Coming to Le Puy-en-Velay means a chance to visit the European capital on the Way of Saint James, at the crossroads of major hiking trails.
Landscapes shaped by
Le Puy-en-Velay is a town in a preserved natural environment. Breathe the fresh air, you are in Velay! An ideal place to explore a region where volcanoes have shaped the beauty of the landscapes. Some of the most surprising scenery in France with a whole host of monuments…
Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe rock and his chapel
This is the first time I’ve seen a chapel on top of a volcano.
It’s enough to take your breath away… A 82-metre volcanic peak, over 2 million years old, with the Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel at the summit. Mont-Anis and the 16-metre-high statue of Notre-Dame de France looking over the town. And what can you say about the Cathedral, a jewel of Romanesque art? From the top of the 134 steps you look down on the old town and Rue des Tables, the scene of the famous Roi de l’Oiseau Renaissance Festival parade. A few miles away is the Polignac fortress, an impressive castle keep standing on a basalt pedestal, as well as all the other castles nearby, recounting the history of France.
Le Puy-en-Velay also has several museums retracing the life and history of the town. The Crozatier Museum, the Hôtel-Dieu, the Camino, the Bobbin Lace Learning Centre and the Verbena Museum all help visitors to get to know the DNA of Le Puy-en-Velay.
Old Puy streets
A stroll down streets in a
From the relaxing botanical gardens to the atypical ancient streets, Le Puy-en-Velay has a wide range of colours and atmospheres. With the red roofs, mullioned windows, painted facades and cobblestone streets, there are plenty of good excuses to lose yourself in this picture-postcard setting. In the lower town and the upper town, there are little shops and stores wherever you go. Local skills can be found in every street: the tasty Velay Verbena; the dexterity of a lace-maker with her eyes on her bobbin lace pillow, and the famous green Puy lentils (now a staple in the British royal family!) that you can buy at the Plot market.
The famous Plot square in Le Puy-en-Velay
Le Puy lace
A night out
During the Puy de Lumières event, a stroll through the town at dusk has never been so beautiful. The colourful little streets in the daytime are replaced by spectacular lights at night. People enjoy the spectacle from restaurant terraces. Place de la Halle comes to life, Place du Martouret is filled with light and visitors stop off for a drink in the old town before enjoying the sound and light show.
Puy de Lumieres
The famous green Puy lentils
“It’s so nice to take a break on Place du Plot! The café terraces are full of life, sunshine and shade, there are very few cars. The ideal spot for a drink, a coffee or an ice-cream. A well-deserved rest after a visit to the Henri Vinay garden and the Crozatier Museum. A walk in the old town seemed to me easier after a little break in the sunshine!”