The 8 most beautiful walks in the Lot

Les berges du Lot depuis Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

A superb département for everything to do with green tourism, the best way to discover the Lot is on foot: that’s how you adopt the local rhythm, moving from an impressive natural site to a beautiful heritage village, along the Lot’s most beautiful walks…

In the heart of south-western France, the Lot is one of the region’s most popular destinations, with must-see sites such as Rocamadour, the Gouffre de Padirac and Cahors. Much of the department is protected by the Parc naturel régional des Causses du Quercy, the mere mention of which is enough for many hikers to put on their walking boots and set off with poles in hand.

It has to be said that hiking in the Lot has everything a lover of long walks could wish for: ancient villages, spectacular unspoilt sites, characteristic natural landscapes, deep valleys and jagged relief… a real treat!

1. The Pilgrims’ hike to Rocamadour

randonnees-le-lot

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 11.3 km
  • Height difference: 341 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Let’s get right to the heart of the matter with this famous Lot hike, starting from the unmissable Rocamadour. One of the most visited villages in France, Rocamadour is an exceptional site that begs to be explored.

This is precisely what this trail offers, a pilgrimage dedicated to the Virgin Mary that crosses the beautiful landscape between the Ouysse and Alzou valleys, before heading back up to Rocamadour and lingering in the village.

Don’t forget your water supply, as it can be hot in the Lot.

2. The Padirac, Loubressac and Autoire chasms

rando-lot

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 3h45
  • Distance: 14.2 km
  • Difference in altitude: 323 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Here’s another superb hike in the Lot, a little demanding, but you’ll be rewarded with several memorable stages: the Gouffre de Padirac, a spectacular natural site well known in the department, and two villages ranked among the most beautiful in France, Loubressac and Autoire.

The bravest will make the detour to the Autoire waterfall, but bear in mind that this itinerary is fairly long and energy-intensive: plan a day hike to take your time.

3. The Alzou gorges at Rocamadour

Les gorges de l’Alzou à Rocamadour

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 12.6 km
  • Difference in altitude: 334 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

With a site as unique as Rocamadour, it’s not surprising that it’s home to some of the Lot’s most beautiful hikes: still from the village, this time we descend to discover the Alzou gorges, where the river bed has carved deep into the limestone rocks.

The route is magnificent, through forest on the banks of the river, following the bottom of the canyon before ascending to gain height and return to Rocamadour.

4. The banks of the Lot from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Les berges du Lot depuis Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h30
  • Distance: 9.5 km
  • Ascent: 369 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

In the Lot valley, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is another of the department’s beautiful villages that would be a shame to miss: it’s as good a site as Rocamadour!

From the top of its cliffs, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie overlooks the course of the River Lot: from here a beautiful path follows the towpath, from which you can make a superb loop to Bouziès. The Lot valley in all its splendour!

This is a half-day tour, which can be extended to Saint-Géry for the more motivated.

5. Tour of Mont Saint-Cyr in Cahors

Le tour du Mont Saint-Cyr à Cahors

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1h30
  • Distance: 5.3 km
  • Difference in altitude: 203 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

While you’re in Cahors to visit the town and discover its wines, take the opportunity to do another of the Lot’s great hikes: the tour of Mont Saint-Cyr.

The advantage of this tour is that it starts right in the town: a short, easy climb takes you to the top of Mont Saint-Cyr, for a breathtaking view of the Lot valley and Cahors. The descent is a long loop that follows the river back to its starting point.

6. The English trail from Brengues

Le sentier des Anglais depuis Brengues

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2h15
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Height difference: 283 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Also known locally as the sentier des falaises, this other name gives a better idea of the scenery you’ll be crossing on this lovely hike in the Lot. Through jagged landscapes, you can see the ruins of ancient castles: the trail was named after these ruins, as the English occupied the area in the Middle Ages!

From the small village of Brengues, there are magnificent views all along the Célé valley. An easy hike for everyone, also available in a slightly longer version (8 km).

7. A tour of the Lot valley from Cénevières

Un tour dans la vallée du Lot depuis Cénevières

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 12.9 km
  • Difference in altitude: 437 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Back to the Lot valley, with its many walking trails. Here, it’s a great day out, with a number of highlights on either side of the river: Cénevières and its castle, the perched village of Calvignac, Larnagol and its dolmens, La Toulzanie and its troglodyte dwellings, all set against a backdrop of limestone cliffs cut to a chord.

Another hike in the Lot that combines natural beauty with cultural visits.

8. Les hauts de Sousceyrac

randonnees-sousceyrac

Photo credit: Flickr – Renaud Camus

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Distance: 9.5 km
  • Difference in altitude: 174 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

Let’s finish with a hike in the Lot that takes you through the landscapes of the Haut Ségala, from Sousceyrac: another of those Lot villages where it’s easy to linger for hours, in a peaceful atmosphere and medieval setting.

Perfect after an easy ten-kilometre hike in the countryside, for a quiet, relaxing walk!