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Ref CN19

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

From Le Puy en Velay to Conques. 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 village of Conques.

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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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 possible upon 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 splendid panorama opens up before us, with 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 - Les Faux

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. An optional loop offers us the chance to discover the Domaine du Sauvage, 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. 45 km (55 km with the optional loop) / ascent: approx. 600 m

Day 4: Les Faux - Aumont Aubrac - Nasbinals

We continue our crossing of the Plateau de la Margeride to Aumont, gateway to the Aubrac. Our route takes us through the pretty hamlets of Le Rouget, St Alban sur Limagnole and Les Estrets, with their bell-gable churches. We then leave the Margeride behind us and begin crossing the Plateau de l'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. We reach Nasbinals and its superb 14th century Romanesque church built of brown basalt. Hotel for the night in Nasbinals.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / ascent: approx. 400 m

Day 5: Nasbinals - Saint Chély d'Aubrac

Our route takes us across the magnificent Aubrac to the small village of Aubrac, with its notably picturesque bar… It was in this village that Adalard, pilgrim of Saint Jacques de Compostelle, established the Aubrac Hospice, to shelter and nurse passing pilgrims, between 1120 and 1122. We head to Belvezet and the valley of Boraldes, with its ruined castles, then on to Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac and its 16th century cross. Overnight stay in the small village of Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac.

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / ascent: approx. 600 m

Day 6: Saint-Chély-d'Aubrac - Espalion - Estaing

From Saint-Chely-d'Aubrac, we take a pretty track through woodland and along the cliffs overlooking the Lot River, before descending down into the valley. We take the time to discover the small town of Saint-Côme-d’Olt and its 13th century houses. Optional swim nearby! We ride through beech, chestnut and oak forests before arriving in Espalion, with its splendid Gothic bridge. We stop in St Pierre de Bessuéjouls to visit its superb Romanesque church, but not before tackling the short but steep climb that leads to the village! We also visit the village of Verrières, before arriving in Estaing, classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, with its castle perched high above the confluence of the Lot and the Coussanne, its medieval streets, and its 15th century church… Night in a hotel in Estaing.

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / ascent: approx. 700 m

Day 7: Estaing - Conques

This morning we tackle the most difficult ascension of the week! We need to climb back out of the Lot Valley on a road that leads to Golinhac, then on to Notre Dame des Hauteurs. We pass through Espeyrac, its ruined castle a reminder of the battles and difficulties the area suffered during the Middle Ages. Shortly after Espeyrac, we reach Sénergues which we take the time to visit, notably its castle and the Tour Carrée. From Sénergues, a quiet ridge road takes us gently towards our final destination… As we approach Conques, we make one final detour to the Bancarel viewpoint, which overlooks the village. Once in Conques, we take the time to appreciate the medieval village, without a doubt the most beautiful village on the Saint Jacques de Compostelle route. We settle into our hotel and make the most of a last dinner together to look back at all the magical moments of the last seven days…

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / ascent: approx. 600 m

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

Itinerary end: France Bike Trips services end after breakfast on day 8 at your hotel.

Conques - 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
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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