A church, a school, a café, several small hotels or chambres d’hôtes – Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac is the quintessential rural French village, a place where the locals carry on with daily life, unperturbed by the steady stream of long-distance walkers passing though (although they do a fine job of looking after them!).
Although it feels quite modern after the medieval charm of Aubrac, the church here in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac dates from the fourteenth century and the turrets and towers are a reminder that village life has been going on here for many centuries.
Our home for the night was la Tour des Chapelains—a tower built around 1475 to shelter the monks who worked in the nearby fields. The spiral steps leading up to our rooms had been worn smooth by thousands of footsteps over the past five hundred years and these thick walls, I am sure, will be sheltering pilgrims well into the future.
Before you scroll to the bottom for practical tips on where to stay and where to eat, what will you see as you wander through the village?
(Published April 2013, last updated July 2021)
Which long-distance walk in France visits Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac?
Where is Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, France? Find it on Google maps
Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac is located 132.5 kilometres (83 miles) along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques – seven day’s walk from the starting point of Le Puy-en-Velay.
Click through to find my suggested itinerary for all five stages of the walk
If you prefer to set your own agenda, I share the steps I take to plan my itinerary on any long-distance walk (using the Chemin de Stevenson as a case study)
The Compostel’Bus service runs every morning, connecting Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac with villages along the path between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques and making the return journey each afternoon. Other stops include Montbonnet, Saint-Privat-d’Allier, Monistrol-d’Allier, Saugues, Villeret-d’Apchier, La Roche, Les Faux, Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, Aumont-Aubrac, Nasbinals, Aubrac, Saint-Côme-d’Olt, Espalion, Estaing, Golinhac, Espeyrac and Sénergues.
Tourist Office in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac
You’ll find an Information Bureau on Route d’Espalion although it does have limited operating hours. If you need assistance, call in to the mairie which is located on the main square. Opening hours are listed here.
A map of Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac can be downloaded from this page along with an accompanying brochure which describes some of the listed points of interest.
Accommodation in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac
No matter what type of accommodation you prefer, you’ll find something to suit your taste and budget in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac.
I can personally recommend la Tour des Chapelains which overflowed with historical charm. There was no demi-pension option when I stayed, but breakfast was so good I wouldn’t hesitate to book it now.
Where to eat in Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac
Whether you arrive at lunch time or looking for a beer (or in my case, an Orangina) at the end of the day’s walk, you’ll find the locals and other walkers gathered at Café de la Mairie.
At dinner time, you’ll find a restaurant in each of the hotels and dinner is often included with the demi-pension rate in other accommodation.
If you need to stock up on snacks and maybe a strawberry tart for the following day, you’ll find a bakery across the road from les Coudercous.
Fresh food markets are held every Wednesday morning throughout the year and on Thursday evenings during the summer months.