The Via Podiensis, also called "the Puy-en-Velay way", is one of the 4 main paths in France, described in the XNUMXth century, to reach Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in Spain. It begins at Puy-en-Velay to reach the Pyrenees via the Roncesvalles pass. This is the most traveled route of the paths of Saint-Jacques In France. In 1970, the Voie du Puy-en-Velay of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques has been marked out by the French Hiking Federation: GR®65.

La Via Podiensis takes its origin from the name of the city of Puy-en-Velay, hence the bishop Godescalc set out for Compostela in 950 AD. This last one is recognized as the first pilgrim to have made the pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques-of Compostela.

The paths of Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle benefit from two strong distinctions:

  • en 1987, they inaugurated the list of European Cultural Routes launched by the Council of Europe,
  • en 1998, they were registered on the UNESCO world heritage list.

The section from Puy-en-Velay to Conques (GR®65) brings together the most beautiful stages of the path to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Walkers cross 4 territories rich in flora, fauna, geological diversity: the Volcanic Velay, Margeride plateau,Aubrac and Lot valley.

Mathilde Wydauw
GR®65 Le Puy Conques



  • Departure: Le Puy-en-Velay
  • Arrival: Conques
  • Distance: 205km
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Means of transport for departure: Puy-en-Velay SNCF station
  • Means of transport for return: bus/shuttle
  • Website :
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Stage 1: From Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Privat-d’Allier

Stage 1: From Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Privat-d’Allier

The great departure of the path of Saint-Jacques in Puy-en-Velay has been done since Cathedral. Every day, from 1er April to October 31, mass dedicated to pilgrims is given there at 7 a.m. It is open to all. Then the monumental staircase opens into the heart of the nave of the cathedral and it is the start of a great journey!

A few kilometers after Le Puy-en-Velay, walkers will be able to appreciate two monuments classified as “Historic Monument”: the Romanesque church at Saint-Christophe-sur-Dolaison dating from the 12th century and Saint-Roch de Montbonnet chapel in Bains built in the 10th century.

Some walkers will be able to cut this first day of walking by stopping at Montbonnet or 15,5 km from Le Puy-en-Velay. For the most courageous, your hike will take you through the Monts du Velay to Saint-Privat-d'Allier.

Do not miss :

  • a visit to the town of Puy-en-Velay and its monuments
  • the church of Saint-Christophe-sur-Dolaison
  • the Saint-Roch de Montbonnet chapel in Bains

Stage 2: From Saint-Privat-d’Allier to Saugues

From Saint-Privat-d'Allier, the fabulous landscapes of Gorges of the Allier are revealed. Wild and steep, they are the territory of salmon and white water sports. Going back up to the granite plateau of the Margeride, a dazzling viewpoint is offered to walkers from the chapel of Rochegude.

This is a hiking stage with a significant difference in altitude. It is certainly the most difficult stage between Puy-en-Velay and Conch. The discovery of the village of Monistrol d'Allier and the troglodyte chapel of Madeleine are essential passages.

À Saugues, you are greeted by the imposing wooden sculptures of the pilgrims and that of the impressive Beast of Gévaudan. Discover the Donjon, the St Médard collegiate church as well as the famous Tour des Anglais.

Do not miss :

  • the chapel Saint-Jacques from Rochegude to Saint-Privat-d’Allier
  • the troglodyte chapel of the Madeleine in Monistrol-d’Allier
  • the statue and museum of the Beast of Gévaudan in Saugues

Step 3: From Saugues to Sauvage

Saugues marks the start of Margeride and Gévaudan plateau, promising the wildest stages of the path of Saint Jacques of Compostela, with Aubrac.

In the direction of the Domaine du Sauvage, the Clauze Tower, leaning, is a vestige of the 15th century located in the town of Grèzes.

Finally, the Domaine du Sauvage is offered to you. This exceptional place welcomes pilgrims for an unforgettable stopover in the heart of Margeride. On site, an inn, managed by farmers, offers meals made from local products during the season.

Do not miss :

  • the Tour de Clauze in Grèzes
  • the Domaine du Sauvage

Stage 4: From Sauvage to Aumont-Aubrac

Here you are now Lozère after having crossed the Margeride plateau. Former stronghold of the barony ofApcher, the town of Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole was established around its 1764th century castle. During the year XNUMX, this castle was one of the rallying points to organize the battles aimed at eliminating the Beast of Gévaudan.

Last step before joining Aubrac, you cross a country of streams and mountain plants. You will soon arrive at Straits in the town of Fontans where you can visit the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church, a former commandery of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem. Then there will be 6,5 km of walking to reach Aumont-Aubrac and its famous priory founded around the year 1000.

Do not miss :

  • the Saint-Roch chapel in Lajo
  • the castle of Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole
  • the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Fontans

Stage 5: From Aumont-Aubrac to Nasbinals

The Aubrac plateaus, these are vast pastoral spaces interspersed with low stone walls where herds of cows graze. Land of transhumance, Aubrac today belongs to cattle and cows of the famous Aubrac breed.

The villages are available to walkers in Aubrac, such as the Chaze de Peyre, crossroads for many hikes between pine forests and green pastures. You will also come across Malbouzon, a former priory dependent on Sainte Foy de Conques of which the 12th century church remains.

For a refreshing break, a little detour towards the Deroc waterfall is required. Then Nasbinals finally reveals itself, with its beautiful and robust Romanesque church from the 11th century, point of entry into the department of the Aveyron.

Do not miss :

  • Aubrac specialties: Aubrac meat and aligot

Stage 6: From Nasbinals to Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac

These 17 km are part of the seven portions of the Puy-en-Velay route (via Podiensis) inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO. This is probably the most striking stretch in terms of landscapes and diversity. You will cross the undulated plateau of Aubrac and large grazing areas, and will often follow “ dragilles », these old transhumance paths offering a very clear view. Then, the descent progresses towards the Boralde and Lot valley, through woods, following the beds of small streams, or hillsides.

The village "Aubrac » will grab you! He is the heart of the Aubrac plateau whose landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful! You will discover the hospice from 1120 with its church, the hospital which welcomed pilgrims, the English Tower built in the XNUMXth century, the old Dômerie and its famous bell of the lost which helped pilgrims find their way.

Do not miss :

  • the typical village “Aubrac”

Stage 7: From Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac to Espalion

You will leave Saint-Chély d'Aubrac by Pilgrims Bridge registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO under the Paths of Saint-Jacques.

After passing L’Estrade, direction Saint-Côme d’Olt and its medieval-looking streets. Its town is labeled “ Most beautiful village in France » and has managed to preserve its character over time. The original twisted bell tower (known as twisted) from the church points to the center of the village. It can be seen both when arriving downhill from Aubrac and along the Lot valley.

Finally, 7 km remain to be covered before your arrival at Espalion. You can visit the Saint Jean Church, the chapel of the Brotherhood of Penitents, the diving museum, the museum of Popular Art and Traditions, the Rouergue museum, the old palace. Finally, don't miss the Old Bridge also registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO under the Paths of Saint-Jacques.

Do not miss :

  • the “Pilgrims’ Bridge” in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac
  • Saint-Côme-d’Olt, classified as “Most Beautiful Village in France” and the church with its twisted bell tower
  • the “Pont Vieux” in Espalion

Step 8: From Espalion to Golinhac

The departure ofEspalion in the direction of Golinhac is a lift on the Rouergate mountain with magnificent views of the Lot Valley and Aubrac. It will take you a little more than ten kilometers to catch a glimpse Estaing. The village is classified among the “Most Beautiful Villages in France” with its Gothic bridge over the Lot, the Hospitalité St Jacques, the 15th century Saint Fleuret church.

This part of the Lot valley constituted an easy communication route, used by thousands of pilgrims. The Romanesque buildings that line it and the bridges bear witness to this. THE routed between Saint-Côme d’Olt and Estaing is also also inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Golinhac is revealed at the end of the route, bordered by the Lot. Its Church is dedicated to Saint Martin. It preserves the Romanesque foundations of a Benedictine priory which depended in the 12th century on the Abbey of Conques.

Do not miss :

  • Estaing, classified “Most Beautiful Villages in France”

Step 9: From Golinhac to Conques

On this stage, a passage is essential on the side ofEspeyrac, a town built like an amphitheater. Of the two castles it owned, only that of the lords of Espeyrac remains today, reduced to a building with a turret. The other castle, belonging to the Duke of Arpajon, lord of Séverac, was located on the site of the current church.

Then, direction Senergues, the land of 5 churches and 4 castles. The rich cultural heritage of the town will allow you to discover the Saint Martin church, the Sénérgues castle, the Montarnal Tower or even the ruins of the keep.

Finally, having left Puy-en-Velay for 10 days, you finally arrive at Conques ! This village has managed to preserve its authenticity. Stretched along the mountainside, the town surrounds the abbey church in a vast arc. The original plan, that of the Middle Ages, has been preserved in broad terms.

Since its founding, theConques Abbey has never stopped welcoming pilgrims who come from all over Christian Europe to venerate the relics of Sainte Foy. The Book of Miracles bears witness to this popular fervor.

To these pilgrims, were gradually added, from the 11th century, those who gained Saint-Jacques of Compostela, in Galicia. Today, this craze born more than a thousand years ago has not waned, far from it. In addition to traditional pilgrims, there are now modern-day walkers who, for multiple reasons, are taking this cultural route in increasing numbers every day. A privileged opportunity for human encounters and discovery of an exceptional architectural and artistic heritage.

Do not miss :

  • the villages of Espeyrac and Senergues
  • the visit of Conques and its abbey





What are the recommended stages of the Path of Saint-Jacques Via Podiensis GR®65 between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques?

1) Le Puy-en-Velay -> Saint-Privat-d’Allier: 23 km

2) Saint-Privat-d’Allier -> Saugues: 19 km

3) Saugues -> Le Sauvage: 19,5 km

4) Le Sauvage -> Aumont-Aubrac: 26 km

5) Aumont-Aubrac -> Nasbinals: 27 km

6) Nasbinals -> Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac: 16,5 km

7) Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac -> Espalion: 24,5 km

8) Espalion -> Golinhac: 26,5 km

9) Golinhac -> Conques: 21 km

In total, there is therefore 203 km between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques on the GR®65 Chemin de Saint-Jacques – Via Podiensis and 755 km between Le Puy-en-Velay and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Where is the start of the path? Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle in Puy-en-Velay?

The great departure of the path of Saint-Jacques in Puy-en-Velay has been done since Cathedral. Every day, from 1er April to October 31, mass dedicated to pilgrims is given there at 7 a.m. Then the walkers will descend the street of tables then take a left rue Raphël to reach the Place du Plot which is a crossroads of hiking trails in Puy-en-Velay. THE GR®65 road of Saint-Jacques from Puy-en-Velay is signposted from Place du Plot. Walkers will be able to take a souvenir photo with the pilgrim statue before hitting the street Saint-Jacques.

Is the GR®65 Chemin de Saint-Jacques can it be done several times?

Given that the GR®65 between Le Puy-en-Velay and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is 755 km long, walkers will be able to do it entirely or in several installments. Depending on your length of stay on the route, find out about the stages with access to SNCF stations. Be careful for example in Conques, there is no train station, the only possibility of transport on the GR®65 are carriers such as Compostel'bus, La Malle Postale or Transbagages.

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