Famed for its green lentils and lace-making traditions, Le Puy-en-Velay is a charming town in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of southern France. It is dominated by a majestic cathedral that has long been an important pilgrimage stop on the Camino de Santiago.
Things to do in Le-Puy-en-Velay
Archaeological findings uncovered in the region are exhibited at the Musee Crozatier, which overlooks the scenic walking trails of Henri Vinay Garden. Learn about the native animals that inhabit the Haute-Loire department while exploring the natural history displays, then get up close to portraits and sculptural works in the fine art galleries.
One of the town’s most important architectural landmarks is the Cathedral Notre-Dame-du-Puy, which has been a centre of pilgrimage since the time of Charlemagne. It is located at the highest point of the city and exhibits architectural influences dating from the 5th to 15th centuries. Gaze up at its seven-storey bell tower, stroll through the multi-coloured cloister and marvel at the Romanesque frescoes that adorn the interior.
Perched atop a volcanic rock to the north of the town is Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe, a 10th-century chapel that was built to celebrate Bishop Godescalc’s pilgrimage of Saint James. Its bell tower resembles that of the Cathedral Notre-Dame-du-Puy and can be reached by climbing 268 steps carved into the rock. From the chapel, there are spectacular views of Le Puy-en-Velay.
Getting around Le-Puy-en-Velay
Le Puy-en-Velay is around 2.5 hours’ drive from Lyon and two hours from Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Regular trains connect to Le Puy-en-Velay railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Le Puy-en-Velay can easily be explored on foot.