Choosing a guidebook

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Miam Miam Dodo has the most comprehensive list of places to stay.

Alas, there are no English guidebooks that I know of for the Via Podiensis. I’ve learned, though, that some of the confraternities publish their own material, so you might inquire.

The best guide for accommodations is the Miam Miam Dodo (baby talk for Yum Yum Doze). Don’t worry that it’s in French. You will learn the basic words in a few days, and you’ll need to know them anyway. You can pick this up at the tourist office in Le Puy or order it ahead.

Michelin guides present distance, elevation gain, difficulty and rest-stops in a really easy format.

I also got the Michelin guide Chemins de Compostelle: Le Puy-en-Velay -> Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. This is fantastic for showing the elevation gain, distances and prospective time of travel every day. The guide is laid out to suggest daily walks if you want to arrive in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in 32 days. The first day was 23 km, about 15 miles, with a roughly 400 m elevation gain. Others are easier, or at least flatter.

Topo guides
Topo guides have great maps.

The Topo guides are another popular series. These have the most exact maps and some very nice information about each region.

You can also ask for information or publications at tourist offices and mairies (mayor’s offices). I’ve seen a few other guides published in various languages from various dates. Check the tourist office and the cathedral sacristy if you didn’t plan ahead. (Moi?)

Many tourist offices and mairies offer free local guides and lists of accommodations!

Don’t bring too many guides because it’s better to pack light and ask for help! You can pick up more guides at tourist shops, bars and tourist offices along the way.


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