Walking the Via Podiensis from Conques to Cahors
The Via Podiensis or Le Puy Route was taken for the first time in 950 AD when the archbishop of Le Puy-en-Velay walked to the tomb of Saint James, opening the first non-Spanish route to Santiago. Along Le Puy Route, modern walkers enjoy various incredible landscapes and a rich medieval architectural heritage, as the Camino runs through some of the most typical rural French areas, and crosses towns and cities full of history.
Le Puy Route begins in Le Puy-en-Velay, a city set in a volcanic landscape, 130 kilometres South West of Lyon, in France. It continues through south-western France to the foothills of the Pyrenees, where this Camino joins up with the French Way.
From Conques to Cahors, this 3rd section links two of the prettiest cities of the whole Le Puy Route. Leaving the cobbled streets of Conques, the Camino runs through the gentle hills of the Aveyron region before continuing into Le Lot. Walking along wall-lined tracks on high plateaux, drinking coffee on shaded terraces in peaceful villages, sightseeing UNESCO World Heritage sites, this is part of the daily experiences one can enjoy during this walking holiday. And as most walks are of short enough length, anybody with an average level of fitness can enjoy them!
If there is any place that has always been linked to the Camino de Santiago on Le Puy Route, Conques is surely one of them. Its UNESCO World Heritage Romanesque abbey has drawn pilgrims since the 9th century, as the church is home to the relics of Sainte-Foy. Nowadays, this medieval village set on the banks of river Dourdou, is still a popular place along the Camino and the scenery surrounding the town simply adds even more interest.
Conques to Decazeville (20km, 5h)
Once across the UNESCO World Heritage Bridge over river Dourdou, the day starts with a steady climb up to the chapel of Sainte-Foy. We then continue through woodlands and green hills, through the village of Noailhac and Saint-Roch chapel before reaching Decazeville.
Decazeville to Figeac (29km, 6h30)
As we leave the Aveyron region to enter Le Lot, we start seeing a change in thelandscape and feeling the influence of Les Causses high plateaux as we approach Figeac. Between Montredon and Figeac, we also walk on a whole stretch listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Figeac to Cajarc (32km, 7h30)
There are many ups and downs during this long walking day but it also means lots of beautiful views. Leaving the pretty town of Figeac, we quickly go up to the high plateaux. The rocky ground preserves the wilderness of the landscape and dolmens, shepherds’ stone shelters and stone crosses are encountered. The leg of the Camino between Faycelles and Cajarc is actually listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites. We arrive in Carjac, a pretty village on the banks of Le Lot River.
Cajarc to Limogne en Quercy (18km, 4h30)
Today is a peaceful walk as the Camino runs through the quiet woodland and farmland of La Causse. It is a relatively easy walk, where we can take our time to admire the surrounding wildlife and to wander through scattered isolated hamlets.
Limogne en Quercy to Lalbenque (22km, 5h)
We continue our way through the natural park of Les Causses, mainly along flat forest tracks. More dolmens and old shepherds’ shelters can be seen today and after a very pleasant and enjoyable walk, we arrive in Lalbenque. Why not try the local delicacy: the high esteemed black truffle!
Lalbenque to Cahors (18km, 4h45)
Today again, the area covered by the Camino is part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. We will come across a good few ‘caselles’, the typical shepherds’ stone shelters and we also pass through a few scattered hamlets. As we approach Cahors, we can enjoy great views over the medieval town, before reaching the final destination of this section.
Cahors. End of the Camino
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
- Great mix of comfortable accommodation in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
- Bed & Breakfast
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Great dinners with local food
- Extra nights
- Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation
- Airport transfers
To Conques and from Cahors: Lyon airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
Second option to Conques and from Cahors: Bordeaux airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
Third option to Conques and from Cahors: Marseille airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
Rodez is the nearest airport to Conques. However it is also possible to fly to Toulouse from UK & Ireland.
To France: Rodez or Toulouse
To Rodez: Ryanair fly from Dublin and London. www.ryanair.com Air France also fly from Paris. www.airfrance.fr
To Toulouse: BA, Aer Lingus and Easyjet fly to Bordeaux from UK & Ireland. Other companies fly from major cities in Europe. http://www.toulouse.aeroport.fr/
To the beginning of the trip: Conques
From Toulouse: SNCF “T.E.R” bus to Rodez (Approx. 2h30). www.voyages-sncf.com. Then taxi to Conques.
From Rodez: Bus in the afternoon, Monday to Friday. Or Taxi to Conques (Approx. 50€)
Back home from Cahors
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