Day 4: Le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole (22.5 kilometres, 14.1 miles)
The fourth day of walking from le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole offers something for everyone—gentle hills (there are no strenuous climbs), wide green fields and shady paths through the forest.
There are no cafés along today’s walk unless you detour a kilometre or so off the path to Chanaleilles or les Faux, so carry plenty of trail mix to get you through the day.
Twenty minutes after leaving le Falzet, you’ll reach Villeret-d’Apchier—a small village consisting of half a dozen houses and a gîte. Although I have not included it on my suggested itinerary, it is where I spent my third night. (I thoroughly recommend it—dinner was delicious and we had a fun night singing the pilgrims’ song and learning about the pilgrims’ motto Ultreïa (Onward!))
Thirteen kilometres (eight miles) past le Falzet, the GR 65 path passes a small fountain dedicated to Saint-Roch, the patron saint of pilgrims. The water that flows from the spring here is said to be blessed and while I wasn’t convinced it was safe to drink, I did wash my feet for good luck!
In the twelfth century, a hostel provided food and shelter to passing pilgrims and a chapel was built a little further along. But by the seventeenth century, the hostel had fallen into disrepair and the chapel was later destroyed during a storm.
The church that stands here now was built in 1900—and was unfortunately locked the day I passed by.
The fourth day of walking ends in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole—a small town with a variety of hotels, chambre-d’hôtes and gîtes, as well as several cafés, a pharmacy and an ATM.
The road into town passes by the Tourist Office, housed in a château which dates from the twelfth century. It has been restored and enlarged since then and has served many functions—from feudal fortress to a hospital for the mentally ill.
Pink granite stonework added around the doors and windows of the château in the seventeenth century provides a theatrical and flamboyant flourish.
The perfect place to relax over a cold drink in Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole is at the café in front of the church.
(NOTE: Cafés in France are often closed—on a Monday (or at least one day each week), because it’s not lunch time, or when the owner goes on vacation. Always carry plenty of trail mix and water.)
Enjoy a walk from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Aumont-Aubrac along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy from the comfort of your armchair 🙂
Day 4: Le Falzet to Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole