Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 6
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Highlights

  • Encountering the Stele de Gibraltar at the crossroads of the three French Camino routes
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Beholding the snow-capped vistas of the distant Pyrenees Mountains
  • Becoming immersed in the French Basque culture, its language, history and traditions
  • Discovering the majestic Abbey of Sauvelade in a tiny hamlet
  • 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

The final stage of the Le Puy Camino runs from Aire sur l‘Adour to St Jean Pied de Port, where it joins the Camino de Santiago French Way. Your route takes you through the two distinct regions of Béarn and the French Basque and before concluding in the foothills of the Pyrenees

Your walk begins in the Roman town of Aire sur l’Adour, located in the Béarn region. Its name comes from beneharnum, the capital city of the Venarni people, destroyed by the Vikings in 840. You walk through pretty wooded hillsides and the wine area of the Tursan before entering the French Basque region with its distinct language and culture.

En route you see Sauvelaude, a Cistercian Abbey and one of the most impressive sights on the Camino Le Puy Way, and Navarranx, a medieval bastide that has existed since the 14th century and the tour finishes in St Jean Pied de Port, a fortified town only 8km from the Spanish border. It is the old capital of the Basque province of Lower Navarre and which literally means “St John at the foot of the mountain pass” and it is encircled by sandstone walls. Interestingly you will also pass the Stele de Gibraltar and the tiny village of Ostabat both supposed meeting points of the three French routes to Santigao de Compostela, Le Puy, Vezelay and Tours.

DAY 1: Arrive in Aire sur l’Adour

Arrive in Aire sur l’Adour in the Landes region and check into your comfortable hotel. This ancient town has two distinct parts, the lower section by the river with the St Jean Baptiste Cathedral and the upper town which has the  brick built Gothic Church of St Quitterie built on the site of a Benedictine monastery. This church is dedicated to St Quiteria who, according to Christian tradition, was beheaded here in the 5th century. 


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Aire sur l’Adour


DAY 2: Aire sur l’Adour to Miramont Sensacq

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 and which contains a total immersion font for christening infants. Arrive in Miramont Sensacq, your overnight stop.


Walk: 20km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Miramont Sensacq


DAY 3: Miramont Sensacq to Larreule

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. The name of this town derives from the word Le Règle meaning monastic rule. When you reach Larreule you must call the hotel owner and he will come to find you and take you to Casteide Candau.


Walk: 25km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Casteide Candau


DAY 4: Pomps to Maslacq

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. The restored Romanesque Chapelle of Caubin, which you also pass by, is on the site of the remains of a former Commandery of the Knight of St John.


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


Walk: 23km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Maslacq


DAY 5: Maslacq to Navarrenx

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. Its Italian–style fortifications have lasted until this day and it is worth strolling through this charming and historic town.


Walk: 20km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Navarrenx


DAY 6: Navarrenx to Lichos

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.


Walk: 18km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Lichos


DAY 7: Lichos to St Palais

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).


Walk: 17km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, St Palais


DAY 8: St Palais to Larceveau

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.


Walk: 17km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Larceveau


DAY 9: Larceveau to St Jean Pied de Port

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. Also note the houses built in the Basque-style that have ornate wooden overhangs at roof level. Just as other pilgrims have done you will enter the town along the GR65 by the Porte St Jacques.


Walk: 18km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, St Jean Pied de Port


DAY 10: Onward travel

Accommodation

On your 9 night, 10 day Aire sur l’Adour to St Jean Pied de Port self-guided walk in France you will stay in comfortable 1 or 2* hotels. On occasion you may not have en suite rooms.


Alternate accommodation

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.

How to Book

This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of May to the end of October.


To make a provisional reservation select "Book". Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Because every holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:


  • You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
  • We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options
    and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5
    working days).
  • If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or
    an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.

Time of Year

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 and you will find up to date availability on our website. Bookings from October onwards are subject to a supplementary charge as an out-of-season bag transfer service is required.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.


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.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is marked 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.


Baggage Transfer

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.


Additional Nights

There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.


Fewer Nights

It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.


Travel Insurance

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.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting from St Jean Pied de Port

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. To return to Aire sur l’Adour you can either take a taxi, or take a train to Bayonne, to Pau, then a bus.


Getting to Aire sur l’Adour

The best way of getting to Aire sur l’Adour is by flying into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen and next a bus to Aire sur l’Adour. It is also possible to fly into Pau, which is served by Ryanair and then take a bus from here. For train schedules please check the SNCF website. It is also possible to drive to Aire sur l’Adour and you can leave your car close to the hotel.

Getting to Aire sur l’Adour

The best way of getting to Aire sur l’Adour is by flying into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen and next a bus to Aire sur l’Adour. It is also possible to fly into Pau, which is served by Ryanair and then take a bus from here. For train schedules please check the SNCF website.


It is also possible to drive to Aire sur l’Adour and you can leave your car close to the hotel.   


Getting from St Jean Pied de Port

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


To return to Aire sur l’Adour you can either take a taxi, or take a train to Bayonne, to Pau, then a bus.

Included

  • 9 Nights in either 1 or 2* hotels
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 9 Dinners
  • Baggage transfers
  • Detailed maps, a guide book and information pack.
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in France and our office

Excluded

  • Travel to Aire sur l’Adour
  • Travel from St Jean Pied de Port
  • Lunches, drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Single room supplement if single room is required
  • Solo traveller supplement (if applicable)

Undoubtedly you will have many questions concerning this tour. We hope the answers we provide below will go some way to answering your queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition.This particular section is graded as moderate, because of the daily distances which are between 18 and 25km per day. Towards the end of the tour there will be more elevation gains as you will be walking in the foothills of the Pyrenees

What type of trails does this section of the Camino Le Puy Way follow?

Also 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 and alongside rivers and streams. The terrain will be quite smooth, but may be slippery when wet.

How far in advance do I need to book?

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.

When is the best time of year?

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.

What is the best way to get to Aire sur l'Adour?

The best way of getting to Aire sur l’Adour is by flying into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen and next a bus to Aire sur l’Adour. It is also possible to fly into Pau, which is served by Ryanair and then take a bus from here. For train schedules please check the SNCF website.

How do the baggage transfers work?

We arrange for your bags to be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 13kg.

What equipment do I need?

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.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more than happy to help.

A pleasant trek

3

Support documents from Macs were not helpful. Maps were unreadable and some accommodations unsatisfactory

The Hiker

US

true

Experience hidden gems on this trip

5

I was able to relax and enjoy my holiday in the knowledge all the organisation was taken care of. All the arrangements worked like clockwork.

Jeannie Beannie

Windsor

true

Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 6

4.0 2

100.0

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