Conques to Cahors

  • Cahors, cliche for good reason - © William Mackesy
  • Conques - © By Flickr user PhillipC
  • South of Decazeville - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Chemin St Jacques - © William Mackesy
  • Farmland reverted to forest - © William Mackesy
  • Pond by pilgrims" spring - © William Mackesy

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 rating

  • Walkopedia rating86
  • Beauty28
  • Natural interest15
  • Human interest15
  • Charisma28
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating86

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 6 days
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Farmland reverted to forest - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

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

Image created by jynus, based on Image:Europe countries.svg by User:Tintazul; licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

 

 

See our Chemin St Jacques page for extensive practical and general information.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

South of Decazeville - ©William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Chemin St Jacques - ©William Mackesy...
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