Location

France

Difficulty

5

Challenging

Length

13

Trip Cost

from $2500
twin share

Overview

  • Hike the tranquil country paths and stunningly beautiful trails through rural France with intact medieval villages and scattered farm settlements
  • Discover some of France’s historic UNESCO World Heritage sites as you make your way through fairytale villages and beautiful countryside
  • Indulge in the local cuisine that is ever changing as you pass through the different towns with their own delicacies 
  • Be awed by the impressive architecture and rich history of  ‘Les plus beaux villages de France’ (most beautiful villages in France) 
  • Experience the solitude of this quieter Camino and the camaraderie of the predominantly French walkers you will meet along the way – a great chance to learn some French language and be introduced to French culture first hand. 
  • Enjoy the flexibility of this self-guided trip that allows you to walk at your own pace while we look after the accommodation and luggage transfers
  • Be reassured that a local RAW Travel representative is always just a phone call away

The  745km long Le Puy Camino, also known as the Via Podienis or GR65, is one of the best-loved walks in France. It is one of the four traditional pilgrim routes that crosses France and converges in Spain, before continuing on to Santiago de Compostela. This tranquil 160 km stretch of the Le Puy Camino in south western France, from Cahors to Condom, is our favourite section of this less known but arguably most beautiful of all the Camino trails. Explore historic cathedrals, castles, chateaus, canals, cloisters and the idyllic French countryside during this two week odyssey . 

The Le Puy Camino way is well marked with the red and white markings of GR65, and the familiar scallop shell of the Camino. The trails are usually quiet with few other walkers, and the terrain is varied but rarely too strenuous. A few shorter days are included so the walk can be managed at a comfortable pace. Charming medieval towns and villages, picture postcard rural scenery and a wealth of gastronomic experiences await!

 

EXTEND YOUR HOLIDAY – CITY BREAKS

Double your holiday experience by including a stopover on your journey! A city break is a great way to explore another place, indulge in some extra shopping, dining or sightseeing and is a great way to break up a long flight. Our fabulous array of RAW Travel city breaks can be tailor made to your requirements and usually include an arrival transfer, 2 nights accommodation and a city sightseeing tour. Read more about our city breaks.

Are you a first-time or solo traveller?

We’ll support you all the way! View our preparation and training resources.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE CAHORS
Arrive in Cahors and make your own way to your accommodation. After check-in take the time to explore the historic centre and take a stroll over the iconic 14th century Valentre Bridge. 

Medieval Cahors is surrounded by steep cliffs located on the Lot River. Cahors is perhaps best known as the centre of the famous AOC ‘black wine’, referred to by many as the darkest in the world and known since the Middle Ages. The medieval town dates back to the 13th century and grew with the arrival of bankers and merchants. They built fine houses, usually of brick and often with arcades for their shops, good examples of which can still be found in the narrow streets. Located in the city centre with its two great domes and tall facade, the 11th century cathedral (Cathedrale Saint-Étienne), is Roman Catholic and a national monument of France. The famous 14th-century fortified Valentre bridge, an emblem of the city classified as World Heritage by UNESCO and a well-known pilgrim milestone, crosses the Lot on the west side of town. It has three towers each with large arched gateways due to its historical role as a defensive bridge during the Hundred Years War. Discover the legend of the pact that the bridge builder made with the devil. Cahors has become well known for its gardens and has in recent years, created some wonderful small gardens scattered throughout the town.

Overnight: Cahors

Meals: –

 

DAY 02: WALK CAHORS TO LASCABANES (22KM)

The Camino enters the Quercy Blanc, taking you through the Garonne River plain with its green round hills. The earth here is mostly limestone, with a whitish colour, hence its name of Blanc. Your day starts with a short but steep climb up stone steps followed by a gentler walk on a stony lane uphill through a forest of pines to ‘Croix de Magne’, the Magne Cross. The rest of the day will then be following mostly flat and exposed trails. Enjoy long stretches of being alone with nature, an opportunity conducive to contemplation. You will pass various villages, chiefly Labastide-Marnhac and Lhospitalet before continuing along open uplands with occasional woods, before reaching the charming and prosperous little village of Lascabanes, once home to a 15th-century pilgrims’ hospital. 

Overnight: Lascabanes

Meals: B

 

DAY 03: WALK LASCABANES TO MONTCUQ (10KM) 

Its an uphill walk out of Lascabanes this morning to arrive at the lonely forest chapel of Saint Jean with its druid spring. The view as you approach the quaint medieval village of Montcuq is dominated by two towers, one of the church and the other the remains of a 12th-century castle. Enjoy the afternoon exploring the narrow streets with its charming historic buildings. It is a beautiful walk to the castle tower with great views across the countryside. If you happen to be in here on a Sunday morning the vibrant local market is definitely recommended – full of colour and an amazing array of delicious local produce.

Overnight: Montcuq

Meals: B

 

DAY 04: WALK MONTCUQ TO LAUZERTE (14KM)

The journey today passes through the department of the Tarn-et-Garonne. After several days of quite flat walking, the trail now follows an undulating path through farmland, cultivated fields and orchards. Vegetation of small oaks along with dwarf maples dot the landscape. In spring, enjoy the rich flora, particularly with the many orchids. Look out for ancient raised dovecotes along the way. Arrive at one of the best preserved Bastides, (fortified town), the medieval town of Lauzerte, and the half way point from Le Puy to Saint-Jean-Pied-de- Port. Situated above the valleys and hills of the area and founded in the 12th century by the Count of Toulouse, Lauzerte is another of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages of France’.

Overnight: Lauzerte

Meals: B


DAY 05: WALK LAUZERTE TO DURFORT-LACAPELETT (12KM) 

The path today involves some steep paths together with lengthy stints on quiet roads. Approaching the Tarn valley, orchards of apples, plums, pears, peaches, kiwifruit and cherries replace the vineyards and it is a comfortable walk to your overnight stop.

Overnight: Durfort-Lacapelett.

Meals: B


DAY 06: WALK DURFORT-LACAPELETT TO MOISSAC (16KM) 

Moissac is situated at the confluence of the Garonne and Tarn rivers. Formerly a major pilgrim halt on the road to Santiago de Compostela and 2nd most important sacred site for the medieval pilgrims on this route after Conques, Moissac is famous for its Abbey Saint-Pierre. One of the most beautiful Romanesque buildings in France with its perfectly preserved Romanesque cloister, it is World Heritage listed by UNESCO. The cloister (an enclosed garden used by the medieval monastics for walking meditation and contemplation) dates back to 1100 and is reputedly the oldest in the world.

Overnight: Moissac

Meals: B

 

DAY 07: WALK MOISSAC TO AUVILLAR (21KM)

Today you depart Moissac on the flat towpath of the canal of the Tarn and Garonne rivers. You will walk on quiet roads through productive orchards, vegetable gardens and fields before crossing the Garonne and walking uphill to the village of Auvillar, built on a promontory and classified as another of the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’. Auvillar, originally an ancient river-trading settlement from Gallo-Roman times until the 10th century, is another lovely town with cobbled streets and wooden framed arched buildings; it has a distinctive medieval feel. In the centre of town is the triangular market place with a unique circular corn market hall at its centre which was built in 1824. Also of interest is the clock tower and Church of Saint Peter.

Overnight: Auvillar

Meals: B


DAY 08: WALK AUVILLAR – MIRADOUX (17KM) 

A short and easy walk today as you leave Le Lot department to enter the beautiful rolling farmlands of Le Gers. The Gers department is the heart of Gascony and the most rural area in France; an agricultural paradise of wheat, corn, grains and sunflowers. The Camino takes you to lovely villages such as Bardigues, Saint-Antoine and up to Flamarens where the ruins of the 12th-century castle are currently being restored. The adjoining 16th-century church of Saint-Saturnin is a shell, destroyed in the battles between Protestants and Catholics during the Wars of Religion. Cross through undulating countryside to arrive in the small town of Miradoux. Built on a small promontory, Miradoux is one of the oldest Bastide towns on the Camino with character filled stone houses and a fortified church.

Overnight: Miradoux
Meals: B

 

DAY 09: WALK MIRADOUX – LECTOURE (16KM)

From Miradoux there is a slow descent across lush fields passing through the hamlet of Castet-Arrouy. The cathedral tower of Lectoure will come into view guiding you into this town sitting on a rocky promontory above the Gers River. Lectoure is an attractive historic walled town, with the impressive Cathedral of Saint Gervais and Saint Protais. Nearby is the ancient Fontaine Diane, a natural spring inside a little gothic building that at one stage provided the source of water for an active tannery industry in the town. As well as being a designated town of art and history, Lectoure is known for growing one-third of all of the garlic in France and in spring the surrounding slopes are covered with rows of rose-green garlic shoots.
Overnight: Lectoure
Meals: B 

 

DAY 10: LECTOURE AT LEISURE

Lectoure has been a perennial favourite destination for visitors since the middle ages, and is a wonderful place to enjoy a day at leisure to rest up or explore. Lectoure is an attractive historic walled town rich with impressive architecture, including the impressive Cathedral of Saint Gervais and Saint Protais. Nearby is the ancient Fontaine Diane, a natural spring inside a little gothic building that at one stage provided the source of water for an active tannery industry in the town. As well as garlic, Lectoure is also known for its Armagnac and foie gras – the local produce is not to be missed!

Overnight: Lectoure

Meals: B


DAY 11: WALK LECTOURE TO LA ROMIEU (19KM)

Leaving Lectoure and the Ger River behind, the trail takes you along quiet back roads to Marsolan, a tiny village on a steep hillside. Leave Marsolan through fields and woodland and after the chapel at Abrin the route goes northwards for La Romieu. This is not the historic route; pilgrims would in the past have headed directly for Condom. However, the imposing 14th century church at La Romieu, whose towers resemble a castle, is UNESCO World Heritage listed and the cloister with the delicate stonework of the arches is a must see.

Overnight: La Romieu.

Meals: B


DAY 12: WALK LA ROMIEU TO CONDOM (14KM)

From La Romieu, the Camino rises and falls across this part of Gascony and as you walk you will enjoy expansive views over the countryside and, on a clear day, possibly see the Pyrenees far away in the distance. Pass through tiny Castelnau-sur l’Auvignon, before the old Romanesque chapel of Saint Germaine and a serene lake before the final stretch into the welcoming town of Condom.

Overnight: Condom

Meals: B


DAY 13: DEPART CONDOM 

After breakfast you are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If time permits you may like to explore Condom, renowned for cognac production and its many historic monuments including the cathedral. Own arrangements for onward travel from Condom to your next destination  – trains depart from the nearby town of Agen, located 40 kms away.

Meals: B

Dates

The Le Puy Camino season runs annually from 15 April to 15 October, so your trip must fall within this period.

Self-guided trips offer flexibility, independence and choice. Set your own agenda while someone else worries about the logistics. Our self-guided walking holidays are fully flexible which means you can normally start your walk on any day during the season and customise by adding extra days for resting or sightseeing.  As you’re walking independently, you’re free to follow the trail at your own pace. You set your own speed as you are not limited by the constraints of group travel.

Note that if booking for a trip that leaves in 30 days or less, please be aware we cannot guarantee that your departure will be possible unless we have confirmed this via email first.

From May 8th to October 1st 2020 our special offer of $1 deposit applies to new bookings made in this period for website trips*. $1 is all you will pay in 2020 for trips departing in 2021.

From January 1st 2021 we will invoice you the remainder of the standard deposit ($499) and the remaining balance payment at the standard 2 months before departure. All your arrangements will be fully confirmed then, as per usual. The $1 deposit offer does not apply to private groups or significant tailormade trip requests, please speak to one of our consultants if you have any questions.

If Government restrictions don’t allow for any travel in your chosen destination at that time ( when the balance is due at 60 days prior to departure) then we will either postpone your trip or allow you to transfer to another destination and trip that has availability instead.

* Exclusion applies to the ‘Salkantay Lodge Trek with Machu Picchu’ trip , where a higher deposit is required upfront by a 3rd party supplier to confirm your booking.

From May 8th to October 1st 2020 our special offer of $1 deposit applies to new bookings made in this period for website trips*. $1 is all you will pay in 2020 for trips departing in 2021.

From January 1st 2021 we will invoice you the remainder of the standard deposit ($499*) and the remaining balance payment at the standard 2 months before departure. All your arrangements will be fully confirmed then, as per usual. The $1 deposit offer does not apply to private groups or significant tailormade trip requests, please speak to one of our consultants if you have any questions.

If Government restrictions don’t allow for any travel in your chosen destination at that time (when the balance is due at 60 days prior to departure) then we will either postpone your trip or allow you to transfer to another destination and trip that has availability instead.

*Note - the standard deposit for Peru Lodge trips is $1000.

  • Date Format: DD slash MM slash YYYY
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Inclusions

  • 12 nights’ accommodation in local guesthouses or hotels with private facilities on a twin share basis
  • 12 Breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 15kg bag per person)
  • Pilgrim’s passport (per person)
  • RAW Travel’s exclusive interactive navigation app
  • Luggage tags
  • Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
  • Pre-trip guidance and planning for your French Camino trip

NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement POA
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Flights

OPTIONS/ADD ONS

You may like to extend your trip and stay an extra night in Cahors and/or Condom – extra night prices are available on request.

Private departure transfer from your hotel in Condom to Agen train station can be arranged in advance with surcharge payable. Please let us know at the time of booking if you will require this transfer, and we will advise the pricing.

Map & Guide

Reviews

Helen Relph, Woodend (VIC) – May 2019

Great scenery and cute towns on the Camino

 

Joanne Duncan, Ocean Grove (VIC) – May 2019

Well organised and without a hitch 

 

Sandra Andersen, Florida (USA) = July 2018

France is a beautiful country, lovely countryside.

 

Jeanette Rogers, Terrigal (NSW) – May, 2019

An amazing experience walking through the old villages of France. My expectations were definitely met. 

 

Alan Flowers, Warrnambool (VIC) – April 2018

A truly memorable way to experience the scenery, culture and architecture of provincial southern France. A special thank you to your local representative Daniel who provided invaluable assistance during the trip.

 

Brian Goy, Harkaway (VIC) – August 2019

A stress free holiday. Fabulous, varied accommodation & hosts made for a wonderful experience. The walking distances set out were perfect for our level of fitness. Our main baggage was sent to our accomodation each day. Our worries were reduced to our short and shirt selection for that day and the restaurant we were going to eat at that night. A Brilliant holiday!

What our Clients Say

Well organised and without a hitch.

Joanne Duncan, VIC – May 2019

An amazing experience walking through the old villages of France. My expectations were definitely met. Conques was definitely the highlight of the trek. An amazing town with its huge abbey. Thanks Lorinda for putting this Camino together for me.

Jeanette Joan Rogers, NSW – May 2019

Sue Chater – Team Leader, Camino

(03) 5976 3763

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Trip Grading

This trip is rated as Challenging