Conques to Cahors
Key information: Conques to Cahors
- A delightful 6 day walk through classic French hill and plateau country, taking in superb historic towns along parts of the Chemin St. Jacques, the French leg of the famous Camino de Santiago.
- Walkopedia rating86
- Natural interest15
- Human interest15
- Negative points0
- Total rating86
- Length: 6 days
- Level of Difficulty: Variable
This classic section of the Via Podensis, the leg of the Chemin St Jacques between Le Puy-en-Velay to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port and the Pyrenees, links a series of gorgeous French towns: Conques, Figeac, Cajarc and Cahors, passing through interesting and delightful scenery on the way. There are various ways of breaking the journey, but, if your feet can take two 30+km days, Conques-Decazeville-Figeac-Cajarc-Limogue en Quercy-Lalbenque-Cahors makes a wonderful six days with overnights and exploration opportunities in the best towns on the way.
Conques is thought to by some to be France's nicest town (stiff competition, here) a delightful combination of long history, ancient buildings (the entire place is an historic monument), beauty, charm and great food.
The first day's walking is fine, although not especially memorable. Decazeville is an ok mining town, also not that memorable.
The walk to Figeac has many charms - some wood-and-field laced hillsides, some good open views, villages and churches - but it goes on a bit (30+km), with a bit too much roadwork. Figeac has a memorable mediaeval centre, and is a lovely place to wander, sit and dine.
The walk to Cajarc is generally a delight, a mixture of farmland and forest with some good views, churches and villages. But it does feel like it has gone on a bit by the end. Cajarc, on the Lot, has a superb, compact mediaeval centre. Enjoy.
After crossing the Lot at Gaillac, you climb onto the limestone plateau of the Causse de Limogue: there are more disused fields and encroaching oak forest here, the delightful hamlets more widely interspersed. Limogue-en-Quercy is a nice market town with an unpretensiously pleasant square.
The next day is heavily forested very pretty dappled light, lovely varied vegetation, vivid birdsong but perhaps subject to the law of diminishing returns. Lalbenque (5km off the GR65 this is very empty country) is another pleasant market town.
The final day follows some lovely valleys relaxed farmland below, wooded hills above and passes through more beautiful forest before a final slog along a hot limestone ridge (relieved by wild roses and honeysuckle, and some wider views).
Cahors is superb mediaeval city with a truly remarkable bridge but perhaps very slightly disappointing after the intact delights of Conques and Figeac.
So: all in all, a delightful walk, although subject to a bit of diminishing returns. It is easy walking, although with some long days. Dont be afraid cut out some corners if you are tiring or the weather turns bad.
The Routes de St Jacques
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See our Chemin St Jacques page for extensive practical and general information.
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