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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights guesthouses or hotel
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1050USD

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Overview

Trip Code: CT4

Trip highlights


  • Experiencing the busiest section of the trail - marked by magnificent architecture, crosses, statues and grain silos
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Learning about the tale of the “Bête du Gévaudan” (Beast of the Gévaudan)
  • Viewing the contrasting landscapes and architecture along the walk

Traverse the centuries of time and the borders of Europe on the medieval pilgrim trail of Compostela. In the 9th century, the tomb of the apostle St James was unearthed in Compostela. The site became the focus of a pilgrim trail beginning in France, and crossing northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. This journey, also known as the ‘Way of St James’ winds its way across borders, following in the footsteps of thousands of medieval pilgrims through the beautiful Sierras of Navarre and Aragon. The route passes a multitude of churches and monasteries, resembling a travelling museum of Romanesque art. Four stages of this historic trail are included in our self-guided walking programs. Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who have travelled through this route to Spain for over a thousand years on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Cross the rugged countryside and the Aubrac plateau, the oldest European volcanic massif and walk through picturesque towns, past the roadside crosses, chapels, and looming fortresses that marked the way for the faithful in centuries past.

This itinerary can be easily combined with The Way of St James - Le Puy to Aumont beforehand, or continue to Cahors.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Make your own way to Aumont-Aubrac. Set at 1043m, the town is in the heart of Lozère and is an important point on The Way of St James. There is a statue here of the “Bête du Gévaudan” (Beast of the Gévaudan), the man-eating wolf-dog that terrorised the Lozère area in the late 1700s and as a werewolf has inspired literature and popular culture since the mid 1800s.

Meals:  D

From Aumont-Aubrac in “Terre de Peyre” (land of stone), the Way of St James crosses some beautiful pine forests before joining the Aubrac plateau, a vast expanse of pastures punctuated by “burons” (in the Auvergne region this is a shelter where the cowherd lives and makes cheese during the summer). Here you are in the country of the famous Laguiole knife, an indispensable tool to cut the cheese of the same name. Arrive at your hotel/guest house in Nasbinals.

Meals:  B,D

This stage takes you through the heart of the Aubrac plateau, where the ancestral rite of transhumance is still practiced (the transhumance fair is on the Sunday nearest 25th of May). At lunch time, you can try the regional specialties at a buron or country inn, where local dishes are available such as the “aligot” (mashed potato with cheese and garlic), assorted cooked meats from the mountain or a good crepe omelette. In Aubrac you can see remnants of an ancient “Domerie” (name given to the hospital in Aubrac in medieval times). Overnight hotel in St-Chely d'Aubrac.

Meals:  B,D

We leave the country of the “Boraldes” (name given to the brooks descending from the Aubrac) to reach the Lot valley. Here you are near St-Côme d’Olt, listed among the “most beautiful villages of France”. There are remnants of numerous bridges constructed over the Lot river which made the pilgrims' crossings easier. Walk via St-Come d'Olt to Espalion and your accommodation. Espalion's lovely old stone bridge is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Meals:  B,D

The walk continues on the Way of St James following the stream of the Lot river to the lovely village of Estaing, with its Gothic bridge and imposing chateau. The annual St Fleuret fair has been held here since the 14th century (on the first Sunday of July). On this occasion, a great procession travels through the village in period costume. Overnight hotel in Estaing.

Meals:  B,D

We leave the Lot valley at the village of Golinhac, remarkable for its church. The church preserves the Roman foundations of a Benedictine priory, which was dependent on Conques abbey. At the entrance of the village of Golinhac, there is a stony cross with a small sculpted pilgrim erected on it. In Espeyrac in 960, according to the tale, a pilgrim who became blind after a mugging, recovered sight by making an invocation to the patron saint of Conques. Overnight hotel in Golinhac.

Meals:  B,D

The walk to Conques is very often one of the favourite stages for pilgrims as the view over the village is breathtaking if you come from the east. While descending into the deep valley of the Ouche, you will arrive near the Dourdou river (which flows into the Lot river, to the north) and discover this village with pointed roofs over which the towers of the Romanesque Abbey-Chruch Sainte Foy dominate. You can also admire the village's portal, a real treasure from Roman times. Relax in one of the many bars to experience the atmosphere of this lovely town.

Meals:  B,D

Trip concludes after breakfast. Note: this itinerary can easily be combined with The Way of St James - Le Puy to Aumont beforehand, or you can continue to Cahors. Ask our staff for details.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 7 nights in guesthouses or simple hotels on a twin share basis, generally with ensuite facilities. On occasion facilities will be shared with one or two other rooms. Option to upgrade to comfort plus accommodation - supplement applies.
  • Information pack including maps and walking guide (per room booked)
  • Visitor tax
  • Baggage transportation (max 1 bag of 15kgs per person - additional bags can be transported if supplement paid in advance, max 15kgs per bag)
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Aumont-Aubrac and from Conques
  • Drinks and lunches daily
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Excess baggage - arrangements can be made to carry baggage in excess of the 1 bag of 15kgs limit. Please do not tie smaller bags onto your main luggage as they will be treated as extra bags. Excess baggage which has not been pre organised will be refused. A supplement applies for excess baggage. Please ask our office for details.

Grading

moderate  

Daily walks are between 11 to 26.5km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to mountainous. This is a well worn path where route finding is straight forward (refer below for further details on self guided walking). The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness and walking endurance to participate fully in this holiday.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 15 Oct

Notes

DN1
Upgrade to comfort plus hotels / B&Bs - supplement applies.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1050USD

Options & Supplements*
  • upgrade supplement - comfort hotelsUSD$42
  • Single SupplementUSD$230
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$250
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Walking the French Way of St James Camino with UTracks

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