Camino Le Puy Way: Stages 5 & 616 Days & 15 Nights 4.7 Read 6 reviews
- Appreciating the beautiful countryside in the heart of Gascony, with its rolling hills and vineyards
- Savouring a glass of floc, the local aperitif based on the same recipe since the 16th century
- Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
- Exploring the old town of St Jean Pied de Port, the end point of the Camino Le Puy Way, and the beginning of the Camino Frances
- Walking through the gorgeous landscapes of La Gers which is often called the “Tuscany of France”
- Beholding the snow-capped vistas of the distant Pyrenees Mountains
- Become immersed in the Basque culture
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Pilgrim Trail, Inn to Inn Walking | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travellers, A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
Ideal if you have an interest in:
Spiritual Journeys, Personal Growth, Historical Journeys
Grade & Terrain
This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 15-33km. The walk is extremely well way-marked and you will also be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day. On the Le Puy Camino you will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.
The route is well waymarked with white and red painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go!
On this self-guided walk in France you will stay in comfortable 1 or 2* hotels. On occasion you may not have en suite rooms.
You might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome, and again, a supplement is payable.
Daily breakfasts and dinners at your hotels are included. Breakfasts are buffet-style and dinners will be the “meal of the day” at the hotel. If you want a choice for dinner you can pay a supplement. You can order packed lunches at your hotel the evening before (ranging from €7 to €10) or you can buy lunch in grocery stores, cafes and restaurants en route.
- 15 Nights in either 1 or 2* hotels
- 15 Breakfasts
- 15 Dinners
- Baggage transfers
- Detailed maps, a guide book and information pack.
- Organisational assistance and backup from our partner in France and our UK office
- Travel to Lectoure
- Travel from St Jean Pied de Port
- Lunches, drinks and snacks
- Personal equipment
- Travel insurance
- Mountain rescue / emergency assistance
- Additional nights before or after the holiday
When To Go
The Camino Le Puy is best enjoyed from May to October but you can walk at any time of year. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans. Bookings from October onwards are subject to a supplementary charge as an out-of-season bag transfer service is required.
Getting to the Start
The best way of getting to Lectoure is by flying to into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen. For train schedules please check the SNCF website. From here you can take a 50 minute bus ride to Lectoure. It is also possible to drive to Lectoure and leave your car in one of the town’s public car parks.
Getting from the End
When departing from St Jean Pied de Port it is possible to take the train to all of the recommended airports. To Pau Airport, take the train to Dax and from Dax to Pau (from here you will need to take a taxi to the airport which costs around €20). To Biarritz Airport you can take a train to Bayonne, then another train to Biarritz and from here a bus to the airport. To Bordeaux Airport you can also take a train to Bayonne, then onto Bordeaux and a bus to the airport. Again for train schedules please check the SNCF website.
Baggage transfers are included in the Camino Le Puy trip. Your bags should be left in the reception of your accommodation every morning. Your bags will then be transferred onto your next nights’ accommodation.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Towards the end of the tour and as you enter the foothills of the Pyrenees there will be some elevation gains and losses. You will walk through vineyards, rolling hills, hamlets, villages, alongside rivers and streams and over rocky, volcanic landscapes. The terrain will be quite smooth most of the time (except for a few rocky sections), but may be slippery when wet.
We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino le Puy Way is extremely popular. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.
The tour operates between May and October although we recommend travelling in May or June when spring wild flowers are at their peak, or in September/October when the autumn colours are stunning. July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat.
We arrange for your bags to be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. Your bags should be left in the reception of your accommodation every morning. Your bags will then be transferred onto your next nights’ accommodation. Your bag should not weigh more than 15kg (per bag, 1 bag per person). This is due to strict health and safety regulations in France.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.
We recommend May when the summer flowers are at their best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat.
Public transport and taxis are available to get you to your next destination.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Lectoure
Arrive in Lectoure and settle into your comfortable hotel. Spend some time looking around this very attractive town which was once an important stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Originally the capital of the Lomagne region, it was once the base of the Counts of Armagnac and there is much to discover here, such as the 15th century cathedral, the town hall and the Gallo-Roman museum.
Family run hotel with a lovely swimming pool. Clothes washing facilities available.
This morning head towards Marsolan, where you can find the remains of l’Hôpital St Jacques at the entrance to the village. It is worth stopping here as the view from the terrace over the Auchie Gascon and the surrounding countryside is superb. Once past Marsolan continue on following a track downhill until you come across the Chapelle d’Abrin, a former commandery of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem and now a private house.
Pass a lake and go through some woods, before arriving in La Romieu, which takes its name from the romieux or pilgrims that used to pass through. This village has an enormous church comparative to its size, which indicates it’s former importance. The cloisters in the church are well worth a visit.
You will be warmly welcome into this B&B whose architecture is typical of the region.
On departing from La Romieu, and as you walk, there will be terrific views over the surrounding countryside as in this part of La Gers the landscape is very open. After a short climb you will reach the small village of Castelnau-sur-l’Auvignon and the Chapelle Sainte-Germaine de Soldanum, the remains of a former monastery. Here is a good place to take a rest before continuing onto Condom, a medieval town.
The highlight in Condom is the Cathedral of St Pierre, built at the end of the 14th century, which has an ornately carved entrance and the outside of which is slightly unusual in style. Take time here to wander through the narrow streets of the old town, perhaps stopping in a local café for an aperitif.
Hotel with beautiful gardens and a large swimming pool.
Le Carbon is your first point of call today and it is perhaps worth taking a slight detour (15 minutes in each direction) to get to the tiny fortified town of Larresingle. This was the fortress of the Bishops of Condom in the Middle Ages and when you are here you will see that little has changed and it is like you are back in medieval times.
Today you will also cross the Pont d’Artigues, originally a Roman bridge over the River Osse and also pass by the oldest church in this region, Eglise de Routges. Notice the small door at the side of the church which was used as an entrance by Cagots, an outcast population who lived segregated lives until the end of the 19th century due to the fact that they may have been leprous, unclean, or bearers of evil. Arrive in Montreal du Gers, your overnight stop.
This morning you may like to spend some time discovering Montreal du Gers, a typical bastide town and on the northern limits of the Gers department. This town has a classic arcaded market place, ramparts and many interesting houses. From here walk to Lamothe and view its 13th century guard tower. Continue on through quiet countryside and vineyards before arriving in Eauze, a former Roman colony and now the capital of Armagnac.
Modern hotel, serving traditional regional food.
As you depart from Eauze walk with the church on your right and then continue down a minor road and along a grassy track. Pass by a small farm before arriving in Manciet which has a rural bullring used for cattle races. Pass an interesting church, formerly belonging to the Order of the Knights of Malta and by an 18th century milestone that has a Malteses cross.
Arrive into Nogaro, which takes its name from Nogarium, meaning a place planted with walnuts.This small town was established in the 11th century and has a Romanesque church and a bullring.
Swimming pool, garden, sauna, IT room, tennis.
Initially pass by the small farms of La Grange, Bidet and Micoulas. Perhaps you would like to stop for a shady rest in the church porch of Lanne-Soubiran before perhaps having lunch in the in Barcelonne du Gers.
After lunch is the last stretch and here vineyards become rarer and the landscape changes to an area that is tree covered with maritime pines, oaks and chestnuts. Arrive into Aire sur l’Adour, an ancient town of two parts and your final destination today.
A lovely 2* hotel with all the necessary amenities and services.
Walking in the Landes region is quite easy has this area is quite flat. The route continues to be waymarked with blue and yellow cockle shell stickers as well as the familiar red and white balises.
You will see your first view of the snow-capped Pyrenees today as you enter the department of the Pyrenees-Atlantiques. Your first stop is Pontet and en route you also pass the magnificent 11th century Church of Miramont Sensacq formerly dedicated to St James. Arrive in Miramont Sensacq, your overnight stop.
A stone house built in 1772, it was restored in 2002. Set in 9 hectares of garden, with swimming pool.
On departing Miramont Sensacq you reach Arzacq-Arraziguet, a bastide town with two main squares. This town has an interesting beginning as when it was founded in the 13th and 14th centuries it was actually in France and not in the Béarn, which was then an independent country. This town used to mark the boundary between France and Béarn.
Pass the modern Church of St Martin in Louvigny and follow the road along the ridge until you reach Fichous-Riumayou and eventually Larreule, the site of a Benedictine monastery founded in 995. When you reach Larreule you must call the hotel owner and he will come to find you and take you to Casteide Candau.
Located in the heart of the countryside, Domaine de Compostelle is a warm, friendly gite in which to relax.
Today the hotel owner will transport you to Pomps so that you may continue on the trail. Pomps has a 17th century church with an interesting octagon-shaped tower. In Castillon there is a an 11th century church of St Pierre that was used as a hospital for pilgrims and travellers at that time. Also walk through the long and narrow town of Arthez-de-Béarn (nearly 2km from one end to the other!) which is situated along a ridge. See some interesting old houses and ramparts, remnants from the Wars of Religion.
Hosted by Theresa and James, this boutique B&B boasts 4 cozy bedrooms, a great room with wood-burning fireplace, expansive outdoor patio, spectacular views, and western country design. Fuel up on a hearty, healthy two-course breakfast before you head out for the day.
This morning you will encounter one of the greatest sights of the Camino Le Puy Way, the Cistercian Abbey of Sauvelade, founded by Gaston IV of Béarn in 1128. Before reaching the abbey follow the Gave de Pau from which there are stunning views over the faraway mountains.
Upon reaching Sauvelade it is worth stopping to view the abbey and its statue of St James before continuing on through the farmyard of Labarthe. Then cross a ford before arriving in the medieval bastide town of Navarranx with its rustic and elegant houses. In former times this town had a large population of cagot (outcasts), many of whom became important public figures in the 20th century.
Located right in the centre of the medieval quarter, this guest house 5 very charming rooms.
As you depart the fortified town of Navarrenx you cross a bridge over the river and head towards Castenau-Camblong with its Béarn-style houses. You will pass two chateaux today, Montgaston and Joantho, the former you can visit, but the latter is privately owned. Once you get close to Lichos you have now crossed from the Béarn into French Basque country.
Over the next few days, as you walk from one region to the next, the change in landscapes from green wooded hillsides to steep farm country with lofty conifers becomes more and more apparent.
Small and friendly B&B with shared bathroom facilities.
As Lichos is off the GR65 footpath you will need to read your map carefully this morning to get back on the main route. As you reach south of Lichos and back on the GR65 path you will see the Stele de Gibraltar to the right, a stone cross that marks where the three French Camino routes of Le Puy, Vezelay and Tours were thought to have met. Now officially in the Basque country many of the signs are written in the Basque language and in every town and village there is a pelota court (a traditional Basque game).
A comfortable and cosy hotel in the centre of Saint Palais.
En route to Larceveau you will also go through Ostabat-Asme, a small village today, but in the Middle Ages it was a very important gathering point for pilgrims coming along the different routes. At this time in history the hospitals and inns along the route were able to accommodate up to 5000 pilgrims at a time, but today there is just a gite d’etape and the Maison Optalier. Arrive into Larceveau where you anticipate your last day of walking along the trail tomorrow and into St Jean Pied de Port.
Aranzeta is a former farm, dating back to 1550.
Today is the last stage of the Camino Le Puy Way and as you walk along you are constantly greeted with magnificent views of the snow-capped Pyrenees.
Walk through Ainchice Mongelos and see the ancient chapel of Bustince before walking uphill through St Jean le Vieux and arriving in St Jean Pied de Port, your final destination. It is a small town, only 8km from the border of Spain and has ancient cobbled streets and several places of interest, such as the Citadelle, and the Prison des Evêques. Just as other pilgrims have done you will enter the town along the GR65 by the Porte St Jacques.
The Hotel provides clean and comfortable accommodation at the start of the Camino de Santiago.
Bid farewell to the Camino Le Puy today. After breakfast check out of your hotel and make your onward journey.
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