from $2600 pp
The Slow Walk - Cahors to Condom
This is a variation on our Cahors to Condom route that allows for a more leisurely pace with shorter daily distances, meaning more time to drink in the scenery and sit in the beautiful village squares each day. 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 cross France and converges in Spain, before continuing on to Santiago de Compostela. This tranquil 160 km stretch of the Le Puy Camino in southwestern 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 more slow-paced 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!
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Cahors to Condom
- Hike the tranquil country paths and stunningly beautiful trails through rural France
- Discover some of France’s historic UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the most beautiful cloister in the whole world in Moissac Abbey
- 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
- Be awed by the impressive architecture and rich history of ‘Les plus beaux villages de France’
- Explore the medieval village of La Romieu with its magnificent Collégiale St Pierre and legendary cat sculptures
- Experience the solitude of this quieter Camino and the camaraderie of the predominantly French walkers
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.
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.
There is an option to take a local taxi out of the city on this first day and reduce the distance walked from 22km to approx 12km. (Lascabanes is the first available accommodation from Cahors, hence the longer distance of 22km if you choose to walk it all)
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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 13kg bag per person)
- RAW Travel navigation App with maps of your hotel locations and emergency contact numbers
- Pre-trip guidance and planning for your Le Puy Camino trip
- Travel insurance
- Single supplement
- All items of a personal nature
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.
FOOD & WINE
Food and wine are exceptional highlights of this trip. Breakfast will be provided at your hotel. Once you’re on the trail, it’s common to find a boulangerie or patisserie for pastries and coffee. A fresh baguette with cheese, sausage or paté and a tomato makes a great picnic lunch. Items can be bought from the fromageries and other stores along the route. In the early evening, enjoy an apéritif in an atmospheric village square then sample the abundant local wines and rich and varied cuisine for which France is famous, including delicacies like black truffles and the irresistible Rocamadour cheese.
WHERE YOU STAY
Memorable accommodation is a hallmark of our trips on Le Puy Camino. We have long-standing relationships with hoteliers and have hand-selected the most beautiful, unique and character-filled properties on the trail and in the surrounding villages. We want you to enjoy each overnight stay as much as the walking. Our hosts enjoy sharing their knowledge of the local area and history and are accustomed to welcoming RAW Travellers into their establishments.
ON THE TRAIL
The Le Puy route is a picturesque trail through rural south-west France. It’s dotted with tiny hamlets, isolated farmsteads and intact medieval villages. It takes on average 5 weeks to walk the full 750km. The terrain is varied, sometimes strenuous and rarely flat, especially in the beginning. At times, there are descents and ascents from river valleys. Some sections are on single-track paths that can often be rocky in places, sometimes with steps but mostly just bare earth. Gravel forest roads, walking tracks and unsealed roads are common. Many of the long paths are dotted with crosses and chapels, which make good rest stops.
A QUIETER CAMINO
Experience the solitude of this quieter Camino and the camaraderie of the predominantly French walkers. The Le Puy route has far fewer walkers that you’d encounter on the Camino Francés through Spain. You’ll have days with only three or four other people in sight. The overwhelming majority of walkers on this route are French nationals who do a week or two on the route each year. They are effortlessly friendly and helpful. To enhance your time on the trail, we recommend you invest some time learning some basic conversational French.
FINDING YOUR WAY
The trail is very well-marked with the frequent horizontal red-and-white stripes of the French Grande Randonée network. ‘Wrong direction’ signs (red-and-white crosses) are nailed to trees or painted on rocks. To help you navigate easily, we’ll provide you with our exclusive RAW Travel walking app. Your unique route map will show your location in real-time without any internet connection needed. The app also has a host of other great features, including points and places of interest on the trail, accommodation details, weather forecasts and safety information.
Le Puy Camino
Walking the Camino is an incredible journey that will immerse you not only in Europe’s grand history, food and culture but most importantly the extraordinary camaraderie that exists along these routes. The spirit of the Camino de Santiago is alive and well among people from all over the world. It is a ‘bucket list’ experience you will never forget! Discover inspiration, travel essentials, practical information and more in our free Destination Guide. All you need to know about walking the Camino de Santiago routes through France, Spain and Portugal.
Le Puy Camino (France)
The Cahors Trip: Le Puy Camino
- Charming villages with rich historical and architectural heritage
- Peaceful walking through woodlands, moors of heather, limestone plateaus and verdant farmland
- The mythic Aubrac high plateau with its wildflowers and grazing cows
- Medieval Cahors – famous for its gastronomy and legendary Valentré bridge
Le Puy Camino (France)
The Conques Trip: Le Puy Camino
- A beautiful 200km walk across the Central Massif of France
- Ever-changing cultures, gastronomy and dialects
- Espalion’s 16th-century Veiux Palace and 11th century Pont Veiux
- The beautiful medieval Romanesque abbey and hidden village of Conques
Le Puy Camino (France)
The Full Le Puy Camino
- Stunning, ever-changing terrain
- Impressive architecture and historic UNESCO world heritage sites
- The most beautiful villages in France
- French culture, gastronomy and dialects across different regions
Le Puy Camino (France)
The Full Le Puy Camino: Womens Trip
- One of the best-loved walks in France
- Ideal for single female travellers who prefer company on their walk
- A full immersion into French history, food and hospitality
- Historic towns, medieval abbeys, pilgrim churches and impressive cathedrals
Camino de Santiago
Camino de Finisterre – Camino
- A quieter less visited section that literally finishes at the water’s edge
- Enjoy great seafood and local wine while resting in Finisterre
- Quiet woodland paths past Galician horreos and remote moors
- Finisterre was considered to be the “End of the World”
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Baiona to Finisterre – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Solitude, mindfulness and reflection on the ‘Camino less travelled’
- Fishing villages, beach walks, excellent seafood and wine
- Exceptional walking along the wild Atlantic coast
- 3 nights in magnificent Parador hotels (Baiona and Pontevedra)
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 3-5. Leon to Santiago
- Walk the final 300km of the Camino Trail
- This self-guided trip allows you to set your own pace
- Finish in this historic city of Santiago; visit the final end point of your walk at the Cathedral
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 5. Sarria to Santiago: 11 day
- Walk the final 100km of the Camino Trail
- Qualify for your Compostela
- Finish in this historic city of Santiago
- Visit the final end point of your walk at the Cathedral
Camino de Santiago
The Full Camino
- Self-guided walking trip; set your own pace
- Enjoy Spain’s rich legacy of history, culture, food and art
- Ideal for single travellers who like the details of their trip well planned
- Country roads, forest tracks over old villages, cities born from the Camino trail
Camino de Santiago
The Full Camino: Walk and Cycle
- Enjoy a sip of wine at the famous wine fountain of Irache!
- Bring a rock from home to leave at the Cruz de Ferro
- Indulge the tastebuds, visit the Museo del Chocolate in Astorga
- Finish your pilgrimage walk into the city of Santiago de Compostela
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed