Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Camino Le Puy way: Stage 4
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Highlights

  • Wandering through Cahors, the capitol of the Lot region and enclosed by the river on three sides
  • Witnessing the Abbey Church of Moissac, included in the World Heritage Site Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France
  • Appreciating the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Exploring the green round hills and historical heritage of the Garonne river plain
  • Sitting in a local café in Lectoure enjoying a local Armagnac and celebrating the completion of this stage.
  • Admiring the finest fortified medieval bridge in Europe, the Pont Valentré

Follow the Camino Le Puy Way from the medieval town of Cahors, across the Quercy Blanc and on to Lectoure. Which sits high above the Gers River. This is stage 4 of the Le Puy Camino which stretches from Le Puy to St. Jean Pied de Port.

Begin your journey in the town of Cahors which is contained on three sides by the River Lot and has the finest fortified medieval bridge in Europe. During your tour you also cross the Quercy Blanc a region that has limestone plateaux, gently sloping hills and is criss-crossed by many small rivers. The villages here are perched on top of the hills called Les Puech and they dominate the landscape. Your first destination after leaving Cahors is Montcuq, a town that dates back to the Romans, has a distinctive fortress and was a stronghold of the Cathars.

You leave Quercy Blanc behind and begin to walk through the green round hills of the Garonne river plains. This area has a rich historical heritage and you will discover the rolling countryside of the Lomagne and Moissac, an important pilgrimage site with it’s well-preserved medieval Abbey Church of St Pierre. This stage of the Camino Le Puy Way finishes in Lectoure, which sits high above the Gers River in the department of the Mini-Pyrenees and from where there are lovely views over the surrounding countryside.

DAY 1: Arrive in Cahors.

Arrive in Cahors and settle in to your comfortable hotel. Spend some time looking around this town in order to discover it’s rich historical heritage. Explore the Cathedral of St-Etienne with its amazing cloisters, several interesting churches and the Pont Valentré, the finest fortified medieval bridge in Europe.


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Cahors


DAY 2: Cahors to Montcuq

Cross the medieval bridge of Pont Valentré and climb the staircase to the cross of Pech d’Angely from which you can take your last look at Cahors before setting off on the trail to Labastide-Marnhac. Continue along uplands and through woodlands passing the hamlet of Baffalie before arriving in Lascabanes, a prosperous village. Walk along a roman road and past the forest chapel of St Jean before arriving in Montcuq, to today’s destination


Walk: 33km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Montcuq


DAY 3: Montcuq to Durfort

Spend time this morning exploring the distinctive fortess in Montcuq and then head towards Rouillac which you pass on your right hand side. Emerge briefly onto an open plateau before arriving in Montlauzen and into the department of Tarn et Garonne. Lauzerte is next, a bastide hill town dating from the 12th century. See it’s medieval houses and two churches, one of which has a modern statue of St James as a pilgrim inside. Cross three bridges, then pass a dovecote and the Church of Saint-Sermin-du-Bosc which was restored in 1991 and onwards to Durfort.


 Walk: 22km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Durfort


DAY 4: Durfort to Moissac

Upon leaving Durfort (which surprisingly has no church) you will walk under the branches of apricot and plum trees. If you are walking in the correct season you will be able to pick some for lunch. Locals also put out big jugs of cold water along the route for travellers and pilrgrims, which you can stop and drink when you are thirsty. Then descend to a stream and walk up to a ridge before arriving in Moissac which is dominated by it’s Abbey Church of St Pierre.


Walk: 16km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Moissac


DAY 5: Moissac to Auvillar

This morning the trail takes you along the River Tarn, cross a lockgate and then continues onto Boudou, from which there is a viewpoint over the surrounding countryside. Next walk through the hamlet of Timbrune before arriving in the delightful village of Auvillar which has a charming cobblestone plaza and a medieval circular market. This town overlooks the River Garonne and is classified as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages.


Walk: 21km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Auvillar


DAY 6: Auvillar to Miradoux

As you depart from Auvillar walk along the Rue de l’Horloge and under the archway beneath the clock. Entering the Gers region you then walk through the quaint villages of Bardigues, St Antoine, and Flamarens where you can see its12th century castle, part of which was destroyed by fire in 1945. The undulating countryside in this area consists mainly of cornfields and row upon row of sunflowers. After a picnic lunch and perhaps some refreshments in a local café you arrive into Miradoux, the oldest bastide in the Gers.


Walk: 17km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Miradoux


DAY 7: Miradoux to Lectoure

Today is your final day of walking through these beautiful and ancient rural routes of France. Depart from Miradoux this morning and walk past the Chateaux de Fieux and then Castet Arrouy, which means red castle and originally the site of a small fort. Continue past the church and walk along grassy tracks, through farms and past a very large wayside cross before arriving in Lectoure. As today is a relatively short walking day you should have time to explore this town which was once an important stopping point on this pilgrimage route. It sits high above the Gers River and has a 15th century cathedral built after Louis XI destroyed the previous one. It also a striking tower with a round turret attached to the bell-tower.


Walk: 15km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Lectoure


DAY 8: Onward travel

Accommodation

On your 7 night, 8 day Cahors to Lectoure self-guided walk in France you will stay in comfortable 1 or 2* hotels. On occasion you may not have en suite rooms.


Alternate accommodation

You might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. Solo walkers are also welcome.


Time of Year

The Camino Le Puy is best enjoyed from May to October but you can walk at any time of year. You can start on any date that suits your travel plans and you will find up to date availability on our website. Bookings from October onwards are subject to a supplementary charge as an out-of-season bag transfer service is required.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 15-33km.


The walk is extremely well way-marked and you will also be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.


On the Le Puy Camino you will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is marked with white and red painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There will always be other walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation.


Baggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are included in the Camino Le Puy trip. Your bags should be left in the reception of your accommodation every morning. Your bags will then be transferred onto your next nights’ accommodation.


Additional Nights

There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.


Fewer Nights

It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Conques

The best way of getting to Conques is by taking a bus or a taxi from Rodez Airport. This airport has flights on Ryanair from the UK and Air France also fly here from Paris. It is also possible to drive to Conques and park your car in the village where there are paying car parks.

Getting to Cahors


The best way of getting to Cahors is by train as it has a train station on the SNCF Toulouse to Paris line. You can fly into Toulouse Airport and takes a train to Cahors. Or you can even fly into Paris and take a train from here to Cahors.



It is also possible to drive to Cahors and park your car in a private car park (for a fee). 



Getting from Lectoure


There are railway stations at Auch and Agen. You can take a bus between Lectoure and either of these two stations and from here you can make your way back to Cahors to pick up your car, or by train to Toulouse or Paris for your return flights. For train schedules please check the SNCF website


 

Included

  • 7 Nights in either 1 or 2* hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 Dinners
  • Baggage transfers
  • Detailed maps, a guide book and information pack.
  • Organisational assistance and backup from our area manager in France and our office

Excluded

  • Travel to Cahors
  • Travel from Lectoure
  • Lunches, drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Mountain rescue / emergency assistance

Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the holiday
  • Single room supplement if single room required

Undoubtedly you will have many questions concerning this tour. We hope the answers we provide below will go some way to answering your queries.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is rated moderate as the average daily mileages are quite significant.

What type of trails does this section of the Camino Le Puy Way follow?

This tour is suitable for most people that are in good physical condition. It is rated moderate as the average daily distance is 22km. You will walk through woods, fields, hamlets, villages and alongside rivers and streams. The terrain will be quite smooth, but may be slippery when wet.

What happens if I can’t walk/cycle a stage?

You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop. 

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling/trekking gear such as good walking/cycling boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. 

How fit do I need to be?

Our itineraries are graded moderate and are suitable for regular walkers. Most days offer between 6—8 hours of walking on good terrain which may include forest tracks, board walks and minor roads. The Dingle Way does not go any higher than 650m (the ascent over a spur of Mount Brandon), and elsewhere the route never rises above 350m, so it is comparatively low-level, however is undulating. 

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino le Puy Way is extremely popular. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

When is the best time of year?

The tour operates between May and October although we recommend travelling in May or June when spring wild flowers are at their peak, or in September/October when the autumn colours are stunning.  July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat. 

What is the best way to get to Cahors?

The best way of getting to Cahors is by train as it has a train station on the SNCF Toulouse to Paris line. You can fly into Toulouse Airport and takes a train to Cahors. Or you can even fly into Paris and take a train from here to Cahors.

How do the baggage transfers work?

All baggage transfers are included in this trip. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 13kg. Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation.

How fit do I need to be?

Our itineraries are graded moderate and are suitable for regular walkers. Most days offer between 6—8 hours of walking on good terrain which may include forest tracks, board walks and minor roads. The Dingle Way does not go any higher than 650m (the ascent over a spur of Mount Brandon), and elsewhere the route never rises above 350m, so it is comparatively low-level, however is undulating. 

Yes. Maybe other stages or other walks in France.

5

Completed Stages 4,5 and 6 - 20 days walking - September 2017. (Cahors to St Jean.) Just my own personal observations and advice. Grading: More on the "strenuous" side than "moderate". Can be many ascents and descents in one day. If a solo walker: Advisable to be reasonably proficient at speaking in French. At night in some gites,there may be 10 or more French only speakers at dinner.

Redking

Manchester.

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A great way to discover rural France

5

Our walk was stage 4 from Cahors to Lectoure. We really enjoyed the experience of walking through rural areas and medieval villages and towns and the interactions with our hosts and other walkers. We had previously had motoring and camping holidays in France but this gave us a new perspective. Our basic and rusty French was considerably exercised. The walk was fun, we learned things about ourselves and it was great to have our bags waiting for us at our accommodations when we arrived as well as the opportunity to have a hot shower. Ample breakfasts and interesting evening meals were provided as part of the package.

Sandy and D

Wanaka New Zealand

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FRENCH CAMINO MARK 6

4

TRIP COMMENTS- CAMINO-STAGE 4 - CAHORS TO LECTOURE- MAY 2016- MIDDLEMISS PARTY OF 3. Booking Ref: 224685 1. Overall another fabulous week, well planned and booked with Macs- Erin was very helpfull and assiduous in her detailed booking. It IS a real bonus having one dedicated agent to follow your booking from beginning to end, and she did a very good job. 2. Some, hopefully, constructive comments follow. 3. Travel In and out- not an easy part of France to get to and from, especially when national strikes are on- the Trains operated spasmodically, if at all, but SNCF did lay on replacement buses, so although delayed out and in, we made it as planned, but with big delays. No one can foresee or plan against that. 4. Hotels . a. Cahors- Le Valentre. Very handy - 200 m from the Gare de Cahors, which we'd asked for - comfortable and helpful . Only 300 M from the Camino route. Fab. b. Montcuq- Barguelonne. We did ask Erin to find one NOT another 1 km, after a long 33 Kns day walking, out of town. Not possible. Big issue with this- an unprepossessing hotel, far out of Montcuq, dirty exterior, looks run down, nice friendly young couple running it, but worst of week by a long way- poor food . There were other places in town. Chambres D'Hote etc ...change this one. c. Durfort- Aube Nouvelle- a total contrast !Stunning on its own- right on the GR65, delightfully faded glory old mansion house- fabulous lady running it , with pleasant hubby. Great food and very welcoming Belgian couple. Nice little touches and HUGE rooms. d. . Moissac- Luxembourg Hotel. On a v busy road, v noisy front rooms. Poor food, inedible duck. Closed until 3 pm, on a short day walking- not ideal! e. Auvillar- L'Horloge. Incredible location, wonderful hotel- brilliant staff, fab food, village fete on arrival- half the town v inebriated and dancing! Stunning. f. Miradoux- Le Bonheur- amazing Dutch hard working and fun couple- dinner a famille- huge table - groaning with food, couldn't do enough for us, in an amazingly restored town house. We were put in a Gite 200 M way- which was v comfy- lovely old guy running it. Terrific stay. g. Lectoure- Le B.....D- despite is unpromising name - this was the Best of the week- superb loc, incredible staff- brilliant food, and lovely host couple running a v slick operation . Bus stop away 300 M away- perfect.

THE 3 MUSKETEERS

SCOTLAND - KINROSS

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A wonderful trip

5

The organisation provided by Mac's adventure was excellent. The maps and guides sent in advance were very helpful and of great use during our walk. The little hotels we were booked into were simple, but all that we needed and would expect in these little French villages. The arrangements for transporting our luggage each day went very well, and they even managed to pick up a jacket containing a passport and car keys which one of our group left behind and a mobile phone left in another hotel. This was service indeed! All in all we had a really lovely time walking through beautiful countryside without any need to woory about any of the arrangements.

The four walkers

Glasgow

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Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 4

4.8 4

100.0

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