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While The Way of St. The Camino de Santiago also attracts history buffs, those who love views of the charming French countryside and those who want to experience and learn about the traditional culture and cuisine of Southern France.

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The pilgrimage route forms part of a network of walking tour trails across Europe that lead to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, where St. James, the apostle, is said to be buried. We begin our walking tour in France in the town of Le Puy en Velay. This is one of the original medieval starting points of the Camino de Santiago route.

And it winds through one of the most beautiful parts of France in the Midi-Pyrennes region. Heading south towards the Pyrenees, we walk through French villages and hike across high plateaus where herds of sheep and cattle graze in the French countryside.

Our pilgrimage hike ends in Conques, hosting one of the most evocative Romanesque pilgrimage monasteries in France. Pilgrims have been taking the Camino de Santiago route sincealthough its use declined during times of war and disease epidemics.

During the last two decades, interest in walking the Camino route has increased as people from around the world seek a journey of spiritual ificance. Most religious pilgrims make the journey on foot, although some travel by bicycle, horseback, or on a donkey. Authentic and exceptional Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon cuisine, charming rural villages, magnificent cathedrals, and walks through the spectacular landscapes and countryside of southern France combine to make this pilgrimage hike along the Camino de Santiago in France, an unforgettable, must-do experience!

For more than 1, years pilgrims have traveled along the many Caminos to Santiago de Compostela, a. The Way of St James. From all over Europe the trails converge, with one of the oldest and best preserved being the "Via Podensis", where our hike begins in Le Puy en Velay, France.

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Crossing through breathtaking landscapes without the crowds, we head towards the Pyrenees, to end in the idyllic medieval village of Conques. A retreat for modern "pilgrims"…. Saturday, September 7, Depart the U. Our adventure begins in Le Puy, a red-roofed town of 29, people. One of the starting points for the Camino, the city has a rich history and has been an important religious site for centuries.

In the middle ages, pilgrims stayed here to Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon themselves for the perils of a journey to the end of the continent. Inside the red-and-white stone Romanesque cathedral is a stone reported to cure fevers and a Black Madonna statuette. Historically, each pilgrimage began at a mass held in the cathedral. Pilgrims came to bow before the statue of St. James and receive a blessing before setting off on their journey of more than km mi. After arriving in Le Puy we have time to explore the old town and the beautiful Cathedral, which dates back to the 9th century and features huge stairways.

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We may also have time to visit St. At its foot is the little Romanesque Chapelle St. This attractive village Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon perched above the Allier gorge and its castle dates from the Hundred Years War. We begin on a narrow stony path through Rochegude overlooking the depths of the Allier gorges to a crossing at the gorges at Monistrol. We hike up out of the valley past some striking geological formations and the Madeleine chapel, carved out of the rock in the 17th century. Easy tracks across an agrarian and forested Mageride plateau take us to Saugues, where we end our hike for today.

This village was the meeting point for all pilgrims coming from the Auvergne during the Hundred Years War. The people here were reportedly terrorized by giant man-eating wolves in the 17th century. The beginning of our walk takes us across the Auvergne, a region containing many volcanoes, although the last eruption was more than 6, years ago.

Here, many plugs of hardened magma form rounded hilltops called puys. We walk into the Mageride region across a vast undulating volcanic plateau covered with birch trees and coniferous forests. This is a wild, tough landscape and is very sparsely populated. Legends about the region include packs of large wolves that used to roam these hills. The best known of these is the Beast of Gevaudan.

In this area, we pass many chapels and Romanesque churches and hospitals which have always been Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon important feature of The Way. The crossing of le Mageride is particularly scenic. There, we are surrounded by granite mountain tops, which, even at this time of year, are dusted with snow. Each village has charming features granite houses with carved doorways, cottage gardens, leaning towers…. Roch Chapel. About a half-mile off the main trail, is the village of Les Faux, our home for tonight.

Thursday, September Les Faux — Nasbinals This section of our route continues across the plateau of the Margeride as far as Aumont, the gateway to the Aubrac.

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We also pass through Aumont-Aubrac, an ancient crossroad of Roman routes. The church here is an ancient Benedictine priory. This marks the border between the volcanic Mageride and the granite Aubrac, beyond which our adventure continues through a landscape of woods and farms. From here, the trail follows a gentle incline into a pastoral landscape that has excellent views of St. Alban and the lush Limagnole Valley. We stop Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon a while in Aumont, an attractive market town with a beautiful church. As we climb higher the forest starts to thin and is replaced by vast grazing fields.

The paths here are called draille and are lined by stone walls that guide flocks during transhumance, the seasonal movement of people with their livestock between fixed summer and winter pastures. This is a wide and unique landscape dotted by huge stone boulders, small lakes, and peat bogs. Here we see wildflowers, old stone barns, drystone walls, and very few people. We pass through tiny hamlets and farmste, crossing streams over ancient granite bridges. Our destination tonight is Nasbinals, a transhumance village with a superb 14th-century church built out of brown basalt.

Our trail takes us across open hillsides, along grassy ro, and through gorgeous beech forests standing at about 4, feet — the highest point of the walk.

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We pass through the great transhumance center of Aubrac, with its Romanesque church dating to and its Tour des Anglais. We visit the new interpretation center and stop for a drink and a slice of fruit flan. Once we leave the mountainous Aubrac and enter the Lot Valley, the landscape changes dramatically, becoming more lush and gentle. Our trails pass through forest and pastureland along the sparkling waters of the Lot River. At the beginning of the Middle Ages this area was covered by thick forests inhabited by bandits and wolves, making this part of the pilgrimage dangerous to pilgrims.

They were happy to arrive at the refuge of Aubrac with its hospital, church and Tower of the English, which was built by Adalard, Viscount of Flanders, who took refuge here after being attacked by bandits and temporarily lost in Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon snow. There is a great patisserie here where we can enjoy a meal before transferring to our hotel in the village of Estaing, one of the most beautiful in France.

Estaing is an important village along the Camino and holds the famous festival of St. Fleuret on the first Sunday in July. Hundreds of costumed people follow a procession to commemorate Saint Jacques and other pilgrims. A stunning castle, gradually being restored, makes an imposing landmark in the village of Estaing. Sunday, September Estaing to Golinhac and Conques After walking a short section of trail running along the banks of the Lot River, we climb up to the Campeux plateau. We continue on through the gorges of the Lot, crossing through dark forests and tiny villages to Golinhac, a village where the church is built on the remains of an ancient priory.

Then, we pass through Campagnac and smaller hamlets until we reach the very tranquil village of Espeyrac. It is an idyllic spot for a break, as is the next village, Senergues, which features a picturesque castle. Finally, we hike a stony descent into Conques, our final destination for today. This gorgeous town is set against a lush green background and is a treasure trove of art and architecture. The people of this medieval village have preserved the old streets Naughty women Sainte-foy-lez-lyon with wooden houses, Roman fountains, and ancient fortified walls.

It is one of the finest hill-towns in France, clustering around the magnificent Romanesque abbey of St.

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Camino de Santiago Hike