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

Price

$940USD

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Overview

Trip Code: FC5

Trip highlights


  • Exploring the villages and bastides of Gascony including Condom, Séviac, Montréal du Gers Eauze and Larresingle
  • Walking the Camino past numerous historic churches, crosses and pilgrim posts
  • Enjoying the camaraderie of fellow hikers and pilgrims
  • Experiencing the culinary delights of the region including a tasting of Armagnac

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, along the Via Podensis, the French Way of St James, takes pilgrims from Le Puy en Velay to the Pyrenees at St Jean Pied de Port. The route passes a multitude of churches and monasteries, resembling a travelling museum of Romanesque art. Six stages of this historic trail are included in our self-guided walking program in France.

This stage between Lectoure and Aire sur l'Adour is through the heart of the Armagnac region. Leaving the limestone coloured landscapes surrounding Lectoure, the trail weaves through the Gers with its open farmland interspersed with historic villages dominated by their cathedrals and churches, bullrings and bastides. Markets with an abundance of local products and fields of corn and vines lay testament to the areas deep connections to the land and the strong gastromomic traditions of the region.

Trip Grading

More info about grading system

On arrival in the spa town of Lectoure, make your way to your hotel. Built on a rocky outcrop high above the hills of Lomagne, the town has an imposing Cathedral and Chateau, once home to the Counts of Armagnac, and a colourful history such as the siege of Louis XI in 1473. If you are here on a Friday there is a fabulous market in the morning showcasing the region's gastronomic delights. Dinner will be at your hotel or a nearby restaurant.

Meals:  D

Leaving Lectoure and the Ger River behind, the trail takes you to Marsolan, where on the terrace of the remains of the old hospital Saint Jacques at the entrance to the village you can take in the impressive view of the Auchie Gascon Valley. Continuing through fields and woods, the trail descends gently to La Romieu. Here you can visit the 14th century church whose towers resemble a castle and whose cloisters are a 'must-see'.

Meals:  B,D

Leaving La Romieu the expansive views of the open countryside of the Gers are inspiring. It's an ideal walking environment, best before the midday sun sets in. The area represents the transition between the 'haute' Armagnac around Lectoure (also called White Armagnac due to the limestone found throughout the area), the 'bas' Armagnac around Eauze and the Armagnac 'Noir', where thick black oak woods are found and 57% of the wine crops of Armagnac are located. Condom is one of the principal Armagnac towns and is located at a spur of the rivers Gele and Baise. The key attraction is the Gothic styled cathedral of St Peter's, the last built in the Languedoc style.

Meals:  B,D

En route to Montréal-du-Gers we recommend a 15 minute detour to visit the tiny fortified town of Larresingle, which was the fortress of the Bishops of Condom in the Middle Ages and another of the 'most beautiful villages in France', referred to by the locals as the "Carcassonne of Gers". Further along the route you pass the Pont d'Artigues, a Romanesque bridge over the Osse. It was also the site of a pilgrim hospital and a church but there are no remains of these buildings today. A little further along you come across the Eglise de Routges, the oldest church in the region, before arriving at Montréal-du-Gers. This interesting bastide town was one of the first English fortified towns of Gascogne (1289). It has a central square surrounded by arcades, the 13th century Church of Ste Marie and historic houses.

Meals:  B,D

The route this morning takes you along quiet trails lined with the vines of the Armagnac region and past farm houses. An alternative route leads to the hamlet of Séviac and its Gallo-Roman site (baths and 4th century mosaic). Passing by the village of Lamothe, with its 13th century guard tower, the route continues along a flat path to the former Roman town of Eauze. The Gothic cathedral is worth a visit, while other attractions include the museum with its Roman coin collection, an Andalucian style bullring and numerous historic houses.

Meals:  B,D

Before leaving Eauze take the time to stroll around this Gers town, from the slender steeple of Saint Luperc to the half-timbered house called 'la maison dite de Jeanne d'Albret'. The route continues today on a fairly flat trail through vines, walnut groves and open countryside. In Manciet, about half way along the day's walk, there is a bullring used for cattle races, which are held on the 2nd Sunday in September to coincide with the village fete. Passing the church of St Jean Baptiste de la Commanderie de Saint Christie de l'Armagnac there are some small descents and ascents before the path leads into Nogaro. Its name is taken from Nogarium which means 'a place planted with walnuts'. The town has a bullring and a collegiate 12th Century Romanesque church. Or continue to Arblade-le-Haut, depending on availability.

Meals:  B,D

Continue on a trail through forest of Maritime pine, oak and chestnut with much of the day along roads (low traffic). Along the route you pass by some interesting bridges and hamlets before reaching Aire sur l'Adour. Aire sur l'Adour is separated into two parts; the lower section which is by the river and dominated by the cathedral of St Jean Baptiste, and the high town or Mas d'Aire which is dominated by the Eglise de Sainte Quitterie, where a Benedictine monastery once stood. The trip concludes on arrival. A post tour night can be organised in Aire sur l'Adour or the nearby town of Barcelonne du Gers.

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

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 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.
  • 6 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.
  • Information pack including maps and walking guide (per room booked)
  • Baggage transportation (max 1 bag of 15kgs per person - additional bags can be transported if supplement paid in advance, max 15kgs per bag)
  • Visitor tax
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Lectoure and from Aire sur l'Adour
  • Drinks and lunches
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided trip
  • Entrance fees
  • Transfers
  • 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

  

Daily walks are between 16 and 28km 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. In the summer months an early start is recommended to avoid sun exposure during the hottest period of the day as sections of the trail are unshaded. You will need a good level of fitness and walking endurance to participate fully in this holiday.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 9 Oct

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

$940USD

Options & Supplements*
  • upgrade supplement - comfort accommodationUSD$70
  • Single SupplementUSD$160
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$180
*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. 

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