From the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region, the GR®765 begins in the unmissable town of Cluny and its large medieval abbey which spread its influence throughout Europe. It then crosses the Beaujolais mountains, then it winds through the vineyards of the Côtes Roannaises before reaching the Monts du Forez. Then, two options are available to hikers to reach Le Puy-en-Velay, the famous Loire gorges or via Saint-Paulien, the former capital of Velay.

Mathilde Wydauw
GR®765 Cluny Le Puy

TECHNICAL SHEET

GR®765 SAINT-JACQUES : FROM CLUNY TO PUY-EN-VELAY

  • Departure: Cluny
  • Arrival: Le Puy-en-Velay
  • Distance: 300 km (West) or 326 km (East)
  • Duration: 16 stages (West) or 17 stages (East)
  • Means of transport for departure: shuttle/bus to Cluny (nearest station Macon)
  • Means of transport for the return: Puy-en-Velay SNCF station
  • Website : www.chemindesaintjacques.com
Stage
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Stage 1: From Cluny to Tramayes: 19,5 km

Stage 1: From Cluny to Tramayes: 19,5 km

In Saône et Loire, Cluny Abbey is the starting point for walkers who are about to take the path of Saint-Jacques-of Compostela. The route is without difficulty until the village of Sainte-Cécile where it rises on a crest between the Grosne valley and the Valouzin valley. Then, you will arrive in Tramayes where the famous poet Alphonse de Lamartine liked to stop.

Do not miss :

  • a visit to the medieval town of Cluny and its abbey
  • the lake and castle of Saint-Point (House of Alphone Lamartine)

Stage 2: From Tramayes to Ouroux: 16,5 km

This stage allows walkers to find themselves in the heart of the Mâconnais, where one of the highest points is the signal of the Mother Box at 758 m above sea level.

À Cenves, you arrive in the Rhône department and walk until Saint-Jacques-stops to see his church. An essential stopover for pilgrims which hosts a permanent exhibition of paintings by Jean Fusaro, master of French lyrical figurative painting. A few kilometers separate you from Ouroux for a well-deserved break!

Do not miss :

  • the Maison du Haut Beaujolais in Cenves (local produce grocery store)
  • the Beaujolais vineyard
  • the Jean Fusaro exhibition in the church of Saint-jacques-of-Stops

Stage 3: From Ouroux to Propières: 20,5 km

The Rhone stage starting fromOuroux takes place essentially in the countryside, in the forest, with a remarkable passage on “the roof of the Rhône”. More precisely the Mont Saint-Rigaud which culminates at an altitude of 1009m and offers beautiful panoramas of the Beaujolais Vert. He is also one of the UNESCO geo sites global Beaujolais Geopark, labeled for the unique richness of its geological heritage. Its source would also have miraculous virtues... After having passed the Hanged Man's Cross then the Cree pass, the village of Clean is offered to you.

Do not miss :

  • the Maison du Col de Crie (local produce grocery store)
  • Mont Saint-Rigaud for a 360° panorama and its source

Stage 4: From Propières to Cergne: 19 km

A few kilometers later Clean, Col des Echarmeaux (712 m altitude) offers a panorama of the Azergues valley. The walkers then find themselves on the watershed between Atlantic et Mediterranean sea. Between climbs then descents, the path crosses the Col des Aillets (715m above sea level), the Col des Ecorbans (825m above sea level) and the Col de la Bûche (683m above sea level). After this climb, arrival at the village of Cerne rhymes with change of department, here you are in the Loire !

Do not miss :

  • the Col des Écharmeaux for a 360° panorama
  • the statue of Napoleon I and the Virgin of Mont Joly in Poule-les-Écharmeaux
  • the Notre Dame de Fatima chapel in Cergne

Stage 5: From Cergne to Charlieu: 17 km

Make way for the descent to reach charlieu ! A small Loire town on the way which gives off this sweet scent of French History with its famous Benedictine abbey from the 9th century. Also visit the Cordeliers Convent,Saint-Philibert church or the Silk museum installed in an 18th century building.

On the way to Cluny of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques, Charlieu is like a new starting point. Here we enter the territory Roanne.

Do not miss :

  • visit the medieval town of Charlieu labeled “Most Beautiful Détours de France” and “village of character in the Loire”
  • taste the local specialty: Charlieu andouille

Stage 6: From Charlieu to Saint-Romain-la-Motte: 24 km

This stage allows walkers to enjoy the rich local heritage and green landscapes. The route first follows the Sornin valley, one of the main local tributaries of the Loire, then crosses this indomitable and capricious river coupled with a quiet canal, that of Roanne à Digoin.

At the end of the day, don't miss theLa Bénisson-Dieu Abbey founded in the 1138th century. Gothic in style and founded in XNUMX under the name of Notre Dame de la Bénédiction de Dieu, the abbey is covered with glazed tiles.

Do not miss :

  • the Saint-Nizier-sous-Charlieu church
  • the canal from Roanne to Digoin
  • the abbey of La Bénisson Dieu

Stage 7: From Saint-Romain-la-Motte to Saint-Alban-les-Eaux: 17,5 km

It is then the small medieval village of Saint-Haon-le-Chatel which appears on the path. Nestled in lush greenery and located in the foothills of the Monts de la Madeleine, this town is an open-air museum! Then in Renaison, a detour is essential to “Aux Halles”, a pretty covered market, where you can find the best of Roanne gastronomy. Finally in the middle of the vineyard, Saint-Alban-les-Eaux, gushes out water recognized as naturally gaseous since 1878.

Do not miss :

  • visit Saint-Haon-le-Châtel, labeled “village of character in the Loire”
  • local specialties: pralulin (parline brioche), Mons cheeses

Stage 8: From Saint-Alban-les-Eaux to Bully: 17 km

This stage requires hikers to draw on their reserves to climb to the village of bully, after crossing very hilly paths. But they are rewarded by discovering the picturesque village of Saint-Jean-Saint-Maurice-sur-Loire and the vineyard of Roan coastss. The stage ends with the port of bully which welcomes boaters and fishermen.

Do not miss :

  • “La Cure”, an arts and crafts center in Saint-Jean-Sain-Maurice-sur-Loire
  • the vineyard of the Côte Roannaise
  • Bully marina

Stage 9: From Bully to Bussy Albieux: 21 km

For this 9th stage, the path continues to follow the Loire river and offers magnificent views of the Monts du Lyonnais and Forez plain. It allows hikers to gain height to see the beauty of the surroundings. Soon, the stage stops towards the last site of Roannais: the Priory of Pommiers which is a Benedictine priory founded in 825.

The end of the stage is at Bussy Albieux charming village where walkers will enjoy resting peacefully in the shade of the chestnut trees on the Place de la Mairie.

Do not miss :

  • the Pet d'Ane: the largest meander of the Loire in the town of Dancé
  • the priory of Pommiers-en-Forez

Stage 10: From Bussy Albieux to Montverdun: 15 km

This step marks the entry into the drill which leads to a gentler landscape towards the plain. The path passes not far from a sensitive natural space: the Biterne Reserve. It is a Natural Reserve which accommodates migratory wild species, mainly birds, between Northern Europe and Southern Europe.

Then another essential site of the department stands up: the Batie d’Urfé. Testimony to the Renaissance, the castle contains many unusual creations.

And finally, the path allows you to see in the distance a peak which rises on the route du Basalte: the peak of Montdun. Located on this basalt peak, the priory dominates the plain and offers a 360° panorama.

Do not miss :

  • the Forez Pond House
  • the Biterne Reserve
  • the castle of Bâtie d’Urfé
  • the priory of Montverdun

Stage 11: From Montverdun to Montbrison: 17 km

Montbrison is not very far away. This city which represents the second “stop” on the Cluny route, after Charlieu, is considered the historic capital of Forez. A stage between plains and mountains during which you cross the town of Champdieu, another “village of character in the Loire”, remarkable for its priory and its Romanesque church.

Take the time to discover the city of Montbrison with in particular its Notre-Dame d’Espérance collegiate church. THE Cordeliers Convent today houses the town hall, but you can also visit its museums or discover its specialties. The Montbrison market welcomes Forézian producers in a friendly atmosphere, especially to taste the famous Fourme de Montbrison !

Do not miss :

  • Champdieu classified as a “village of character in the Loire”
  • taste the fourme de Montbrison
  • visit the town of Montbrison

Stage 12: From Montbrison to Marols: 22,5 km

From Montbrison, your path to Le Puy-en-Velay is still strewn with beautiful landscapes, forests but also high plateaus. The passage to the village of Lizigneux allows a stop to admire the Vidrieux pond. Then, from the Romanesque chapel of Montsupt, a lovely panorama is offered to walkers. Then you will come across Saint-Jean Soleymieux, a small town where pilgrims came to pray in the crypt of the church, dating from the 11th century. Finally, a small path finally leads once again to a “characterful village of the Loire”: Marols.

Do not miss :

  • the pond and the chapel of Vidrieux
  • the chapel of Montsupt
  • the church of Saint-Jean-Soleymieux
  • Marols, classified as a “village of character in the Loire”

Stage 13 (from the west): From Marols to Usson-en-Forez: 17,2 km

This 13th stage of the Cluny route allows walkers to discover beautiful coniferous forests. It also offers them magnificent views of Usson-en-Forez. The municipality is located on the borders Velay, Forez and Auvergne. Located on a mountainous plateau, the town benefits from a sunny microclimate. Hikers can take the opportunity to visit the Monts du Forez ecomuseum illustrating the traditions and know-how of Haut-Forez.

Do not miss :

  • the Monts du Forez ecomuseum in Usson-en-Forez

Stage 14 (from the west): From Usson-en-Forez to Chomelix: 19,5 km

This stage, nearly 20 km long, allows hikers to reach the plateau of
Chomelix. Chomelix has long been a crossing point for pilgrims from Saint-Jacques de
Compostela towards Puy-en-Velay coming from the East. 2 shells attest to this Saint-Jacques
which adorn the walls of the church as well as the hospital registers.

Do not miss :

  • the church of Chomelix

Stage 15 (from the west): From Chomelix to Saint-Paulien: 19,7 km

This stage allows walkers to complete a route without difficulty on small roads
and stony paths, to St. Paulien, located at an altitude of 810 meters. This
former capital of Velay is home to historical remains such as the Castle of the
Rochelambert
, an 11th century residence carved into a basalt cliff, remains of a
ancient volcano.

Do not miss :

  • the Château de la Rochelambert in Saint-Paulien
  • the Archaeological Museum of Saint-Paulien
  • the church of Saint-Paulien

Stage 16 (from the west): From Saint-Paulien to Puy-en-Velay: 15,7 km

From St. Paulien, walkers take the valley which extends up to Polignac, where the Polignac family castle has been located since the 9th century. This stage allows them to cross the countryside of Velay before arriving at crossroads of the paths of Saint-Jacques : Le Puy-en-Velay.

Do not miss

  • the fortress of Polignac
  • the rock and the Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe chapel
  • visit the medieval city of Puy-en-Velay and its monuments

Stage 13 (from the east): From Marols to Leignecq: 21 km

The Cluny route of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques continues until a final “village of character in the Loire”: Montarcher. Perched at an altitude of 1160 meters, this village offers a splendid view of Velay and Vivarais
This stage will seduce you with the remains of its numerous mills and in particular the Vignal mill in the village d'Apinac which is one of the tourist attractions of the area. And finally you come to Leignecq which was built around an old keep from the 11th century.

Do not miss

  • the Vignal mill in Apinac

Stage 14 (from the east): From Leignecq to Retournac: 28,7 km

The Andrable watercourse will accompany you to reach the department of Haute-Loire. Yes, after the Saône et Loire, the Rhône then the Loire, the department whose capital is Le Puy-en-Velay extends his arms to you. From the municipality of Electoral privilege, the Ance valley then the Loire gorges wind up to Returnnac and its unmissable museum of Lace Manufactures.

Do not miss

  • the Lace Manufactures Museum in Retournac

Stage 15 (from the east): From Retournac to Vorey: 21 km

After Returnnac, heading towards the Loire gorges whose winding turns lead to Puy-en-Velay. But first, a little history and culture with a visit to ancient fortresses like the Artias Castle, one of the oldest in Velay and the priory of Chamalières-sur-Loire. Your path continues towards Roche-en-Regnier where you will have a superb panoramic view from the remains of its castle.

Do not miss

  • Artias Castle in Retournac
  • the priory of Chamalières-sur-Loire
  • remains of the Roche en Régnier castle for a panoramic view

Stage 16 (from the east): From Vorey to Lavoûte-sur-Loire: 11,5 km

La Wild Loire and its gorges tumultuous waves continue their course, passing Vorey before arriving at Saint-Vincent. From there, it only remains about twenty kilometers before catching a glimpse of the Notre-Dame de France statue, perched high on the Corneille rock of Puy-en-Velay. This stage allows hikers to reach Lavoute-sur-Loire, a small village which owes its name to the singular loop formed by the river, which is home to the “first castle of the Loire”: the castle of Lavoûte Polignac

Do not miss

  • the Ceneuil juice in Saint-Vincent for the 360° view
  • the castle of Lavoûte-Polignac in Lavoûte-sur-Loire

Stage 17 (from the east): From Lavoûte-sur-Loire to Puy-en-Velay: 13 km

Before the final effort, the fortress of Polignac looms on the horizon, you are in the heart of Velay and its emblematic monuments. Further, it is the rock and the Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel which mark the red flame of the very last kilometers. From the foot of the rock and its dizzying height, walkers only have a few meters left before reaching the capital of the roads Saint-Jacques : Le Puy-en-Velay.

Do not miss

  • the fortress of Polignac
  • the rock and the Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe chapel
  • visit the medieval city of Puy-en-Velay and its monuments

GPX TRACK

PRACTICAL TIPS

Find all the practical information about the Chemin de Saint-Jacques (Cluny route) in the “orange guide”: route, step by step, list of accommodation and services. This guide is essential to ensure peace of mind!


FAQ

What are the recommended stages of the Cluny route of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques GR®765?

1) Cluny > Tramayes: 19,5 km

2) Tramayes > Ouroux: 16,5 km

3) Ouroux > Propières: 20,5 km

4) Propières > Le Cergne: 19 km

5) Le Cergne > Charlieu: 17 km

6) Charlieu > Saint Romain la Motte: 24 km

7) Saint Romain la Motte > St Alban les Eaux: 17,5 km

8) St Alban les Eaux > Bully: 17 km

9) Bully > Bussy Albieux: 21 km

10) Bussy Albieux > Montverdun: 15 km

11) Montverdun > Montbrison: 17 km

12) Montbrison > Marols: 22,5 km

13) (East) Marols > Leignecq: 21 km

(West) Marols > Usson en Forez: 17 km

14) (East) Leignecq > Retournac: 29 km

(West) Usson en Forez > Chomelix: 19,5 km

15) (East) Retournac > Vorey: 24,5 km

(West) Chomelix > Saint-Paulien: 20 km

16) (East) Vorey > Le Puy-en-Velay: 24,5 km

(West) Saint-Paulien > Le Puy-en-Velay: 15,5 km

What is the difference between the East route and the West route of the GR®765 Chemin de Saint-Jacques (Cluny route)?

At the Montarcher stage in the Loire, the GR®765 is divided into two sections:

– to the east, the Loire gorges

– to the west, the Bolène route, also called the Caesar route

The “East” part of the GR®765 mainly crosses coniferous forests while the “West” part runs along the wild Loire. Please note, the “East” side has one more stage than the West, i.e. a difference of around twenty kilometers.

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