Situated in the southeast of the Massif Central, and the departure point for the "Via Podiensis" towards Santiago de Compostella in Spain, Le Puy-en-Velay is an outstanding historical city. Preserved over time, the town offers many great sites and activities for visitors.
Visiting Le Puy-en-Velay is like going on a treasure hunt: the extraordinary chapel dedicated to Saint-Michael at Aiguilhe , the cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and its 12th century cloisters, the religious art museum, the Corneille roc, and the statue of Notre Dame de France, are waiting to be discovered.
The whole area of the upper town, spanning 35 hectares (~86 acres), is part of a "protected heritage" section, where the architectural elements of ancient homes are preserved, such as the turrets, sculpted doorways, and mullioned windows.
An appropriate style of illumination accentuates the beauty of the historic centre, which has been further enhanced by new urban design, renewal of certain quarters, and floral decorations.
Despite its prestigious past, Le Puy-en-Velay lives very much in the present with over seven thousand people visiting the town each year, proving its tremendous attraction for tourists.
A human-sized town with a population of just under 20,000 inhabitants, Le Puy-en-Velay is nevertheless situated in the heart of a district of 60,000 inhabitants, and is an important centre of commerce, administration, culture and sport. The whole of the Haute-Loire is affected by the enterprising force of the capital town of the department.
Thousands of people pass through Le Puy-en-Velay on their way down south, but many also come to stay on holiday, or for a conference. The town is a focal point of this departement for such varied landscapes, and an ideal base for exploring the wealth of natural assets in the surrounding region. Here you will find a whole range of open-air leisure activities, endless opportunities to gather mushrooms and wild fruit in season, but also a certain idea of quality of life, far away from pollution and the large bustling holiday resorts.
Culture is a parallel to nature, each season has its festival or special event centred around historic heritage and popular street arts. The Bird King festival in the middle of September attracts thousands of participants and spectators.
Le Puy-en-Velay is also renowned for the century-old tradition of hand-made lace, and today the old skills and techniques have been maintained thanks to the creation of a National Academy of Lace, which continues to keep the traditional art of lace-making alive.
Green lentils of Le Puy, with a label of certified origin, are grown on a hundred or more communes in the basin of Le Puy-en-Velay. Reputed as a gastronomic speciality, they are used by the most famous chefs. The Verveine du Velay (Velay verbena), a well-known digestive liquor, is also present in gastronomic menus.
Office de tourisme du Puy-en-Velay
2, Place du Clauzel
43000 Le Puy-en-Velay
+33 (0)4 71 09 38 41
Fax : +33 (0)4 71 05 22 62### Getting there
- Airport Le Puy-en-Velay - Loudes (10 min from town centre)
Daily service to Paris Orly Sud
- Lyons International Airport (140 km)
- TER railcars: Lyons, Saint-Étienne, Clermont-Ferrand
- TGV link from Saint-Étienne
- RN 88 Lyon/Toulouse > RN 102
- Paris (514 km)
- Clermont Ferrand (132 km)
- Lyons (134 km)
- GPS : 45°02’39 N 3°53’09 E
Restaurants: More than 120 hotels and restaurants
- 17 hotels (507 rooms): 1 4-star hotel, 7 3-star hotels, 5 2-star hotels, 3 hotels (EC*)
- 3 campsites (308 pitches): Le Puy-en-Velay (EC), 3-star Brives Charensac (4 km), 2-star Coubon (6 km)
- Youth hostel (70 beds)
- Hostels and group centres
* (EC) = currently being rated
Visiting the city:
- Historic city and Cathedral (2-21/2 hours): €90-155 (FR, DE, EN)
- Daily rates including one meal from €38 per person
- Holiday package 2 days/1 night from €180 per personor 3 days/2 nights from €245 per person
Contact the Tourist Office to organise your stay
Visiting the shrine:
Contact details for your pilgrimage:
2, rue de la Manécanterie
43000 Le Puy-en-Velay
00 33 (0)4 71 09 79 77
Literature: Special Groups brochure
Documentation on the city and shrine in 9 languages (FR, EN, DE, IT, ES, NL, PT, JA, ZH)
- Feast of the Annunciation (March 25)
- Friday, procession of the White Penitents (March 29)
- Marian Feasts (August 14-15)
- “Fêtes Renaissance du Roi de l’Oiseau” (September 18-22)