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Ref CN18

Backroad cycling FranceTHE WAY OF SAINT JAMES: FROM LE-PUY-EN-VELAY TO ESPALION A backroad cycling tour along the famous Saint Jacques de Compostelle route

From Le Puy en Velay to Espalion. For centuries, the historically important routes of Saint James have been used by pilgrims and hikers on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Probably the oldest hiking trail of all time, since the Via Agrippa, which went from Lyon to Toulouse, was built by the Romans… Partly on the hiking trail, partly on parallel trails, our route crosses the Margeride Plateau, with its traditional villages, sleepy hamlets, religious crosses and pastures surrounded by stone walls. We then make our way across the Plateau de l’Aubrac, with its wide open spaces, its "burons" (stone mountain huts used for cheese-making), and its dry stone walls. Our route then takes us down, through beech, oak and chestnut forests, to the beautiful Lot Valley. Our journey ends with a tour of the narrow streets of Espalion…

Self-guided tour: from 755€ - Details Duration : 8 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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This tour is E-bike compatible

Highlights

  • An opportunity to ride part of the famous Saint Jacques de Compostelle trail
  • The magical atmosphere in the wide open spaces of the Margeride and the Aubrac…
  • Fabulous local architecture and heritage
  • The quality of the accommodation throughout the week

Description

Comments

  • Special offers for private groups. Please ask us for a quote.
  • Guided tour available on request.

Day 1: Rendezvous in Le Puy-en-Velay

Itinerary start: France Bike Trips services begin on day 1 at 6pm at your hotel in Le Puy-en-Velay (you will receive precise hotel details approximately 2 weeks before your trip).

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Le Puy-en-Velay.

Time to make any last minute purchases if necessary. Hotel for the night in Le Puy-en-Velay.

Day 2: Le Puy-en-Velay - St-Privat-d'Allier

A relatively easy first day to start our tour. We make our way through the old part of Le Puy-en-Velay and its maze of narrow streets, under the watchful eye of the cathedral that dates back to the 11th and 12th centuries. As we leave Le Puy (following the St Jacques), a superb panorama opens up before us, offering views of the surrounding hills and valleys. We then cross Velay, known for its black lambs and its lentils, before heading on to the Val d'Allier. Arrival in Saint Privat d'Allier to finish the first day's stage.

Distance covered: approx. 30 km / ascent: approx. 300 m

Day 3: St-Privat-d'Allier - Saugues

Our route takes us through a variety of landscapes and terrain before reaching the Plateau de la Margeride just before Saugues. The plateau offers wide open space as far as the eye can see! We discover the plateau, with its traditional villages, its sleepy hamlets, its religious crosses, and its pastures surrounded by dry stone walls. Each village has its own special charm; houses made of granite, with carved doorways, and lush green gardens. We reach the pretty village of Saugues, important stage post on the Saint Jacques. We’re in the heart of the Beast of Gévaudan country, legend (or not...) dating back to the time of the French Revolution. The attacks have been proven, but the origins remain a mystery to this day… Night in a hotel in Saugues.

Distance covered: approx. 20 km / ascent: approx. 600 m

Day 4: Saugues - Les Faux

During the course of the morning, we make a first stop to admire the Tour Penchée de La Clauze (Leaning Tower of Clauze), remnants of a castle dating back to the 12th century. We then leave the department of the Haute Loire and join the Lozère. An optional loop offers us the chance to discover the Domaine du Sauvage, a superb granite residence lost in the depths of the Gévaudan… that used to belong to the Templers. By way of a forest track, we reach the village of Les Faux where we spend a night at the village inn.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / ascent: approx. 400 m

Day 5: Les Faux - Aumont Aubrac

We continue crossing the Plateau de la Margeride… Our route takes us through the pretty hamlets of Le Rouget, St Alban sur Limagnole and Les Estrets, with their bell-gable churches. We stop at the Les Estrets bell-gable for an explanation of this curious architectural style, characteristic of the area. We then ride on to reach the village of Aumont Aubrac: the Margeride is now behind us, and we find ourselves at the entrance to the Aubrac, known for its austerity and wide open spaces…

Distance covered: approx. 20 km / ascent: approx. 600 m

Day 6: Aumont Aubrac - Nasbinals

Welcome to the Aubrac! A vast plateau of pastures, "burons" (stone mountain huts used for cheese-making), dry stone walls, and prairies full of flowers… If it wasn't for the lack of the sea, you’d be mistaken for thinking we were in Connemara, the landscapes are so similar. Riding across the plateau in the early morning, with the mist hanging low, has an almost lunar feel about it… We make our way along a pretty road that takes us through green pastures, meadows wet with dew, and over beautiful wild rivers. We reach Nasbinals and its superb 14th century Romanesque church built of brown basalt. Hotel for the night in Nasbinals.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / ascent: approx. 700 m

Day 7: Nasbinals - Saint Chély d'Aubrac - Espalion

A beautiful and picturesque last stage allows us to discover the hidden corners of the Aubrac, all the way to the Lot valley. Depending on the group's motivation, we can take an optional route towards Saint Urcize. This option takes us off on a tangent from the Saint Jacques, heading north towards the Cantal, the Aveyron and the Lozère, which are at the junction between the three regions of the Auvergne, the Languedoc Roussillon, and the Midi Pyrénées. Welcome to the village of Saint Urcize (1100m), overlooking the valleys of the Hère and the Bès. Saint Urcize was marked by a rich period of history during the Middle Ages, which we discover when visiting the 12th century Romanesque church. With or without this optional route, we join the village of Aubrac, important stage post for the Pilgrims. We make our way down to the Lot Valley, via Saint Chély d'Aubrac and Saint Côme d'Olt (classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France…) to join the village where our tour ends: Espalion and its Gothic bridge! Hotel for the night in Espalion.

Distance covered: approx. 30 km / ascent: approx. 250 m

Day 8: End of our circuit or return to Le Puy-en-Velay

Itinerary end: France Bike Trips services end after breakfast at your hotel in Espalion.

Espalion - Le Puy-en-Velay transfer: A minibus transfer is available in order to return to Le Puy-en-Velay. Please view the "Useful Information" tab for more details.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

This tour has not yet received any reviews.

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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
  • Update your contact details
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  • Manage your photo albums created on our website
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Search

Please type in your search terms.

You can prefix chosen words with the '+' sign to make them mandatory, or with the '-' sign to avoid results containing this word from appearing, e.g. west +nepal -canada

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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
X

Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message