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Accomodations from Carcassonne to Lourdes

Felipe

Veteran Member
Friends,

I am planning a walk between Carcassonne and Lourdes for (hopefully) next year. This will be a "prequel" of my previous walk, from Lourdes to Pamplona.

The main problem I am finding is accommodation...There are many guides (in French) with info, but all seem to be copying the same list. In my previous experience, these lists are egregiously outdated. Many places list farms or families who kindly accepted pilgrims, or people that tried to establish a kind of b&b; they changed their mind, moved, get tired, etc. Many phone numbers do not work anymore, urls of webplaces are broken, etc....you get the idea. Sometimes the info is not clear; for example, some places enlist themselves as "gites for groups" (does this mind that they don't accept individual walkers?).
A webpage even recommend (with bold characters) that you carry your tent, because possibly there could not be an available lodgment. Guides also propose stages of unreasonable distances (sometimes 37, even 43 km) which probably means that there are not accommodations available in the middle.
Well, that happens when you want to walk a quiet, not crowded way...It is a kind of transaction, I guess.

After spending many hours on the issue, I have managed to get a provisional list of "confirmed places" (meaning, some posts or blogs mention that *real people* were there recently, or the places have a current and active webpage); but I have still many stages unsolved. So, I would thank info and comments from people who have actually walked this section. I know there are some in this forum…
 
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JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
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It's haphazard.

Sorry.

But it's "old school", and it will give you a glimpse of what the Camino is like without any of the post-1990 support network.
 
Friends,

I am planning a walk between Carcassonne and Lourdes for (hopefully) next year. This will be a "prequel" of my previous walk, from Lourdes to Pamplona.

The main problem I am finding is accommodation...There are many guides (in French) with info, but all seem to be copying the same list. In my previous experience, these lists are egregiously outdated. Many places list farms or families who kindly accepted pilgrims, or people that tried to establish a kind of b&b; they changed their mind, moved, get tired, etc. Many phone numbers do not work anymore, urls of webplaces are broken, etc....you get the idea. Sometimes the info is not clear; for example, some places enlist themselves as "gites for groups" (does this mind that they don't accept individual walkers?).
A webpage even recommend (with bold characters) that you carry your tent, because possibly there could not be an available lodgment. Guides also propose stages of unreasonable distances (sometimes 37, even 43 km) which probably means that there are not accommodations available in the middle.
Well, that happens when you want to walk a quiet, not crowded way...It is a kind of transaction, I guess.

After spending many hours on the issue, I have managed to get a provisional list of "confirmed places" (meaning, some posts or blogs mention that *real people* were there recently, or the places have a current and active webpage); but I have still many stages unsolved. So, I would thank info and comments from people who have actually walked this section. I know there are some in this forum…
This link Guide des haltes Saint-Jacques-Patrimoine religieux catholique 34 will bring up the above guide to the Voie de Piémont Pyrénéenne which lists accomodation from Carcassonne to Lourdes.Last updated in 2019.You will find a mixture of gites and accueils jacquaires.I have walked this route twice and found this little guide very useful.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Thanks! Very useful and clear. Just read it. Some places are already included in other lists, but a confirmation of their availability is well appreciated. Also, addresses and phone numbers are updated, which is very convenient.:)
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
The main problem I am finding is accommodation.
Speaking from experience on the Geneva route, and assuming the gite culture on the Geneva and Le Puy routes extends to the Carcasonne region: The French can be very accommodating, especially if your request is specific. Ask your host tonight to call ahead to confirm tomorrow night's lodging. If none materialises at a reasonable distance, book another night with tonight's host, and ask if she will (1) pick you up at (designated point) tomorrow afternoon, and (2) ferry you back there again the next morning. Even accurate listings can be affected by family visits, school holidays, or trips to the medic. Always call ahead to make sure there is a bed.
 
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O Peracha

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2014)
Annapurna Base, Nepal (2014)
GR 5 - Holland to Pompey, France (2015)
Lisbon to Finesterre (2016)
I walked from Menton, France to Toulouse in 2018 and Toulouse to Santiago in 2019 on the Arles and Tolosona paths. They do not go through Carcassonne but are right right above it. Castres is the town on the route, right above Carcassonne. I was always able to find accommodations, although, prior to Toulouse is harder. You just have to be flexible. In addition to gites and hotels, I stayed in private homes, farms, retirement homes and abbeys/church annexes. And sometimes you did have to walk long distances, i.e. 30+ km. The Tourism Offices were without fail very helpful and everyone, that I checked with, had a list of local people who took in pilgrims in an emergency. This can be nerve racking if you prefer to have precise plans and to stick to them. I was ok with the ambiguity and being flexible. However, I think with Covid-19 I would imagine that accommodations, especially in private homes, are going to be much tougher. Another issue is that a lot of private homes and gites are run by people who are getting older and can not run the places any longer. They are retiring or want to retire but no one is willing to take their place.

I don't know what route you're taking but here's where I stayed from Castres to Lourdes

Castres - Chez Olivier et Agnes - Private home. Very nice couple. Lovely dinner. He is very active in the local St Jacques org. It is outside Castres but he will pick you up in the center to town and return you the next morning.

Dourgne 22 km - En Gout Farm - Working farm on the trail. Middle of nowhere. Kinda rough. Meals provided

Revel 18 km - Municipal Gite - Run by volunteers who stay on the property. No meals but right in town with lots of restaurants, cafes and grocery stores.

Avignonet Lauragais 38 km - La Goutille - Farmhouse. Middle of nowhere. This is a 4 person gite in a private home. One of my favorite places. Very clean. Great dinner.

Ayguevives 25 km - Private Gite - Little run down. No meals. Grocery store close by. Off the trail.

Toulouse 27 km - Lots of places

L'Isle Jourdain 38 km - Private home but there is a gite in town. Lovely couple. Great dinner. In town but away from center. He will pick you up.

Gimont 25 km - Chez Dominique - 4 person gite in private home. Meals provided. Great place. Owner is a fantastic chef.

Auch 29 km - Municipal Gite - Center of town. Popular town. Accommodations fill up. It's a nice old house but dirty and really smelly beds.

Barran 16 km - Municipal Gite - 4 bed gite in town. Nice and clean. One small grocery store, no restaurant or cafes.

Saint-Christaud 26 km - Gite on Farm - Very eco (waterless toilets). Not my favorite. Middle of nowhere.

Maubourguet 29 km - Dorm in private home. Very clean. At one time this was a large place - about 10-12 beds but now she limited the number of people. Also, no meals but in town with multiple restaurants and stores.

Tarasteix 27 km - Private rooms in abbey. Donative but made it very clear he expected a certain amount at minimum. Meals. Just ok, not my favorite.

Lourdes 36 km - Lots of places
 

Helen1

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
I mostly camped when I went a few years back so can't really help (camping was pretty easy). I got the sense there were more places to stay than in the guide books but whether they were actually open and you could get hold of the key holder at short notice I am not so sure.

Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges sticks in my mind, despite being a tourist kind of place it may have almost nothing open in the evening if you hit the wrong day. There's nothing like tucking into a nice salad after a long day's walking :rolleyes:. It's a pretty quiet route and possibly not one to go too minimalist on what you carry.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I have a good friend from Biarritz walking from Carcassonne to Irun next month, he hasn't mentioned a thing about lodging issues. He does like staying in accommodations with a few stars, however.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
@O Peracha, you really got the taste or rural France! Staying with farmers and families is ideal in order to really know the country. I take note of your comment about tourist offices -I usually shunned them, as places that (I believed) only delivered leaflets to turists. And yes, almost everything is closed on Sundays, as I learnt from experience :( . It is good to carry always some hard cheese, cured ham and chocolate, just in case.
No, I am not walking the Tolosana, but I lived in Toulouse some months and came to love these towns, local "bistro" foods and old churches.

@JabbaPapa, @Kitsambler, I have no problem with rudimentary, basic infrastructure...it is part of the attractive of the Piedmont. It is not the Frances, with its many villages, albergues, restaurants, taxis and buses everywhere. So, some careful planning (maps, notes, reservations) is convenient and a responsible thing to do, especially because I like to walk in late winter or early spring, when weather could become difficult. Many places are really tiny, just a few houses without shops or services. And yes, local people and hospitaleros have always been kind to me, and patient with my broken french and (probably) silly questions.

@Helen1 I loved Comminges; a friend took me there. I admired the enigmatic figures of the romanic church at Valcabrere, looked at the mountains at the distance and swore to myself that some day I would be in the same place, as a pilgrim.🐾
 

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lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
.
Bonjour @Felipe
Here is an accommodation list of places I stayed in when walking from Carcassonne via Lourdes + Oloron-Sainte-Marie over the Somport pass…. etc. etc. in May 2017.

Before arriving in Carcassonne I dropped by the ACIR bureau in Toulouse. There I acquired an up to date accommodation list and was given practical suggestions.

Hope this helps

Cheers
Lovingkindness
 

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Felipe

Veteran Member
Thanks, @lovingkindness . I duly took notes.
Browsing Google Maps (it is a good resource) I noticed a place at Germs (what a name!..apparently it came from Occitan, and refers to a clearing in the forest), midway from Bagneres to Lourdes, the "L'Escale du Cardouets" that says in its webage "Pèlerins sur le chemin de Compostelle, n’hésitez pas à me contacter, nous trouverons une formule qui vous conviendra". Looks interesting and the place is very picturesque, as you know.

@biarritzdon I am considering some "chambres d' hôtes", because there will be not other options in some stages. Places with, let's say, around 50 euros will be acceptable. The devaluation of the "peso" is killing my plans, but hey, I can't go to Camino as frequently as I would like.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances. 2001
Via de la plata 2008
Arles -Piemonte-Frances-Cee 2014
(Bastan-Francés) 2019
Friends,

I am planning a walk between Carcassonne and Lourdes for (hopefully) next year. This will be a "prequel" of my previous walk, from Lourdes to Pamplona.

The main problem I am finding is accommodation...There are many guides (in French) with info, but all seem to be copying the same list. In my previous experience, these lists are egregiously outdated. Many places list farms or families who kindly accepted pilgrims, or people that tried to establish a kind of b&b; they changed their mind, moved, get tired, etc. Many phone numbers do not work anymore, urls of webplaces are broken, etc....you get the idea. Sometimes the info is not clear; for example, some places enlist themselves as "gites for groups" (does this mind that they don't accept individual walkers?).
A webpage even recommend (with bold characters) that you carry your tent, because possibly there could not be an available lodgment. Guides also propose stages of unreasonable distances (sometimes 37, even 43 km) which probably means that there are not accommodations available in the middle.
Well, that happens when you want to walk a quiet, not crowded way...It is a kind of transaction, I guess.

After spending many hours on the issue, I have managed to get a provisional list of "confirmed places" (meaning, some posts or blogs mention that *real people* were there recently, or the places have a current and active webpage); but I have still many stages unsolved. So, I would thank info and comments from people who have actually walked this section. I know there are some in this forum…
It’s been almost 7 years since I walked this(no French no phone )so my advice on specific places is useless. I personally dislike being obligated to arrive at a specific place but your current host can be a great source of information as to your next to Nites lodging and reserve your bed.
The tourist office was is my favorite resource. They seem to be very good even at Pilgrim specific lodging. Somebody always spoke English.
I also carried a sleeping bag and tarp and spent many pleasant nights in the woods.
This is a great Camino and one of the prettiest and loneliest that I have walked.
Best wishes.
 

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