The GR65 (itinerary from Geneva to Puy-en-Velay) reaches the Isère Department, crossing the Rhône at Chavanay, and enters the Pilat Regional Natural Park. The section of the Saint-Jacques route can be divided into 4 stages ranging from 2 to 4-hours 30 minutes. The signposting is the same as for a classic GR: red and white (see photo opposite).
From Chavanay to Bessey 6.5 Km 2 h
The vineyards dominate the landscape and a shell hung outside a cellar door welcomes the pilgrim in to taste the best regional wines. The route climbs up the steep slopes and passes close to the Calvary chapel recently restored by the Friends of Saint Jacques Association.
From Bessey to St Julien Molin Molette 12 Km 4 h.
The path crosses through Bessey village, note that in the chancel of the church there is a stained glass window depicting St Jacques. Orchards now make up the landscape and accompany the hiker all the way to La Croix de St Blandine, situated in the commune of St Appolinard, at an altitude of 693 m. The area has picnic tables and a splendid view over the Rhône Valley. St Julien Molin Molette is reached by taking a forest trail and then a small road.
From St Julien Molin Molette to Bourg Argental 7 Km 2 h
St Julien Molin Molette village takes its name from the millstones and mills which, for a long period, operated for the many textile companies of the commune, these former factories today house artist's studios.
Still one more hill to cross, passing by a curious Calvary garden and continuing to Bourg Argental, chief town of the district with 3500 inhabitants.
From Bourg Argental to Tracol 14 Km 4 h 30
The hiker follows an ancient railway track from Bourg Argental to the streets of St Sauveur village and then to the foot of Taillard forest, which you have to cross through to get to Tracol and continue on your way in the Haute Loire.
Details of these circuits as well as maps plotted with the walk can be found in the topoguide « GR65 Sentier vers Saint-Jacques de Compostelle via Le Puy-en-Velay » published by FFRP.