Many routes lead to Santiago de Compostela, because the pilgrims of the Middle Ages which made the greatness and the fame of this way started from their home and walked from sanctuaries to sanctuaries according to their reputation in this time and seasons. Nevertheless, there are 4 major routes in France and the cities, qualified today starting points were rather gathering places. It was safer to travel in groups as attacks by bandits or wicked people were common currency at that time!
La Caminade offers you to walk the best known and oldest historical route: the Via Podiensis.
From Le Puy en Velay to St Jean Pied de Port at bottom of Roncevalles pass, border with Spain.This is from Le Puy en Velay that the Godescalc bishop started his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in 950-951!
This route passes through different regions with varied landscapes: Auvergne, Margeride, the highlands of Aubrac, the Lot Valley, the desert-like limestone Quercycausse (desert limestone) Gascony hills and valleys before reaching the Pyrenees mountains. This 750 km route, offers many accommodations and quality services.
After crossing the pass of Roncesvalles you will continue on the Camino francés, the busiest Spanish route to Santiago de Compostella. This way has been followed by millions and millions of pilgrims but was first a vector of populating and economic development of these regions thanks to bridges, roads, hospitals built by the kings of Castile and Aragon in the Early Middle Ages.