Description – Saint James way – From Cajarc to Moissac – Eco Range

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CA13-ECO  Saint James way  – From Cajarc to Moissac Via Podiensis is one of the four main pilgrimage routes to the Spanish sanctuary of Santiago de Compostela from Le Puy en Velay, a Marian sanctuary since the fifth century.  Since the Middle Ages, millions of pilgrims have left from Le Puy to journey to the Spanish […]

CA13-ECO  Saint James way  – From Cajarc to Moissac

Via Podiensis is one of the four main pilgrimage routes to the Spanish sanctuary of Santiago de Compostela from Le Puy en Velay, a Marian sanctuary since the fifth century.  Since the Middle Ages, millions of pilgrims have left from Le Puy to journey to the Spanish Galicia, at the extremity of the Iberian Peninsula, to venerate the relics of Saint James, one of Christ’s apostles.  This pilgrimage is today registered on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. You are walking through the Quercy on several days. You are starting with the crossing of the Causse de Limogne that terrified pilgrims. In Middle Ages, no hamlet, very few watering places in the Causse that was an avorable area fto the ambuhes set up by brigands. So the pilgrims got together and strode with determination to Cahors. 50 km ( 32 miles) in a go!!  Times have changed and you will take time to discover the beauties of Causse, well-known for truffles before reaching Cahors.After leaving this town and the Lot Valley you will walk across the White Perigord, a vast, undulating stretch of whitish landscape where sheep pastures alternate with rich valleys producing tobacco, fruits, wine and grains. The villages are perched on the tops of steeply sloped hills called Les Puech, and dominate the surrounding landscape. You will reach Moissac, well known for its abbey and its production of sweet white grapes.



Day 1: Arrival at CAJARC, small medieval city located on the right bank of the Lot river between cliffs and hills. Half-board accommodation in a small guesthouse

Day 2: CAJARC – LIMOGNE en QUERCY (18 km – 5 and a half hour walk) The crossing of the Causse de Limogne was once a stretch that terrified pilgrims. This vast, chalky sprawl provided little water and many occasions for accidents. The pilgrims avoided spending much time in this area, and strode with determination to Cahors! Fortunately, this strenuous hike will not be required of you. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the amazing landscapes, the overwhelming sheep flocks, the dolmens, the wash houses, and the remarkable shepherds’ huts made from a stone called caselles or gariottes. You will head to Gaillac after crossing the Lot river and walk up onto a large plateau, the Causse de Limogne covered with stunted vegetation. In some places you will see well lined up plantations of truffle oaks. Be sure some treasures are growing among the roots ! Bed and Breakfast in a beautiful house in the centre of the village

Day 3: LIMOGNE EN QUERCY – LALBENQUE (25 km – 7 hour walk). You will leave Limogne, a little village whose economy relies on the sale of  local country products and is much frequented during the periods of the truffle-market. You will walk to Varaire and its strange washing house, a small lake, typical of this area. You will continue to the south of the village and will join with the ancient roman route. This route will lead you to Lalbenque and its famous ruffle-market, the most well-known of its kind in the southwest of France. Half-board accommodation in a 1-star hotel with all conveniences.

Day 4: LALBENQUE – CAHORS (24 km – 6 and a half hour walk). You will take the Cami Ferrat, another name of the roman route that once linked Caylus to Cahors, and make your way through the Causse to the Lot Valley. As you descend to Cahors, you will have beautiful views of the city. Wedged in a loop of the Lot River, and lying in the shadow of high rocky hills, is the old city of Cahors. Very prosperous during the Middle Ages, Cahors became the greatest banking centre in the world during the 13th century. As you stroll the city you will find numerous vestiges of its glorious past: the famous Valentré Bridge, the Saint Etienne Cathedral, a cloister and the old neighboring quarters Half-board accommodation in a 2-star hotel

Day 5: CAHORS – MONTCUQ (31 km – 8 and a half hour walk). You leave Cahors southwards heading to Labastide-Marnhac. This village once housed a hospital, but today the only evidence of it, is the little chapel of Saint Remy, just outside the village. You will walk to the Hospitalet and will reach the tiny village of Baffalie, at the bottom of a small valley, and continue on to the pleasant village of Lascabanes. You will next arrive in Montcuq, a medieval village perched on a rounded hillock and dominated by a square keep built during the 12th century. In this village, bloody battles took place as it changed hands numerous times during the fight against the Cathars and the 100 Years War. Nowadays, it provides a pleasant walk through inclined streets to the top of the keep, and inspiring panoramas. Half-board accommodation in a 2-star hotel

Day 6 : MONTCUQ – LAUZERTE (16 km – 4.30 hour walk). You find yourself now in the White Quercy, named for the color of its earth. The relief here is untroubled, with vast plateaus occasionally interrupted by valleys. On the hillsides grow vineyards, fruit and melon, whereas tobacco, corn and sunflower grow down in the valleys. The atmosphere of the Midi is already apparent in the land around you, in the houses of pink brick and cypress trees in the gardens. This phase is short, but will allow you time to enjoy a visit of Rouillac’s Church. You will climb along the crests overlooking the valleys of the Targutie and Lendou rivers, and head to the village of Montlauzun, and then Lauzerte. Perched on its rocky spike, Lauzerte has served as a lookout, protecting the road between Cahors and Moissac for many centuries. The high city, built around Saint Barthelemy’s Church and the Place des Carrières, still holds houses that were built during the 13th and 15th centuries – Half-board accommodation in a 1-star hotel (all conveniences)

Day 7: LAUZERTE – MOISSAC (25 km – 7 hour walk). this stage is wonderfully pleasant. Crossing through a vast orchard, you will discover in turn small chapels and gorgeous pigeon-houses. You will admire Saint Senin Chapel and arrive in the village of Durfort-Lacapelette, stretching out across a hillside and distinguishing itself by… the absolute lack of a church, very uncommon in a French village! Once passed Durfort, vineyards rise up everywhere. In this region grows the famous Golden Chasselas. Finally, you arrive at Moissac and the Tarn River. Moissac is an important stop on the pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela. Saint Pierre’s Abbey in Moissac holds master-pieces of Roman art, such as the Tympanum, a 12th century representation of the Apocalypse, and the cloister, an image of lace carved out of stone. Half-board accommodation in a 2-star hotel

Day 8 : MOISSAC – End of the tour after breakfast


From April to middle of October but be careful this trail is more and more popular and we recommend to reserve earlier to get (the best) rooms. Best time is May, June and September

What’s included?
  • 6 overnight stops in 1or 2 star hotel or guesthouse on a  half-boardbasis.
  • 1 overnight stop in chambre d’hotes (bed & breakfast)
  • Luggage transfer between accommodations along the trail.
  • Taxi transfers as written in the description of the itinerary
  • A set of maps (1/25 000 scale) or topoguide (with translation) with the route marked on and detailed route notes describing the trail.
  • A daily itinerary together with information about facilities and places of interest along the trail.
  • Phone mergency assistance 24/24

Visa fees – transportation fees to and from the walk area – Insurance (strongly recommended on all trips) – Transfers except those mentioned above – Drinks – Entrance fees – Additional meals – Spending of personal nature e.g. laundry, souvenirs, phone calls, are not included

Getting there and away

By train: Go to Cahors by train and bus to Cajarc
By car: from Paris follow the A10 motorway to Orleans, A71 and then A20 to Cahors. Then continue along the Lot
river (D653 and D662 roads) to Cajarc
Where to park : free un supervised car park in the centre of Cajarc