The Chemin du Puy is one of four ancient routes through France that eventually join up with the Camino de Santiago. Covering an epic 700km through southern France, cycling Cahors to St Jean-Pied-de-Port covers the last 373km of the route, finishing in the famous Basque village. This cycling adventure takes nine days, staying in small, traditional hotels en route. With your bags transported for you, cycle from the Lot Valley to the incredible landscapes of the Pyrenees.
E-bikes and traditional bikes are available for rent on this tour and it is also reachable by rail.
- Some of the most beautiful villages in France such as Lauzerte, Auvillar, La Romieu, Montreal, Navarrenx
- Church of Sainte-Quitterie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- St Jean-Pied-de-Port
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive in Cahors
The medieval town of Cahors has been awarded the Villes d’Art et d’histoire label and has an impressive history, including Valentré Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne de Cahors.
Accommodation: Brit Hotel Le France*** or similar in Cahors
Day 2: Cahors – Lauzerte | 39km
Cycle out of Cahors via Valentré bridge. The route continues along small tracks and roads to Lascabanes, which had a pilgrim hospital in the 15th century and the tiny church still offers a pilgrim blessing every day at 18.00. After a few kilometres, you come to Tarn-et-Garonne, then follow the road up to Lauzerte, located on a hill overlooking a landscape of vineyards and green valleys. This is a great place to take a break, wandering through the village with its medieval architecture, ramparts and town square.
- Cycling for the day: 39km, ↑285m, ↓185m
- Accommodation: Hôtel du Quercy* or similar in Lauzerte
Day 3: Lauzerte – Moissac – Auvillar | 47km
From Lauzerte, the route descends into Moissac, at at the confluence of the Garonne and Tarn Rivers and the Canal de Garonne. Its abbey is also worth a visit. Continue through Beaumont-de-Lomagne as far as Auvillar, an historic market town.
- Cycling for the day: 47km, ↑245m, ↓370m
- Accommodation: Hôtel de l’Horloge or similar in Auvillar
Day 4: Auvillar – Lectoure – Condom | 59km
The route leaves Tarn-et-Garonne and enters Gers, passing through the villages of Flamarens, Miradoux, Lectoure, Marsolan and La Romieu. Condom is located on the Cèle and Baïse Rivers and is home to the Gothic-style Cathédrale Saint-Pierre.
- Cycling for the day: 59km, ↑555m, ↓590m
- Accommodation: B&B Les Angelots or similar in Condom
Day 5: Condom – Éauze – Aire-sur-l’Adour | 79km
Today’s route passes through Montréal-du-Gers, one of the ancient walled towns of Gascogne and home to the biggest vineyard of Armagnac. The route continues to Eauze, the capital of Armagnac. In AD3, the city became the capital of the Roman province of Novempopulania and it’s worth checking out the archaeology museum in the heart of Eauze, to discover the trails of the ancient city of Elusa. The day comes to a close in Aire-sur-l’Adour, home to the Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste d’Aire and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Église Sainte-Quitterie. The accommodation this evening is just outside of Aire-sur-l’Adour, in Barcelonne-du-Gers.
- Cycling for the day: 79km, ↑220m, ↓240m
- Accommodation: Chambre d’hôtes La Bastide du Cosset or similar in Barcelonne-du-Gers
Day 6: Aire sur l’Adour – Maslacq | 67km
This morning’s route follows a quiet road, passing farms and cornfields, as far as Béarn. The scenery gradually begins to change as the route reaches the Pyrenees-Atlantiques before coming to Arzacq-Arraziguet and the village of Maslacq. From Pomps to Maslacq, you pass through Arthez-de-Béarn, with its distinctive Basque architecture.
- Cycling for the day: 67km,↑710m, ↓790m
- Accommodation: Gîte d’étape La Halte or similar in Maslacq
Day 7: Maslacq – Navarrenx – Saint-Palais | 48km
Today’s route takes you into Basque Country and the Pyrenees. After passing the ancient fortified village of Navarrenx, the first place in France to be fortified with Italian-style ramparts in the 16th century, you cross Gave d’Oloron River to reach Saint-Palais.
- Cycling for the day: 48km, ↑380m, ↓415m
- Accommodation: Hôtel de la Paix*** or similar in Saint-Palais
Day 8: Saint-Palais – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port | 34km
The last cycling day begins in the Basque Country, passing traditional white and red half-timbered houses. Cross Col des Palombières and, after taking in the view, begin the descent into Saint-Jean-le-Vieux. The last few kilometres lead to Saint-Jacques Gate, at the entrance to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.This village is a small border town on the Nive River but is always a hub of camino pilgrims, as it is the starting point of the Camino Frances to Santiago.
- Cycling for the day: 34km, ↑385m, ↓255m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Ramuntcho** or similar in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
Day 9: Departure
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departure. We recommend booking additional nights in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to explore the town.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. Accommodations are located close to the route of the Camino, and usually have private rooms with en-suite bathrooms (this may vary as there are limited options available in some locations along the route). If you choose a double or a twin room, we will do our best to book this, but it will not always be possible to confirm the requested room type.
Important: We aim to book you into each town listed on the itinerary. However, in case of low availability, we may book other nearby locations.
Click to view default hotels
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included (usually a simple buffet breakfast/coffee and toast/bread/croissant) on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, you can have your dinner at nearby restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
This trip is graded moderate to strenuous and includes cycling routes of up to 40-80km a day, with steep ascents/descents on some days. A reasonable level of fitness is required. This route can be challenging for those with little cycling experience (read more about difficulty grades).
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of April until the end of October.
The weather in southern France is varied. In general, you can expect a mild to warm climate and pleasant temperatures for walking between 19C-26C. Summers in the south of France are hot, dry and sunny. Late spring and early autumn are less hot but typically warm enough to spend your evenings eating outside.
The flexibility of self-guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
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Our recommended arrival airport for this tour is Toulouse-Blagnac Airport. The alternative airports are Paris Orly and Paris Charles de Gaulle. The recommended departure airport is Biarritz. An alternative departure airport is San Sebastian in Spain.
By train or bus
- Arrival in Cahors: You can get to Cahors by train, from Toulouse. You can also fly to Paris and get direct trains to Cahors. For timetables and further information, check the website of SNCF-Connect or use the Omio planner above.
- Departure from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port: From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, you can take a train to reach Bayonne and from here you can reach various points in France (Pau, Bordeaux, Paris) or Spain (San Sebastian). From Bayonne, you can also take a 30mins bus to the airport in Biarritz.
- 8 nights in private en-suite rooms
- 8 breakfasts
- Digital route description, maps, guidebook and navigation app (Please note, that the information pack for this tour is digital only and will be emailed to you prior to departure. Physical documents can be delivered to your first hotel for an additional fee)
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (one piece up to 13kg per person; each additional piece should be paid)
- Tourist city tax
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Additional luggage
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Entry fees (payable on the spot)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights
- Additional luggage transfers
- Hybrid or e-bike rental
In case you would like to rent a bike from us, we can offer hybrid or e-bikes. All bikes are equipped with a lock, helmet, bag and a puncture repair kit. Sample pictures attached below, note that the exact models may differ depending on the availability, but the standard will be the same.
- Type: Hybrid
- 24 Speed Shimano Drive Train
- Integrated Cable Routing
- Integrated Dynamo Power LED Lights
- Sizes available: Extra small – small – medium – large
- Type: Hybrid
- Lightweight Aluminium Frame, Carbon Forks
- Hydraulic brakes
- Shimano 20-Speed or 18 Speed
- Sizes available: Extra small – small – medium – large
Cube Electric Hybrid
- Type: E-bike
- Hydraulic Brakes, Shimano Altus 9-speed
- Front suspension: Suntour NEX
- Bosch Drive Unit Active Plus GEN3 (50Nm)
- Sizes: Small – medium