Walking the Via Podiensis from Cahors to Lectoure
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.
On this 4th section of Le Puy Route, the Camino goes from beautiful Cahors to charming Lectoure and crosses both the Lot and Garonne Valleys. The green rounded hills of the area, added to a rich historical heritage, make this leg of the Camino a beautiful walking holiday for anybody seeking both natural and cultural sites. And with numerous medieval buildings at almost every stopover, the region has plenty to offer to modern pilgrims! As most walks are under 23 kilometres per day, and with a gently undulated terrain, anybody with an average level of fitness can walk these 123 kilometres!
Surrounded by a theatre of natural steep cliffs, Cahors is located on the shores of the Lot river. We recommend wandering around the old city as, at every corner, history hits visitors: the Valentré Bridge, Saint-Etienne Cathedral, medieval houses, carved doors of the seventeenth century, neo-classical buildings … This small-size city is one of the prettiest in the whole Le Puy route!
Cahors to Montcuq (32km, 8h)
We first climb up stone steps to Pech d’Angely from where we take a last look at Cahors down in the Valley before continuing through the Causses, a limestone plateau. We will then pass through Labastide-Marnhac and Lhospitalet before reaching the charming village of Lascabanes and its flower-decorated houses. Then, we continue the walk to Montcuq.
Montcuq to Lauzerte (14km, 3h30)
The route we follow today goes up and down all the way to Lauzerte. We start seeing less woodland and more undulated farmland and cultivated fields, until the beautiful village of Lauzerte, with an ancient raised dovecote and Saint-Sernin church.
Lauzerte to Moissac (25km, 6h)
One of the easiest days, as there is no particular difficulty regarding the terrain itself. We walk through the quiet countryside, between crop fields, woodland and vines. We finish this stage in Moissac, home to UNESCO World Heritage Saint-Pierre abbey.
Moissac to Auvillar (21km, 5h15)
The Camino follows the water all day long as we first start walking on towpaths along the Tarn river until the Lock of Espagnolette. We then continue towards the villages of Boudou and Malause, before being back on ancient towpaths, this time along the Canal of Golfech. The last effort of the day, to climb up the street when we enter Auvillar, is rewarded by the picturesque cobblestone plaza, with its ancient circular open hall and arcades.
Auvillar to Lectoure (33km, 8h)
Today we leave Le Lot region to enter Le Gers and its rich agricultural lands. The walk also passes through charming villages such as Flamarens or Miradoux before ending in Lectoure, an old fortified town with an impressive cathedral.
Lectoure. 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 Cahors and from Lectoure: Lyon airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
Second option to Cahors and from Lectoure: Bordeaux airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
Third option to Cahors and from Lectoure: Marseille airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair or Easyjet (can book return flights).
It is best to fly to and back fromToulouse. However, it is also possible to fly to Rodez and fly back from Toulouse airport.
To France: Toulouse or Rodez
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 Rodez: Ryanair fly from Dublin and London. www.ryanair.com. Air France also fly from Paris. www.airfrance.fr
To the beginning of the trip: Cahors
Back home from Lectoure
To Toulouse: Bus to Agen (Approx. 45min). Then train to Toulouse (Approx 1hr).
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