On the road to Santiago de Compostela

The Célé valley variant: GR651 and GR36

Hike to Brengues on the Célé valley variant
Hike to Brengues on the Célé valley variant
Lot Tourisme - T.Verneuil

A wild and natural route

Welcome to the Célé Valley. This variant of the Camino de Compostela has some very serious advantages! Beautiful, wild, preserved, endowed with a rich and abundant heritage, it follows the meanders of the rivers it meets and offers unprecedented views of impressive cliffs. But above all... it allows you to hike on a path much less frequented than the Puy route. 

This variant is therefore the perfect route if the watchwords of your walking tour are “calm, introspection and discovery”.

Highlights of your stage

Sunrise over the Célé Valley
Sunrise over the Célé Valley
E.Leconte - Lot Tourisme
Rock art and geology

The Pech Merle cave

Painting of spotted horses in the Grotte du Pech Merle
Painting of spotted horses in the Grotte du Pech Merle
Cave of Pech Merle

If you decide to take the Célé variant, be sure to stop to discover this cave with its rich and moving history. Indeed, more than 29000 years ago, our ancestors took up residence there and expressed their daily lives through stunning paintings and spectacular conservation. 

Massive calcite Grotte du Pech Merle
Massive calcite Grotte du Pech Merle
R. Flament - Cave of Pech Merle

The geological characteristics of this place will also seduce you. Nature in all its beauty has shaped this cave to make it an incredible place with the appearance of extremely varied forms.

The favorite village of the French

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

One of the great assets of the Célé variant is the presence of a village frozen in the medieval area. As soon as you see it from afar on your way, your heart will guide you to meet it. Like a siren, its captivating beauty encourages anyone passing by to come and tread its footsteps on its cobblestones. This is how Saint-Cirq Lapopie seduced the leader of French surrealism André Breton. 

The village of Saint-Cirq Lapopie at sunset
The village of Saint-Cirq Lapopie at sunset
@mavn_production

Saint-Cirq ablaze with Bengal lights appeared to me – like an impossible rose in the night. [...] It must have been love at first sight if I think that the next morning I came back, in the temptation to settle in the heart of this flower. […] Beyond many other sites - from America, from Europe - Saint-Cirq has placed the only enchantment on me: the one that fixes forever. I stopped wanting myself elsewhere.

André Breton

I discover Saint-Cirq Lapopie

 

An extraordinary path

The Bouziès towpath

By taking the Célé variant, you will discover a stretch of path as you have never seen it before! Carved into the rock, this path allows you to walk in the heart of the cliff. Bordered by the Lot, you will find yourself immersed in a mineral and aquatic universe.

Walk on the towpath, Bouziès
Walk on the towpath, Bouziès
Lot Tourisme - T.Verneuil

You will then see that this very special place was also a source of inspiration. In this tunnel dug into the rock, you will see marvelous sculptures made by Daniel Monnier on the wall. These fit perfectly into the landscape, and echo in a subtle and poetic way the history of this territory.

 

Walk the towpath

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