Top 10 essentials on the way to Santiago de Compostela in the Lot Valley
The route of Le Puy, GR65
Listen to Marjory tell us about the 10 places that seem essential to her on the way to Compostela in the Lot valley.
This review starts with an element which is not strictly speaking on the Puy-en-Velay route, since it is a loop offering a small alternative to the GR65. This path allows you to reach the village of Limogne by a magnificent and shaded path, thus avoiding a small piece of paved road. This botanical trail will allow you to discover local plants with the help of explanatory panels, but also to stroll through lovely refreshing undergrowth and admire the hundreds of meters of dry stone walls renovated to perfection by the association. 1000 hands in the dough. Certainly this alternative requires a little more effort since it lengthens the path by about 700 meters, but the game is worth the effort!
The second nugget in this ranking is one of those hidden treasures along the way. This imposing dolmen 2m20 high is classified as a historic monument, and is located in the middle of a field, accessible by a lovely little path bordered by many wild flowers. The particularity of this imposing edifice is that it appears to be supported by a perfectly malleable oak tree which has been able to follow the curve of the gigantic slab hoisted to the top. However, to find it you need to be well informed, since the sign indicating its presence is about ten meters from the path, and can therefore easily go unnoticed.
This bucolic landscape, and this formidable megalith several thousand years old, will offer you an enchanting setting for a well-deserved break!
Here, the name alone suggests the discovery of a small heritage delightful ! You will therefore not be disappointed by stopping in the village of Varaire discovering its characteristic butterfly washhouse in Quercy. Why name it that way you ask? Quite simply for the shape of its stones similar to butterfly wings. Further proof that all is charm and poetry in this region!
Are you more into nature and hiking, while your traveling companion swears only by art exhibitions and museums? This section could then be the solution, since it allows you to discover new works integrated into the low walls located all along the way.
A perfect mix between art and hiking. It is therefore a moment of poetry guaranteed with these wonderful paintings.
Quercy is a territory marked by its so-called vernacular heritage, made up of numerous dry stone huts. You will therefore come across many caselles and gariottes (call them what you prefer) along this path, such as the one located in the town of Flaujac-Poujols which is particularly interesting.. Indeed, located on a limestone slope, it surprises us from the top of its promontory, and observes us crossing its territory composed of stones and dry grass.
reach Cahors requires a bit of courage. Indeed, to be able to access this fabulous medieval-style city, you have to boldly climb the surrounding hills. But what a delight once the heights are reached: make way for unobstructed landscapes opening onto the magnificent Quercy valleys! The highlight of the show then appears at the end of the journey when you finally see the Cadurcian city below. Slowly the marvelous city embraced by the meander of the Lot will gradually reveal itself, and the Saint-Etienne cathedral and its unexpected cupolas, as well as its rival the Valentré Bridge and its gargantuan defense towers. THE highlight of this day's walk, no doubt about it!
Next stop at castle of Labastide-Marnhac! Bought by the municipality, animated and maintained by the Culture and Heritage association, this joyful place is very dear to the hearts of Marnhaciens (yes, that's how they say it) and we quickly understand why. The building with varied architectural styles is surrounded by lush greenery and bordered by the village below. It is possible to visit it, and discover a delightful little "school museum" where you will find all kinds of objects that marked your childhood as a schoolboy. Blackboard, aprons, inkwells and maps, everything is there to take you back to your past! The village is also endowed with charming assets, with buildings and lanes with pearly and velvety stones.
These are indeed two different places, we grant you that. But these two fantastic buildings being so close to each other, we couldn't resign ourselves to making a choice!
The first one you will encounter on the way is a splendid gariotte located shortly after the village of Lascabanes. This dry stone hut sheltered by neighboring oaks is particularly well preserved, and fits perfectly into this landscape conducive to relaxation and introspection.
A little further, at the edge of the forest is a chapel of picturesque charm and simplicity. The chapel of Saint-Jean-le-Froid offers a place of pure intimacy, lulled by the song of birds and the sound of the wind. In this place, you will be able to feel a special atmosphere so unique that it is difficult to describe it in words. Nevertheless, it will undeniably be a positive and moving experience for you.
Aaah who has never heard of Montcuq ? This village, so famous for its name, would undoubtedly benefit from being known for the charm of its narrow streets, the ivory color of its stone, and its medieval buildings... Visible for miles around, the keep of Montcuq is the centerpiece of this fortified village characteristic of Quercy. We recommend that you walk around the motte on which the 24-meter-high tower is located, and, for the bravest, to take the stairs that lead to the top of the building, in order toadmire the view of the village and its St-Hilaire church, as well as the surrounding landscape.
If you walk the GR65 in the Lot valley in the heart of summer, you may be lucky enough to observe an admirable expanse of golden shades around the village of Montlauzun. Particularly well grown in this area of the Lot department, the sunflower unfurls its striking yellow petals from the end of July. So you will have the opportunity to check for yourself whether or not this flower with the evocative name rotates according to the course of the sun. A splendid hike in the middle of sublime landscapes with assumed colors.
This ranking has not been compiled according to an order of preference. It simply takes up the chronological order in which you will encounter these places, each as wonderful as the next.
Discovering this stretch on the GR65 is an incredible, fascinating and moving experience. Following the confinements that we all had to undergo because of the health crisis, you will be truly happy to reconnect with this nature that you will undoubtedly have missed, and to have been able to set off again on the paths of the world to discover these fantastic places. Your adventure within the destination Cahors-Vallée du Lot will warm your heart and leave you with memories that you will remember for a very long time.