Sur Le Chemin De St Jacques © Lot Tourisme Gil Giuglio 190928 092743Sur Le Chemin De St Jacques © Lot Tourisme Gil Giuglio 190928 092743
©Sur Le Chemin De St Jacques © Lot Tourisme Gil Giuglio 190928 092743| Lot Tourisme Gil Giuglio
An experienceintense human

Walking the roads to Santiago de Compostela

Traversed by pilgrims since the dawn of time, the roads to Santiago de Compostela criss-cross the landscapes of Grand-Figeac. The Via du Puy or Via Podiensis, the mythical route to the Spanish sanctuary from Le Puy-en-Velay, crosses wild landscapes such as the Aubrac plateaux to gradually reach Figeac and the golden colors of the Causses du Quercy. Before and after the medieval town, two sections of the GR®65 are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. From Figeac, la voie de Rocamadour, the GR®6 flies through the landscapes of Ségala, Limargue and the Causses towards the religious city, while at Béduer, la voie du Célé, the GR®651 escapes into the wild Célé valley. Whether classic or alternative, the Jacobean routes each have their own particularities, monuments and landscapes. Let’s set off for this intense human experience!

The Puy route


While the Compostelle pilgrimage dates back to the Middle Ages, the current GR®65 is much more recent. Developed in 1972 by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre, it is the most popular route and the best equipped in terms of accommodation. The French section runs from Le Puy-en-Velay in the Haute-Loire to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, on around 755 kilometers of long-distance footpath, crossing the Lot from north to south. However, the via Podiensis starts much higher up. From Geneva, the 1120-kilometer route leads to Roncesvalles. With our pilgrim’s notebook in hand, let’s strap on our rucksacks and set off on this legendary route. From the last green hills ofAveyron to the golden stone of the Lot valley, the route takes us from stage to stage, treading two sections of Unesco World Heritage trails and discovering towns and villages of singular character: Figeac, Faycelles, Cajarc.

The Rocamadour road

The GR®6

In the Middle Ages, Rocamadour was a major place of pilgrimage. Pilgrims came from all over France to venerate Notre-Dame de Rocamadour, to whom many miracles are attributed. The 1,360-kilometer GR®6 stretches from Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye to Arcachon. It enters the Lot at Figeac via the GR®65 route from Le Puy, and from Figeac, the Rocamadour route takes two to three days to reach the religious town. From the sanctuary, there are two options: continue on the GR6 towards Sarlat, or join the GR65 in Cahors via the GR®46 and GR®36. After wandering through the medieval streets of Figeac, let’s take this route. Along the way, you’ll be dazzled by the splendour of the medieval fortress ofCardaillac with its majestic towers, a village listed as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages. At Lacapelle-Marival, you’ll fall under the spell of the town’s majestic castle. Then on to the Causse de Gramat to reach L’Hospitalet, an impressive viewpoint over the Alzou canyon. From here, we discover Rocamadour, a mythical place that has remained a symbol of faith and hope down the centuries.

The Célé route

The GR®651

Let’s set off on a peaceful, wild and unspoilt itinerary along the Célé valley. This alternative route to the Route du Puy stretches for almost 120 km between Figeac and Cahors. After getting our credencial stamped at the Figeac Tourist Office, we follow the GR®65 for 10 km before branching off onto the GR®651 at Le Mas de la Croix in Béduer. The voie du Célé is a sublime blend of nature, landscape and heritage. The trail follows the river, climbs the cliffs, takes tiny paths through boxwood and oak trees, and passes through charming villages: Corn, Espagnac-Sainte-Eulalie and its priory, Marcilhac-sur-Célé and its Benedictine abbey, Sauliac-sur-Célé. You’ll even discover France’s favorite village, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, which hugs the rocky promontory of the Lot valley, after following the famous towpath to Bouziès.

Our tips for

live this experience to the full

When to go?

It’s a good idea to leave in spring or late summer, early autumn: the weather is cooler, the landscapes are dazzlingly colorful, the smells are incredibly enchanting, the paths and accommodations are more “free”… It’s up to you to choose the season that appeals to you most!

I'm documenting

To make the most of theCompostelle experience, remember to prepare your itinerary carefully. The Tourist Offices are there to give you all the information you need, as is theAgence Française des Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, a veritable mine of information. Don’t forget to bring your own guidebooks: Miam Miam Dodo, Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre.

Beaconing is my friend

When a path follows a GR®, the markings are red and white. In the event of a change of direction or a wrong turn, the marking adapts and takes the form of an arrow or a cross. Most French Jacobean routes use this type of signposting. Wooden signs also indicate GR and alternative routes. Remember to respect not only the paths you’re walking on, but also the artworks, animals and plants you’ll come across along the way.


The Saint-Jacques topo-Guide