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Day 1: From La Chaise Dieu to Allègre, 21 km (5 hrs 15) including the fully restored La Chaise-Dieu abbey church, some magnificent resinous tree forests, with no lack of mushrooms in autumn, the nature reserve protecting the confidential Lake Malaguet and the medieval village of Allègre with its famous gallows!
Day 2: From Allègre to Saint-Paulien, 16.5 km (4 hrs 15). You set out from the medieval village of Allègre and continue over the plateau with a view of Mont Bar, the village of Céaux d’Allègre, the impressive panoramas over the volcanoes in the distance, and then the arrival in Saint-Paulien with the magnificent Saint-Georges collegiate church.
Day 3: From Saint-Paulien to Le Puy-en-Velay, 17 km (5 hrs). The last day, but not the least. Here there are panoramas on all sides, as you begin a slow descent leading to the surprising Polignac fortress, standing on a volcanic base in the centre of a large plain. Then one last crest before you see Le Puy-en-Velay, the Saint Michel rock, the statue of the Virgin Mary looking down on the town, the Cathedral and the historic town centre!
La Chaise-Dieu, essential
The Chaise-Dieu plateau can boast a unique cultural and natural heritage. Here you will see green, unspoilt nature with numerous valleys and forests. Hikers are charmed by the paths through the woodland and forests in La Chaise-Dieu.
The trails are signposted, adapted to all levels and passable from spring to autumn. You will have fun picking wild fruit and mushrooms along the way!
The town of Allegre
Allègre, a village of character
Allègre has a wide range of landscapes, woodland and paths that are well worth a detour! Walking in Allègre means stocking up on fresh air and an encounter with Mont Bar and Mont Baury, two extinct volcanoes, with the little village nestling on their slopes.
On the way, your travelling companions will be cranberries, wild blackberries, wild strawberries, and not forgetting plenty of mushroom varieties on an exceptional trail.
From La Chaise-Dieu, you cross the Velay region, where Saint-Paulien was the capital 2,000 years ago. The town shows off its history and Gallo-Roman vestiges with an impressive collegiate church and a history museum.
There are numerous paths and woodland around the village of Saint-Paulien. Here you can see some truly surprising animals and plants. For keen fishermen, the region has many rivers teeming with trout.
the crossroads for hiking trails
Le Puy-en-Velay is the starting point of the Via Podiensis, the main trail in Europe on the way to Santiago de Compostela and an exceptional site. The town has been preserved from the ravages for time and has plenty of surprises in store. The 35-hectare preserved sector, including the Cathedral and the Hôtel-Dieu, are listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites, as part of the Way of St James. They are fine examples of the town’s rich architecture and history.