SERENE LOT VALLEY TRAIL
6 days walking/7 nights
Follow quiet trails through unspoilt countryside in the Causses du Quercy following the Lot and Célé Valleys
Quiet trails in unspoilt pretty countryside
Spectacular chateaux and picturesque villages perched above the valleys on rocky cliffs
Following the majestic Célé and Lot Valleys
Major pre-historic site at Pech Merle with its cave paintings
Let 's discover the full itinerary!
Day 1: Arrival
The tour begins in the historic town of Figeac. Straddling the Cele River, Figeac is a beautiful town with an unspoilt medieval centre. Take time to explore before setting out on your walk through the Quercy countryside.
Day 2: Beduer - Espagnac Ste Eulalie
Transfer to the pretty village of Beduer from where the walk will begin. Heading south-west and passing through glorious, seemingly deserted countryside, the next few days will be spent walking along the Cele Valley. Todays destination is Espagnac Ste Eulalie, via the village of Corn.
Overnight: Espagnac Ste Eulalie, Walk: 10.5km, +/- 300m
Day 3: Espagnac Ste Eulalie - Marcilhac
Having explored Espagnac, set off for Marcilhac. Walking through fairly rugged terrain, beneath the overhanging Chateau Anglais and via the village of St Sulpice you will arrive at your accommodation just before Marcilhac.
Overnight: Marcilhac, Walk: 15km, +/- 600m
Day 4: Marcilhac - Cabrerets
One of the walking tours longer days, you will follow the Cele Valley to the pretty village of Cabrerets, situated at the confluence of the rivers Cele and Lot. Passing through Sauliac, and with the opportunity to visit the Musee de Cazals. The footpath follows the escarpment bordering the valley, enjoy exceptional views.
Overnight: Cabrerets, Walk: 21km, +/- 500m
Day 5: Cabrerets - St Cirq Lapopie
Leave Cabrerets for the beautiful village of St Cirq Lapopie which appears to defy gravity as it clings to the cliffs that tower over the River Lot. The walk is fairly short but this gives you the opportunity to visit the world famous cave drawings at Pech Merle shortly after leaving Cabrerets, and time to explore St Cirq Lapopie later in the day.
Overnight: St Cirq Lapopie, Walk: 12km, +/- 350m
Day 6: St Cirq Lapopie - Vers
Now into the Lot Valley. Walking alongside the elegant River Lot todays' destination is Vers. Much of the walk today is through deserted countryside. Today also provides the tours longest incline, a hill in excess of 2kms.
Overnight: Vers, Walk: 20.5km, +/- 220m
Day 7: Vers - Cahors
For your last day's walking, follow the banks of the River Lot all the way into Cahors via Arcambal. The steep rocky cliffs of the valley now change to a wonderful rolling landscape. Your destination is Cahors, the bustling departmental capital of the Lot, home of the Malbec vineyards.
Overnight: Cahors, Walk: 18km, +/- 60m
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, explore Cahors before departing
At a glance
15 April - 15 October
From €1630 per person (based on 2 sharing)
7 nights / 6 days walking
Distance: 10-21km per day
Ascent: 60-600m per day
Small hotels & guest houses
B & B plus 4 evening meals
Similar self-guided walking holidays in south-west France
Let yourself be enchanted by the charm and beauty of the wonderful Célé and Lot Valleys in south west France. Less well known than the Dordogne, the Célé and Lot valleys will leave you captivated by their beauty. Our independent self-guided walking holiday begins its linear trail in Figeac and travels downstream ending in Cahors, home of the Malbec vineyards. You’ll follow quiet trails through unspoilt countryside in the protected regional park of Causses du Quercy, with rocky cliffs, home to some wonderful chateaux overhanging majestic valleys. You’ll pass through several historic villages such as St-Cirq-Lapopie, one of the prettiest villages in France, perched precariously above the river Lot. Your self-guided walking holiday finishes at Cahors, famous for its wines and its 14th-century bridge allowing access to the town.
7 nights/8 days: 6 days independent walking moving between guest houses
Everday of week subject to availability from 15 April - 15 October
Walking Profile & Grade
6 days self guided walking in the Cele and Lot Valleys, moving between hotels and B&B’s. The walking holiday is graded moderate. The walking days vary in length allowing you time to visit the sights and to recover from the longer days. Average days include about 15km walking with daily ascents ranging from about 60m to 600m. All the walks are on good paths, although some sections can be muddy and rocky. This independent walking holiday would be suitable for regular walkers, as well as occasional walkers with a minimum of preparation.
This walking holiday is graded moderate. See more information about walking grades.
Accommodation & Meals
A mixture of B&B’s and small independent family run hotels offering a high quality of service (2 or 3 star). Many are in historic properties, set in wonderful medieval village locations
Where is the Lot Valley?
When to Travel
Our self-guided walking tour in the Lot Valley is available from mid-April to mid-October. This walking holiday is available in the summer but please book early to ensure we can secure our top choice accommodation. In spring, you are likely to experience some rainy days, but some years can be very dry whilst others can be unsettled. Cold periods are also possible late April and early May but generally the temperatures range from 16 degrees in April and climbing to 20°C in May. By mid June, temperatures generally reach the mid twenties.
Summers are hot in this region and the temperature often rises above 30 degrees Celsius. It rarely climbs beyond the mid ‘30s for any substantial length of time. In general, July is slightly hotter than August and the average temperature in summer hovers around the upper ‘20s. The summer is generally dry with several fine days interspersed by the odd shower often in the form of heat-of-the-day storms.
September highs average 25°C. October is still a good month for walking on average with maximum temperatures of 20°C and lower rainfall than those experienced further south and east in the south of France. The wettest month in the area during the walking season is May, whilst September is the driest month. The region is slightly sunnier than the national French average.
Navigation, Walking Notes & Maps
This walking holiday partly follows GR (Grande Randonnee) long-distance trails which are well way-marked with red and white markings. There are also several signposts along the trail. The walking follows clear paths for its entire duration. The remaining sections follow local trails waymarked in yellow. Our walking notes are very detailed (more information here) and include intermediate distances for sections of the trail. They also include information about the sites which can be explored along the route. We supply one walking guide per person on this holiday. As well as the detailed walking notes we supply official walking maps produced by the IGN at a scale of 1:25,000. Your trail is highlighted on the maps.
On this walking holiday your main luggage is transferred between guest houses so you only have to carry a day rucksack with picnic lunch (supplied by the guest houses and included in the holiday price), water and spare clothes, waterproofs, camera etc. Please limit the weight of your bags to 20kg. We generally use small guest houses in historic buildings and some of the rooms are accessible only by stairs.
Eurostar & local ter trains run services from London St Pancras to Figeac. Change at Paris, direction Cerbere & then change at Brive or Cahors for Figeac.
The airlines Ryan Air & Flybe have scheduled flights from several UK airports to Bergerac. Taxi or hire car for the short transfer. Flights to Toulouse with onward journey by bus and train. A greater choice of operators fly to Toulouse from where there is a shuttle bus to Toulouse train station.
Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.
Self Drive from UK
Channel ferry crossings from Dover are provided by several operators including P&O Ferries & DFDS seaways. Crossings are also provided by train with Eurotunnel.
Once in France, the journey from Calais to your first guest house takes about 7 hours (excluding long breaks).
Further Information & Advice
For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holiday please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section. Once you have booked this independent walking or trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you.
7 nights / 6 days walking
- From €1630
- Price per person based on 2 people sharing a room
- Please contact us about single supplements
What's included in the price
- 7 nights accommodation, including all breakfasts, four dinners,
- 1 transfer at the start of the week,
- full walking notes and maps,
- transport of luggage
What's not included in the price
- Travel to Figeac, France
- lunches, 3 evening meals,
- Any excursions or entrance fees,
- Travel insurance
- A deposit payment of 30% or at least £250 or 250€ per person must be made to confirm your booking. The balance of payments is due 8 weeks before the holiday date. If the holiday date is less that 8 weeks away at the time of booking, then the full price should be paid.
Mixture of small guest houses and small independent family run hotels offering a high quality of service (2 or 3 star). Many are in historic properties, set in wonderful medieval village locations, some have swimming pools. Warm welcome and gastronomic food. A couple of examples from this walking holiday are presented below.
Extra nights are possible at any of the stopovers.
Toulouse is France's fourth largest city, located on the banks of the Garonne River. Founded by the Romans it owes its nickname of "Ville Rose" or pink city to the use of brick used in much of its architecture from Antiquity to the present day. It dresses the façades with warming colours, from soft pinks to the most flamboyant oranges. Toulouse counts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal du Midi (designated in 1996 and shared with other cities), and the Basilica of St. Sernin, the largest remaining Romanesque building in Europe, designated in 1998 along with the former hospital Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques because of their significance to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage trail. We can add on a city break of varying numbers of nights according to your wishes.
Bordeaux is a great destination for a city break and can be easily combined with this walking holiday, as you'll be picked up from the city. Bordeaux sits on the banks of the Garonne River and is known for its Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André, notable art museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts and its 18th- to 19th-century mansions, as well as public gardens which line the elegant river quays. We can book a city break for you and provide you with all the information you need for a great stay.
Please consult us for a price on any of the above options.
If you want to learn more about the region's culture through tailor-made activities and visits, check out those trips that include a few days near the Lot region. Contact us to add them to your hike.
A perfect trip to discover fundamental elements of French culture, including fancy castles and wines in Paris, Loire Valley and Bordeaux.
Learn everything about French history on this fun family trip through the ages. Explore Paris, Bordeaux, Sarlat, Carcasonne and Marseille.