What could be more exhilarating or adventurous than riding along a river from its mouth to its source?
The River Lot is not quite comparable to the Amazon or St. Lawrence, but it’s marvellous nonetheless. The adventure I propose here has the added benefit of being suitable for all levels of explorers.
This six-stage Collection covers 467 kilometres (290 mi), following the Véloroute along the Lot from Aiguillon to Mende. You discover many fantastic places, as you ride from the confluence of the Lot and the Garonne to the gateway of the Cevennes.
You’ll come across plenty of surprises along the way. The Lot conceals many treasures, despite being modest in length. You’ll come across beautiful villages, such as Saint-Cirq Lapopie, Cajarc, Montbrun, Entraygues-sur-Truyère, Espalion, Estaing and Sainte-Eulalie d'Olt. These charming settlements are often perched on the hills or built along the river bends. They’ll make you feel as though time has stopped.
The cities here are just as interesting. The famous Valentré Bridge reflected in the waters of the Lot in Cahors is an unforgettable sight. . The three gigantic towers of this 14th-century bridge are very impressive.
The nature along this route is fantastic too. You’ll find many places to swim in the clear waters of the Lot River. This adventure gives you the luxury of being able to swim almost any time.
The region is also known for its food and wine. You’ll find plenty of accommodation too, ranging from luxury hotels to camp sites.
You can do these stages from spring until autumn, but avoid cycling them in winter. Many of the interesting places are closed during the off-season and it would be a shame to miss them.
The GPX route of the V86 (another name given to this Véloroute) starts from the SNCF station of Aiguillon and ends at the one in Mende. Both are served by TER trains that accept unmounted bicycles without the need for reservations. It seems to me that this is the best way to get there and back.
As for the choice of bikes, a touring bike with panniers or a gravel bike in bikepacking mode will do the trick.
Ready to get going? Create and customize your own version of this adventure using the full Tour below as a template.
Last updated: April 29, 2023
Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.
Lovers of architecture, this first step is made for you! Undemanding, it allows you to stroll while discovering the many architectural curiosities along this beautiful river.
The meanders of the lot make you go from surprise to surprise. It starts with Aiguillon, the official starting point for this Lot…
This stage is twice as long as that of the day before, but as you are following the course of the Lot, you have only a few elevation changes. Despite 117 kilometers to cover, it should take you less than six hours to reach Cahors. Leave early to make the most of the day and allow yourself plenty of breaks…
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
Leaving from Cahors, you enter straight into the heart of the Quercy Regional Natural Park. This karstic region is by its very arid geomorphology. This does not prevent it from being endowed with numerous castles and authentic villages, as well as prehistoric sites, such as the famous cave of Pech-Merle…
After the architectural theme of the last days, this fourth stage refocuses on that of water. Always following the Lot, which becomes more and more beautiful, you come across one of its tributaries: the Riou. These meetings take place at the level of Ruau-Bas and Boisse-Penchot, then it will be Limoux…
Beautiful villages are on the program for this fifth stage! Close to the Aubrac plateau, the Lot valley is even more majestic here. It's a pity that we are in the digital age, because today you are going through real villages of postcards.
The memories will remain forever in your memories. My preference…
The official route of the Véloroute de la Vallée du Lot stops in Banassac.
However, it is better to add this last stage which takes you to Mende to find public transport there more easily. Indeed, there are less than 50 kilometers to arrive in this city. To make things easier, I took care to finish the…
Bike Touring Collection by Manivelle
Bike Touring Collection by Fred Urrutia
Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson