Although run by Franciscan nuns, there are not too many hints about religion to be found here. We had a twin-bedded room that was very clean with toilets and showers shared. Although I found the food not up to much (this is supposed to be pilgrims fare) the "ambiance" in the hostel was very good and quite welcoming. There is also a splendid garden where you can sit and read, although doesn't have a view over the town.
We paid 58€ for half-board for two per night. As per usual with accommodation on the Camino, blankets are provided but no sheets. Most people carry just a liner.
Our room gave over the top of the Regional Council building to the lights of the Ville-Basse below, with a fine view. Just 2 mins walk from the cloister and the Penitents chapel.
We arrived in town without a reservation and originally were meaning to find less expensive accommodation, but the girl behind the desk (Leticia) was so nice and helpful and gave us a 20% discount on one of their top suites!! we stayed there 2 nights. We looked at a couple other rooms first and they were fine, the ordinary type, regular prices. Our suite had a liv rm, TWO bathrooms; one with jacuzzi tub, satellite TV (CNN Intl), refrigerator, AND a view of the Statue of Notre-Dame!! They have parking, nice restaurant, hair dryer, nice toiletries, etc.
YES, a great view of the main event from our room!
Leticia was very helpful and gave us a great discount!
Very central, with many other restaurants within a few mins walk, patisserie and grocery store right across the street.
It’s far from our normal approach to travelling, but we had made a point of booking our stay at Les Bastides before we left Australia, then tailored our travels around France to be there. To make that effort worthwhile, it had to be good: I’m glad to say it was. I should add that what particularly attracted us to the Bastides was the opportunity to see teams of working huskies – at that stage the owners bred and trained them and featured special ‘dog-team handler’ training courses!
Perched in isolation high in the mountains, about 30km from Le Puy and at 1200 to 1400M, the Bastides has a spectacular setting with huge views of the surrounding country. It is close to the slopes of 1700 metre Mont Mézenc. Climb the hill behind Bastides and, as we did, you can look across France into Switzerland and see Mont Blanc about 300km away in the distance.
The building is yet another restored stone farmhouse from long ago, with its slate roof and granite walls seeming nestled into the hillside to shelter from the sometimes fierce elements in the high mountains. It features a very pleasant dining and recreation area, with comfortable lounges and fireplaces. Upstairs, the six guest rooms are comprehensively equipped with ensuite facilities and views to die for, of the Velay plateau or of Mt Mézenc. Although this is the least populated part of France, at night from our window we were able to count the lights of seven little hamlets in the distance.
We were given a very friendly reception by our hosts, who took us to meet the huskies and suggested we take a pre-dinner stroll. Later the other guests arrived and, after an excellent meal and superb wines, we spent a convivial evening around the fire with them.
Main photo: Les Bastides du Mézenc (foreground buildings)
Second photo: Looking from the nearby hill to the Alps
Third photo: Making friends with a husky
I am sure that the ownership of Les Bastides du Mézenc has changed since our visit, but I was delighted to find its website for this tip. The photos in the website bring back some very pleasant memories and also show the warm and comfortable interior. I suspect they no longer have their own husky teams, but the website suggests it still is possible to arrange dog team trips and a range of other activities. The price quoted is for the rooms only - meals are extra. It's not inexpensive, but highly recommended for value regardless if it is nearly as good as we found it.
With the assistance of the tourist information office in Le Puy, we found a little chambre d’hôte (B&B) a few km from town in the hamlet of Chaspinhac. It must be said that we had some interesting navigational moments on the way, because the signposting left a little to be desired, but finally we arrived via the D103 and D73. On the way we passed through several tiny villages with ancient stone buildings and very few apparent inhabitants: later we were told several times that this area has been largely depopulated during the 20th century.
The B&B was newly built, in the upper level of an ancient stone building. Unfortunately our booking had been made too late to obtain dinner – and there were no local restaurants. Had we not been carrying some food with us, we would have needed to return to Le Puy for a meal. We did, however, spend a pleasant evening chatting with our hosts, who provided us with an excellent breakfast. It’s now quite some time since our visit, long before VT, so I hope I can be forgiven not having the details of phone, price and such: in any case, they would be out of date now!
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