Day 10: Cycle Route to Lectourne

A beautiful ride starts the day. You cross the mighty Garonne river, and enter Gascony—land of Dartignan, third of the three Musketeers; a land of brave and passionate people who live life to the full (so they say)! Don’t be surprised, in the hotels, to find posters of Torreros and Matadors. Bulls run during July, August and September. After the relative flatness of the last few days, today you ride 50 to 55 kilometers among manicured fields in a land of hills in every direction. Today and the next two days, almost without exception, you will be riding near or upon the ancient pilgrim way.

If you are a very strong rider, and if you are short of time, you could combine the next three days into two: Continue as far as Condom on the first day, then to Aire-sur-l’Adour on the second. Another possibility, if you like the charming town of Condom, would be to take three days but shorten your second day to stay there, and then ride a longer third day to Aire-sur-l’Adour.

Route out of Moissac

Today’s ride starts a paved haulage path with magnificient views that passes between the Garonne River and the canal. As this path corresponds with the GR65 walking route and everyone is starting from Moissac, you are likely to pass laden walkers.

The mighty Garonne River, seen from a bridge near the canal
A religious pilgrim walks along the canal leaving Moissac

Navigate to the west of Moissac and cross to the south side of the canal. Ride west on the road and you will shortly come upon the bike/pedestrian path on the right. After riding about 9 kilometers from Moissac, after the river turns southwest, you will find yourself riding between two canals. In another 3.5 kilometers, about 200 meters before a bridge, take a wide path that bears right onto a road heading away from the canal. At highway D13 turn left, and at the traffic circle turn left onto D116E1and cross the canals. Follow this through Espalais (camping) to a traffic cirle at D11. Turn left, cross the bridge, and climb steeply into Auvillar.

Pavillion, old town of Auvilar

The old-town of Auvillar merits a visit; turn left through the tall clock tower (Gites, b&bs, restaurants, food). After the town there is another long climb. Leave Auvillar by D11, which climbs steeply. At the hilltop, turn right on D88 towards St. Antoine. Cross the autoroute.

You join into D953, which you continue among rolling hills through Flamerens (gites) and Miradoux (gites, b&bs, restaurants, food). After Miradoux, stay straight where D953 branches left; now you are on D23. Continue until N21 (turn left – traffic) 2 km before Lectourne* (gites, b&bs, hotels, restaurant, food) Lectorne has a remarkable view from the park, a prehistory museum, and perhaps you will find in the town some samples of cloth dyed with woad, the primary deep blue pigment used until the 17th century, before indigo.

Link to Day 11: To Condom