Le Puy-en-Velay is the European capital on the Way of St James, with each year numerous pilgrims going up the steps of the Cathedral and setting out on the famous GR65 trail.

With your staff in your hand, your backpack all ready, a good pair of walking shoes, the Way of Saint James awaits you, yes, you! Because the route is not only for experienced hikers or Catholics. Everyone can make their own way, at their own pace, according to their own needs and motivations.

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I got to know myself.

Following the Way of St James involves going beyond your limits. It means feeling your backpack get heavier as the miles go by. It means giving your tired feet a massage in the shade of a centuries-old tree when the time comes for a break. You feel the route beneath your feet, a historic, thousand-year-old route urging you to go further and further. Everyone has to make the same effort. On the Way of St James, there are no strong or weak, rich or poor. There are just stones, landscapes, yard after yard going by in the sunshine, in the wind, the rain and storms…

You get to know yourself on the way, your limits, your ambitions, your breaking points, your thoughts. Being alone with yourself, isn’t this the spirit of the GR65 trail? To set off on an adventure without really knowing what’s in store for you, leaving the trivial and material things of modern life behind and focusing on what is essential.

The path to happiness!

You also get to know the others. People you would probably never have met otherwise. The other walkers that strike up a conversation, the villagers who give you something to eat or drink. The hosts providing accommodation for an evening by the fireside and a hearty breakfast before you set off again.

Everyone has their own Way of Saint James

Agathe, 62.

“I walked for 5 weeks along the Way of Saint James leaving from Le Puy-en-Velay last June. Alone on the GR65 trail I found a feeling of freedom, a sensation each morning that today I would experience something new, something unexpected. I was amazed by the spontaneity and kindness of the people I met. In a café I made the acquaintance of a Swiss couple who walked with me and gave me their support for 2 days. As if the word “Humanity” took on its full meaning along the Way. I have never felt anything so powerful physically and inwardly.”

David, 36.

“I was born in Le Puy-en-Velay and I had never been on the GR65 trail. I’ve been living in Lyon for 10 years now with my family, and as my 40th birthday got nearer, I decided to set myself the challenge. I only went away for 4 days, but it was an incredible experience. I got to see the beauty of my region again. The little streets of Le Puy-en-Velay, the Allier Gorges, the arrival in Saugues, the Domaine du Sauvage… The route is just magnificent. Taking off your socks in the evening, having a shower and eating a hot dinner made by your host, I never thought it would all provoke so much enjoyment and emotion.”

Jean-Paul, 59.

“The Way of Saint James has become our regular summer outing with a group of work colleagues. We did the first stage between Le Puy-en-Velay and Saint-Privat d’Allier in 2015, then took the shuttle bus back to Le Puy. Since then, we do one or two stages every year, going a little bit further each time. In July 2018, we planned to go by car as far as Espalion and then walk to Conques. We walk at our own pace and every instant is an unforgettable experience of sharing and friendship.”