Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 5
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Highlights

  • Appreciating the beautiful countryside in the heart of Gascony, with its rolling hills and vineyards
  • Savouring a glass of floc, the local aperitif based on the same recipe since the 16th century
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Relishing a great meal of local delicacies such as fois gras, confit and cassoulet, while looking out over the Armagnac vineyards
  • Walking through the gorgeous landscapes of La Gers which is often called the “Tuscany of France”

The Camino Le Puy Way stage 5 meanders through the regions of La Gers and Gascony. This region is renowned for its gastronomy.

Your journey begins in the town of Lectoure which sits high above the Gers River, has a natural spa and a 15th century cathedral built after Louis XI destroyed the previous one. Throughout the surrounding countryside are vineyards as this region is well-known for its Armagnac and floc, an aperitif which has had the same recipe since the 16th century. The heart of Gascony is also famous for the Dukes of Gascony and Alexandre Dumas, the novelist who wrote the Three Musketeers and immortalized the hero D’Artagnan.

Midway through your tour you stay in Montreal du Gers, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France and a traditional bastide town. These fortified towns were built in the 13th century and many were used for defence against the British in the Hundred Years War. On your route you will also see many pilgrimage sites dedicated to St James, such as the Pont d’Artigues, a tiny bridge near Condom and the World UNESCO Heritage Site of La Romieu.

DAY 1: Arrive in Lectoure

Arrive in Lectoure and settle into your comfortable hotel. Spend some time looking around this very attractive town which was once an important stopping point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Originally the capital of the Lomagne region, it was once the base of the Counts of Armagnac and there is much to discover here, such as the 15th century cathedral, the town hall and the Gallo-Roman museum.


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Lectoure


DAY 2: Lectoure to La Romieu

This morning head firstly towards Marsolan, where you can find the remains of l’Hôpital St Jacques at the entrance to the village. It is worth stopping here as the view from the terrace over the Auchie Gascon and the surrounding countryside is superb. Once past Marsolan continue on following a track downhill until you come across the Chapelle d’Abrin, a former commandery of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem and now a private house.


Pass a lake and go through some woods, before arriving in La Romieu, which takes its  name from the romieux or pilgrims that used to pass through. This village has an enormous church comparative to its size, which indicates it’s former importance. The cloisters in the church are well worth a visit.                                                      


Walk: 19km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, La Romieu


DAY 3: La Romieu to Condom

On departing from La Romieu, and as you walk, there will be terrific views over the surrounding countryside as in this part of La Gers the landscape is very open. After a short climb you will reach the small village of Castelnau-sur-l’Auvignon and the Chapelle Sainte-Germaine de Soldanum, the remains of a former monastery. Here is a good place to take a rest before continuing onto Condom, a medieval town.


The highlight in Condom is the Cathedral of St Pierre, built at the end of the 14th century, which has an ornately carved entrance and the outside of which is slightly unusual in style. Take time here to wander through the narrow streets of the old town, perhaps stopping in a local café for an aperitif.


Walk: 16km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Condom


DAY 4: Condom to Montreal du Gers

Le Carbon is your first point of call today and it is perhaps worth taking a slight detour (15 minutes in each direction) to get to the tiny fortified town of Larresingle. This was the fortress of the Bishops of Condom in the Middle Ages and when you are here you will see that little has changed and it is like you are back in medieval times.


Today you will also cross the Pont d’Artigues, originally a Roman bridge over the River Osse and also pass by the oldest church in this region, Eglise de Routges. Notice the small door at the side of the church which was used as an entrance by Cagots, an outcast population who lived segregated lives until the end of the 19th century due to the fact that they may have been leprous, unclean, or bearers of evil. Arrive in Montreal du Gers, your overnight stop.


Walk: 17km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Montreal du Gers


DAY 5: Montreal du Gers to Eauze

This morning you may like to spend some time discovering Montreal du Gers, a typical bastide town and on the northern limits of the Gers department. This town has a classic arcaded market place, ramparts and many interesting houses. From here walk to Lamothe and view its 13th century guard tower. Continue on through quiet countryside and vineyards before arriving in Eauze, a former Roman colony  and now the capital of Armagnac.


Walk: 16km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Eauze


DAY 6: Eauze to Nogaro

As you depart from Eauze walk with the church on your right and then continue down a minor road and along a grassy track. Pass by a small farm before arriving in Manciet which has a rural bullring used for cattle races. Pass an interesting church, formerly belonging to the Order of the Knights of Malta and by an 18th century milestone that has a Malteses cross.


Arrive into Nogaro, which takes its name from Nogarium, meaning a place planted with walnuts.This small town was established in the 11th century and has a Romanesque church and a bullring.


Walk: 20km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Nogaro


DAY 7: Nogaro to Aire sur l’Adour

Today is your final day of walking through these ancient rural routes of France. This day has more walking than the other days on the tour so it recommended that you have an early start. Initially pass by the small farms of La Grange, Bidet and Micoulas. Perhaps you would like to stop for a shady rest in the church porch of Lanne-Soubiran before perhaps having lunch in the in Barcelonne du Gers.


After lunch is the last stretch and here vineyards become rarer and the landscape changes to an area that is tree covered with maritime pines, oaks and chestnuts. Arrive into Aire sur l’Adour, an ancient town of two parts and your final destination.


Walk: 28km


Dinner & Overnight: 1 or 2* Hotel, Aire sur l’Adour


DAY 8

Onward travel.



Accommodation

On your 7 night, 8 day Lectoure to Aire sur l’Adour 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.

How to Book

This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of May to the end of October.


To make a provisional reservation select "Book". Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Because every holiday we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:


  • You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
  • We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options
    and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5
    working days).
  • If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or
    an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.

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 Lectoure

The best way of getting to Lectoure is by flying to into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen. For train schedules please check the SNCF website. From here you can take a 50 minute bus ride to Lectoure. 


It is also possible to drive to Lectoure and leave your car in one of the town’s public car parks.  


Getting from Aire sur l’Adour

Leaving from Adair sur l’Adour you will need to take a bus to Agen and from here you can take a train to either Toulouse or Bordeaux to carry on with your onward journey. If you need to return to Lectoure you can then take a bus from Agen to Lectoure. Again 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 Lectoure
  • Travel from Aire sur l’Adour
  • 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 is required
  • Solo traveller supplement (if applicable)

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 easy to moderate, however please be aware that on day 7 there is a long walk of 28km.

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 easy to moderate and you will walk through vineyards, rolling hills, hamlets, villages and alongside rivers and streams. The terrain will be quite smooth, but may be slippery when wet.

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 equipment do I need?

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

I would recommend May when the summer flowers are at their best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat while the temperatures can fall sharply in the winter with some accommodation closing down for the end of season.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more than happy to help.

How do the baggage transfers work?

We arrange for your bags to be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. This is an additional cost and is an option as part of the booking process. All baggage transfers are included. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person and it should weigh only 13kg.

What is the best way to get to Lectoure?

The best way of getting to Lectoure is by flying to into either Toulouse Airport or Bordeaux Airport and then taking a train to Agen. For train schedules please check the SNCF website. From here you can take a 50 minute bus ride to Lectoure.

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