Le Puy-en-Velay

  • The town is still a departure point for plenty of hikes to Saint Jacques de Compostelle.
    © Easyvoyage.com
    A pilgrimage to Compostelle

    The town is still a departure point for plenty of hikes to Saint Jacques de Compostelle.

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

Located to the south-east of the Massif Central, this town is renowned for its cathedral and the narrow little side streets leading to it, its pedestrianised areas (such as the Place du Plot and the Place des Tables) and the Fontaines du Choriste fountains, making for true picture-postcard surroundings.

Le Puy-en-Velay: what to do?

A stroll through the old town to admire the beauty of the walls and the buildings. All culture lovers will be delighted when visiting the Crozatier Museum, which not only has a collection of artistic and archaeological work but also rooms reserved for natural science and lace work. It is a very interesting museum to visit with the family since, being so diverse, there is something for everyone!
As for nature lovers, they will enjoy taking a stroll through the garden paths of Henri Vinay, an enchanting park with an impressive wealth of vegetation that includes more than 400 different species of trees.

You should first go to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame du Puy, which is a perfect example of Roman art. You will admire the incredible bell as well as the Black Virgin on the altar. Puy-en-Velay also has other building that make up the city's heritage, such as the Hôtel-Dieu, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another site is the Rocher Corneille ('Corneille Rock') with its statue of Notre-Dame-de-France, the second largest statue in the world, and its breathtaking view over the city.

  • The extraordinary landscapes.
  • The magnificent architecture.
  • The Old Town.
  • The cultural and historical heritage.
  • The proximity to some bigger cities.
  • The lack of entertainment for the younger crowd.
  • The lack of public transport
  • Few shops
  • The very low temperatures in winter.


Head to the Verveine du Velay Pagès distillery to learn all of the production secrets of the famous liquor.
ZA Laprade ? Avenue René Descartes. 43700 Saint-Germain-Laprade.
You should also try to visit the Polignac Fortress only three miles from Puy-en-Velay. It is a remarkable tourist destination that offers stunning views of the region. It is possible to go on tours and visits of the fortress.

To avoid

Those who like their nightlife should choose a different destination, since Puy-en-Velay offers very little entertainment. On top of that, there aren't many shops.

Le Puy-en-Velay: what to eat?

One of the specialties of Puy-en-Valey is green lentils, with dishes such as salt pork with lentils, lentil salad, lentil soup, etc.
You could also try sarassou, which is a very sour cheese preparation similar to cream cheese. It is widely used in the local dishes.

Le Puy-en-Velay: what to buy?

If you are a cheese lover, you can find regional cheeses such as fourme d'Yssingeaux, Montbriac or even Tomme Le Valey in the market of Yssingeaux.
Other souvenirs include Verveine du Velay, a liqueur made with verbena (a plant known around the world), which is perfect at the end of a meal!

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