only of course!).
Upon leaving the high plateau, the gentle charm of the Lot river valley awaits us. The longest river in southwest France, it winds for almost 300 miles, a ribbon of jade, or sapphire, meandering through ever-changing landscapes. We wend our way through a ravishing array of stone villages dotting riversides, hilltops and cliffs. The stretch of chemin between Saint-Côme-d’Olt and Estaing in the upper valley, the Pays d’Olt (the Lot’s original Celtic name), is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
We end our journey in Figeac, a town deeply rooted in the pilgrim’s way. By the 13th century, four different orders had established monasteries here which in turn became pilgrim hospices, one of which still runs today as the local hospital. It’s also the birthplace of Jean François Chamollion, the first translator of Egyptian hieroglyphics and a replica of the Rosetta Stone is here to honor him, as is a museum dedicated to his life.
Come walk with us from the headwaters of the mighty Loire, deep in the Auvergne mountains, as we reveal the legends of this centuries trodden path. Let us tell you of the clock that strikes twice each hour in Saugues, the perched castles, the gastronomic splendour of mouth-watering lamb, black truffles, the evolving saffron industry, local specialities of aligot and estofinado, wines from the steepest vineyards in France and legends of Saints and miracles, as we tread our ‘way’ along this glorious stretch of the Chemin de St Jacques.
- Transportation during trip from Le Puy en Velay to Figeac
- 13 nights of hotels w/ private bathrooms
- Bi-lingual guide
- Daily maps and historical information
- Full van support
- Pilgrims credential (passport)
- Healthy snacks
- All breakfasts
- Two dinners
- Six tasty picnic lunches
- September 12-25 – Part 1 / Le Puy en Velay to Figeac (Sold Out – Sorry you missed it )
May 14-27 Chemin Part 1 Le Puy en Velay to Figeac 14-days
May 30-June 12 Chemin Part 2 Figeac to Condom 14-days
PRIVATE tailor-made trips are available upon request. Please ask us for details.