Between Saint-Etienne and Clermont-Ferrand, among the rolling landscapes of Auvergne, Puy-en-Velay is a surprising site with its rocky peaks topped with religious buildings classified as UNESCO WORLD PATRIMOINE.

An exceptional site on the road to Santiago de Compostela

Puy-en-Velay is one of the starting points of one of the four pilgrimage routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela. The via Podiensis, or the Puy Route, is the oldest French route to Santiago-Compostela. It passes through some of the most famous stages of the pilgrimage such as Conques, in Aveyron, or La Romieu, in the Gers, before joining the Camino Navrro in Spain. This religious status has earned him the inheritance of a rich heritage that has nestled in an exceptional setting dominated by two rocky peaks that are topped by the Chapel Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe and the statue of Notre-Dame-de-France. This colossal statue, painted in red, has been watching over the Puy-en-Velay since 1860. It was created with the 213-gun metal taken from the Russians during the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. It was then a real technical feat to build this statue of 22 meters high and 835 tons (including pedestal) on the highest point of the city of Puy-en-Velay, the Corneille Rock, a rocky peak of volcanic origin of 757 meters altitude, rising 132 meters above the city. The top of the rock offers a superb view of the old town and the entire Haute-Loire region to those who have had the courage to face the 262 steps that lead there. The climb is arranged and punctuated with information panels. Benches allow you to take breaks if you wish. Access to the site is paid (4 euros for adults), but the panorama is well worth the expense.

A UNESCO World Heritage-listed cathedral

At the foot of the corneilla rock lies the upper town of Puy-en-Velay. A 35-hectare protected area with a magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Its origins date back to the 5th century when a church was built on Mount Anis. The cathedral was built in the 11th and 12th centuries in a Romanesque style bathed in various influences, notably Byzantine. Be sure to admire its beautiful façade before discovering, inside, its black virgin with an exciting history. Although the cathedral underwent major changes in the 18th and 19th centuries, it remains a jewel of Romanesque architecture. It also retains beautiful wall decorations and paintings. After visiting the cathedral, don’t forget to go for a walk in its cloister. This Byzantine-inspired cloister is undeniably one of the most beautiful in France.

If the Puy-en-Velay Cathedral is the jewel of the city, it should not make you forget that it is in the heart of a 35-hectare listed area dotted with old mansions, churches and a beautiful Hôtel-Dieu which now houses an Arts and Heritage area dedicated to Puy-en-Velay. An exciting visit to better understand the history and heritage of Puy-en-Velay. It perfectly complements the Crozatier Museum, whose collections tell the story of Puy and Auvergne.

To prepare for your camping holiday in Puy-en-Velay:

Our campsites near Puy-en-Velay

Whether you’re travelling in a tent, caravan or campervan, we offer a selection of campsites around Puy-en-Velay.


Camping in Collioure, the jewel of the Côte Vermeille


Camping by la Couvertoirade, Templar city in the heart of Larzac

About Author

We Love Camping

C'est parce que nous aimons le camping traditionnel que nous avons pensé à ce site. Parce que nous regrettons parfois que le mobile-home occupe désormais tant de place sur les campings, nous avons voulu mettre en avant les terrains où les tentes, les caravanes et les camping-cars restent majoritaire. Et offrir à tout ceux qui partagent notre amour de la vie en plein air, un site avec des idées de voyages, des conseils techniques et surtout un choix de campings où il fait bon venir poser sa caravane ou planter sa tente.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mais aussi...