There are a couple of paths that a long-distance walker can follow from Figeac to Cahors—each offers a different experience and caters to different needs.
If this is part of a longer walk along the Chemin de Saint-Jacques (also known as the Way of Saint James) from Le-Puy-en-Velay to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and on to Santiago in Spain, then the traditional route of eighty-seven kilometres (54.4 miles) along the GR 65 is for you.
The towns along this route range from very tiny to the bustling market towns of Cajarc and Limogne-en-Quercy and reflect a good cross-section of life in rural France.
If it is not important to you to follow the traditional pilgrims’ trail on this walk, then the more northerly route along the GR 651 and GR 36-46 offers some real highlights including the ‘most beautiful village’ of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, the painted caves at Pech Merle near Cabrerets and the ruins of the ancient abbey at Marcilhac-sur-Célé. This route is a little longer at 108 kilometres (67.5 miles).
In addition to these picturesque villages, you can visit wonderful fresh food markets at Figeac, Cajarc, Limogne-en-Quercy, Brengues, Marcilhac-sur-Célé, Cabrerets, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Vers, Arcambal and Cahors.
If you do not need to finish your walk in Cahors, then a loop of 147 kilometres (91.9 miles), starting and finishing in Figeac, can incorporate all the highlights. This route follows the Chemin de Saint-Jacques along the GR 65 almost as far as Bach, then cuts north along the GR 36-46 to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and returns to Figeac along the GR 651.
If you have a few spare days at either end of your walk, you can discover several more local highlights including Rocamadour, the underground lakes and caves at Gouffre de Padirac, the vineyards around Cahors and the most beautiful village of Conques.
The best time to walk this path is between April and October. During the winter months, many local hotels are closed, and much of this area is under snow, making it unsuitable for walking.