After check-in at your hotel in Cahors, you can visit the beautiful historic capital of Quercy, its old center and the splendid Valentré bridge, the most beautiful bridge in France. After seeing this medieval bridge with its 3 fortified towers from the 14th century, you can only agree. When you cross the Valentré bridge on foot (it is pedestrian), its 700-year-old history will transport you ... Impossible to remain indifferent to this masterpiece.
Today, you start by leaving Cahors on the Valentré bridge. After an ascent for to leave the suburbs, you reach the village of Labastide-Marnhac and meet the hikers. Continue on small tracks & roads to Lascabannes. After few kilometers, you enter in the Tarn et Garonne on a road up to Lauzerte. The town of Lauzerte is spectacularly located on a hill overlooking a landscape of vineyards, limestone plateau and green valleys. Spend some time wandering the upper village with its medieval architecture, ramparts and picturesque town square.
Challenge: 39km, 285m ascent, 185m descent
You begin this cycling day with a great descent to Moissac, a former major stage of The Way of St James, before continuing into the Lomagne or "hunchback Gascogne", an area of natural beauty. Between the Tarn et Garonne and the Gers, this former dependency of the duchy of Gascony is the land of white garlic, interesting houses and churches. Then you reach Auvillar, built on a promontory and classified as one of the "most beautiful villages in France". There is much to see around the town, with its circular market built in 1824, clock tower and old stone houses.
Challenge: 47km, 245m ascent, 370m descent
Today, you leave the département of “Tarn et Garonne" and enter the “Gers” départment. On the way you will cycle through quaint villages as Flamarens, Miradoux, Lectoure, Marsolan, and La Romieu. When leaving La Romieu, the expansive views of the open countryside of the Gers are inspiring. The area represents the transition between the 'haute' Armagnac around Lectoure and the 'bas' Armagnac around Eauze where thick black oak woods are found and 57% of the wine crops of Armagnac are located. Condom is one of the principal Armagnac towns and is located on a spur of the rivers Gèle and Baïse. The Gothic styled cathedral of St Peter's is the key attraction, the last built in the Languedoc style.
Challenge: 59km, 555m ascent, 590m descent
This morning, the cycle route takes you to Montréal-du-Gers, one of the most ancient walled towns of Gascogne (1289). Wwe recommend, on the way, a little detour through Larresingle, another of the 'Most Beautiful Villages in France". Continue to Eauze, the capital of the current Gascogne. Take time to admire the slender steeple of St Luperce and the half-timbered house of Jeanne d’Albret. At the end of the day, you will come out on the Adour plain, a very open and intensively cultivated landscape. Aire sur l'Adour is separated into two parts; the lower section which is by the river and dominated by the cathedral of St Jean Baptiste, and the high town or Mas d'Aire, which is dominated by the Eglise de Sainte Quitterie where a Benedictine monastery once stood. You will sleep this evening just near in Aire sur l'Adour; in Barcelonne du Gers.
Challenge: 79km, 220m ascent, 240m descent
You start the day on a small departmental road between farms and cornfields until Troussin, Latrille then Miramont-Sensacq after finding again the Way of St James, still marked with shells. Later on your way, you enter the Béarn area, the relief gradually changes to make way for chestnut and ferns, announcing your entry into the Pyrénées-Atlantiques before arriving at Arzacq-de-Béarn before reaching the small village of Maslacq.
Challenge: 67km, 660m ascent, 655m descent
Today you will transition between the Béarn area and the Basque country, in the very heart of the Pyrenean. After the ancient fortified village of Navarrenx, you will cross the Gave d’Oloron. Along the way discover the Montgaston and Joantho castles before reaching St Palais, a cultural town which plays host to colourful festivals and markets. Here the street signs are in the Basque language which is typical of the region. This is also the entry point into the Lower Navarre, formerly the Kingdom of Navarre. There are a number of sights to visit including a museum containing historic pilgrim relics and a statue of St James the pilgrim.
Challenge: 48km, 380m ascent, 415m descent
Today, It's your last cycling day, and you don't have many kilometers left. You are in the beautiful Basque country, with its white houses and their typical red tinted half-timbering. You have to cross the Col des Palombières. After enjoying an exceptional view, the descent is very beautiful and will lead you to Jaxu, before descending a valley to reach Bustince-Iriberry, then Saint-Jean-le-Vieux. The last kilometers will lead you to "the gate of Saint-Jacques", at the entrance of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, where you will not fail to visit this very picturesque fortified citadel.
Challenge: 34km, 385m ascent, 255m descent
It is the end of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the pretty town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.
Located in the city center, the Brit Hôtel Le France offers you a warm welcome. You will find comfort and well-being with its spacious rooms
This charming hotel provides a convenient stopover for pilgrims to rest for a night or a stay, or even to eat before setting off again.
The Hôtel de L'Horloge is located on the edge of the Chemins de Saint Jacques, in view of the Porte de Lectoure. The building that houses it, of limestone and brick, is adjacent to the old belfry (known as the Clock Tower).
Denis and Murielle welcome you in their old house of the 18th century, by the River Baïse, with a nice view on the harbour, he lock and the mill, 250 meters from the Cathedral of Condom.
Florence and Freddy will be delighted to welcome you to this land, the cradle of all their passions. It is with simplicity and discretion that they will reveal to you the secrets of the authentic South West lifestyle.
Right in the center of the village, at the edge of the path, 100 m from the grocery store and the restaurant, you will be warmly welcomed by Chantal in her pretty Béarn family house. In addition to the welcome, the essentials are offered to you: a comfortable bed and a good hearty breakfast !
Between ocean and mountain, this charming hotel offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the Basque Country.
Alice and Patrick welcome you in a friendly, family atmosphere at Hotel Ramuntcho. Ideally located at the foot of the ramparts in the heart of the old town, easy to access from La Porte de France and 100m from La Porte Saint Jacques.
Departure any day of the week from 15th April to 31st October.
The closest airport is Toulouse-Blagnac Airport.
Also possibility of arrival in Paris airports Charles de Gaulle in the North and Orly in the South are served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines. They are connected with Paris by metro and bus services. From Paris you can take a train to Cahors (often via Brive-la-Gaillarde), see below.
On the end of your trip you can take a train from Saint-Jean-pied-de-Port to reach Bayonne and on to various points in France (Pau, Bordeaux, …) or Spain (San Sebastian, …). For time tables and further information look at the website of the SNCF or TER-SNCF
From Paris to Cahors (approx. 5h30 - 575 km/358 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
You can also take a regular shuttle bus "Compostela" at the end of your trip to reach a train station or to travel back to the starting point (more information on request).
Parking informations on request
Panier capable Cross Racer/Tourer
Cube Electric Hybrid
GPS tracks are available on request