(Published December 2015, last updated April 2023)
For many walkers, arriving in Saint-Privat-d’Allier marks the end of the first day’s walk along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques du-Puy.
And as the GR 65 path approaches the village, the view of the château and church steeple perched high on the ridge is a most welcome sight—and a sure sign that a cold drink is not far away!
Whether you find yourself here at the end of the first day of walking or just passing through, take an hour or so to climb up through the narrow streets to visit the church and château. On your way, you’ll pass many pretty stone houses that are typical of this area.
Views from the park that surrounds the two buildings extend back over the village and down the gorge to the east. Although this is not the direction you’ll be walking tomorrow, the scenery is an indication of things to come!
There is much conjecture on the Saint-Privat-d’Allier website as to the age of the church, but parts of it, at least, date from the twelfth century.
From the front of the church the mix of building materials is evident, revealing the expansion from a small chapel to a parish church over the last nine hundred years.
The château on the other side of the park was built soon after the church, but suffered a chequered history over the next several centuries. Ownership was passed from one noble family to another—usually due to the lack of an heir—and the château was often neglected until finally, during the French Revolution, it was plundered and stripped of all furnishings.
In 1877, the château was sold to the nuns of Saint-Joseph du Puy, who established a school and thereafter educated many of the local girls. The château has also functioned as a gîte, and sometimes accommodates walkers.
It would be tempting to fill your water bottle from this pretty fountain on the lane leading up to the church, but always check the sign. No sign or eau potable indicates the water is safe to drink, eau non potable means the water has not been treated and is not safe to drink.
Which long-distance walk in France visits Le-Puy-en-Velay?
Where is Saint-Privat-d’Allier, France? Find it on Google maps
Saint-Privat-d’Allier is located 23 kilometres (14.4 miles) along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques – one 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 GR65 Chemin de Saint-Jacques
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-Privat-d’Allier with villages along the path between Le Puy-en-Velay and Conques and making the return journey each afternoon. Other stops include Montbonnet, Monistrol-d’Allier, Saugues, Villeret-d’Apchier, La Roche, Les Faux, Saint-Alban-sur-Limagnole, Aumont-Aubrac, Nasbinals, Aubrac, Saint-Chély-d’Aubrac, Saint-Côme-d’Olt, Espalion, Estaing, Golinhac, Espeyrac and Sénergues.
Tourist Office in Saint-Privat-d’Allier
There is no Tourist Office in Saint-Privat-d’Allier but you’ll find helpful staff at the Mairie (local council) (turn right and follow the signs at Le Kompost’l). Opening hours are listed under Contact Mairie.
Accommodation in Saint-Privat-d’Allier
Whether your preference is for hotels, chambres d’hôtes, gîtes or a patch of grass where you can pitch your tent, you’ll find something to suit you in Saint-Privat-d’Allier. Among your options are –
Le Vieille Auberge
Where to eat in Saint-Privat-d’Allier
There are several cafés along the main street as you arrive in the village offering a cold drink – or lunch if you’ve arrived in the middle of the day.
For dinner, I can recommend La Vieille Auberge which offers a comprehensive menu featuring regional produce as well as a cheaper reduced menu for walkers.
You’ll also find a bakery and grocery store in the village where you can stock up on essentials for tomorrow’s walk.
Purchase the 2023 editions of the Chemin de Saint-Jacques (PDF) guidebooks
Purchase five guidebooks covering Le Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port