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Camino de Santiago - Via Podiensis

Le Puy to the Pyrenees on the GR65

Guidebook to the Via Podiensis (Chemin du Puy) pilgrim route along the GR65 through southern France to the Pyrenees. The 735km route links Le Puy-en-Velay with Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and the start of the Camino Francés to Santiago. Includes Célé Valley and Rocamadour variants.


Spring and autumn are ideal: pleasant temperatures and reasonable precipitation. Summer can be hot but it's less crowded and many businesses/attractions have extended opening hours. The route is technically feasible in winter but sees few walkers, and many services close.


There are very few towns exceeding (or even approaching) a population of 10,000. The major population centres are Le-Puy-en-Velay, Figeac, Cahors, Moissac, Condom and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Notable smaller places include Conques, Espalion, Rocamadour, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Lauzerte and Navarrenx.


No special equipment is required and the route is navigable by all walkers. It is easily scalable to ability, with regularly spaced accommodation and baggage transport available. Most days involve tiring ups and downs on uneven terrain but nothing technical.

Must See

The Aubrac plateau, a stunningly rugged high-level region; the Lot Valley, containing a series of 'the most beautiful villages in France', perched on the winding river; the Célé River Valley, featuring limestone cliffs, prehistoric cave paintings and more idyllic villages; the pilgrimage centres of Rocamadour and Conques; the Western Pyrenees
11 Jul 2022
6 Feb 2024
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.70cm

A guidebook to walking the Via Podiensis (GR65) pilgrimage route, the major French variant of the Camino de Santiago or Way of St James. The route covers 735km (457 miles) through southern France from Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, where walkers can connect to the Camino Frances to continue to Santiago de Compostela. The trail takes 4–6 weeks to hike and is suitable for any reasonably fit walker.

The route is described from north to south in 28 stages, each between 16 and 35km (10–22 miles) in length. Two major variants, the Célé Valley (GR651) and Rocamadour (GR6 and GR46), are also detailed as well as routes connecting to the Camino del Norte.

  • 1:100,000 mapping plus larger-scale urban maps for key locations
  • GPX files available to download
  • Handy stage planning tables and pilgrim lodging listings help you plan your itinerary
  • Detailed information about refreshments and facilities along the route
  • Advice on planning and preparation

Table of Contents
Dave Whitson Cicerone author WHITSON

By Dave Whitson

Dave Whitson is a high school History teacher in Portland, Oregon and a graduate of the University of Washington. He made his first pilgrimage in 2002 on the Camino Francés and was inspired to return with a group of his high school students, which he did in 2004. He has made long-distance treks in Norway on the Pilgrim Road to Nidaros, in England on the North Downs Way to Canterbury, and in Turkey on the Lycian Way, all told walking roughly 10,000 kilometers on pilgrim roads in Europe.

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