Welcome to Les Sources Sacrées
and to your walking and wine tasting holiday
here in the south of France!
We wish you a very warm welcome and hope that you will have a hugely relaxing, inspiring and motivating time with us.
Let’s start with a few general guidelines to make sure you do not miss out on any of the opportunities we offer:
Les Sources Sacrées – Guidelines
Even though you will spend a fair amount of your time walking and exploring the countryside, please feel free to explore the farm and the local village too. After the day’s walk, you may want to have a swim in the lake or just relax somewhere with a good book. You will discover a large number of sitting areas on the farm that we have created for our visitors – somewhere you can just simply sit quietly, or sit and read, or sit and meditate. Please make use of as many of them as possible, not only the seating spots in the garden around the house but also those around the lake and in the upper field – if you are not sure, please ask – or you may want to find your preferred place and go back to it time and again – that is fine too.
You can walk and sit just about anywhere you like, except – and this is a very big except – inside the horses’ paddocks. You are very welcome to sit just outside, on the other side of the fence. Be aware that all the fences carry a strong electric current, it is best not to touch the wires. If the horses come over to say hello, it is fine to touch them, but please do not feed them anything but apples and carrots and never go into a paddock on your own.
Safety Precautions around Horses
Interacting with horses always carries a certain risk. To minimise this risk, please read our Safety Precautions Page very carefully, before you go anywhere near the horses.
There is a small bookcase with books upstairs, please help yourself while you are here, but please leave the books behind when you leave.
Kitchen and Meals
In the guest wing, there is a fully functional kitchen, where we prepare your main meal of the day, the evening meal. You are welcome to brew a cup of tea or coffee at any time. Everything is in the tins, with milk and fresh water in the fridge. Charles puts out all the breakfast things an hour before you leave on that day’s leg of the Camino: bread, butter, confiture (jam), yoghourt and fruit. Times vary because we have to take the weather into account. On very hot days we start very early Help yourself to what you feel like and grab a cup of tea/coffee/glass of water to go with it. Lunch is a picnic basket filled with regional delicacies that you can eat where ever you feel like during your walk. Dinner starts at 19h30.
In addition to the horses, we also have a dog and 4 cats. Melchiore is our Belgian Sheppard x Newfoundland dog, a great softie but sadly now getting on in years and no longer all that keen to accompany us on any of our walks.
The 4 cats are Ebonie (with the shortest tail), Lady Lillie Liquoricie (with the longest tail), Sophie (the baby with the medium-sized tall) and Casper, a black and white chap – all of them rescues. Ebonie and Lillie are a bit shy, but Casper and Sophie are always ready for a cuddle.
Casper, Ebonie and Lillie
You can meet all the horses and find out more about them here.
We would appreciate it if you would switch your phone off/put in on in-flight mode when you are near the horses and during meals. The rest of time the choice is yours – wifi is available free of charge in all rooms in the guest wing and we will give you the password on arrival. Before you leave for the first day’s walking, please download the map below onto your phone. Just zoom in until you find Eauze, Nogaro and Aire-sur-Adour and then you can zoom in further during your walk to make sure you are still on the right path.
Guidelines discussed, we can now get down to the walking and wine tasting part of your holiday.
Walking the Camino de Santiago
Information about the Camino
Click here to find out what the Camino de Santiago is all about.
You can meet and talk to other walkers of the Camino here:
Film and television
-The Naked Pilgrim (2003) documents the journey of art critic and journalist Brian Sewell to Santiago de Compostela for the UK’s Channel Five. Travelling by car along the French route, he visited many towns and cities on the way including Paris, Chartres, Roncesvalles, Burgos, Leon and Frómista. Sewell, a lapsed Catholic, was moved by the stories of other pilgrims and by the sights he saw. The series climaxed with Sewell’s emotional response to the Mass at Compostela.
-The Way of St. James was the central feature of the film Saint Jacques… La Mecque (2005) directed by Coline Serreau.
-In The Way (2010), written and directed by Emilio Estevez, Martin Sheen learns that his son (Estevez) has died early along the route and takes up the pilgrimage in order to complete it on the son’s behalf. The film was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010, and premiered in Santiago in November 2010.
-On his PBS travel Europe television series, Rick Steves covers Northern Spain and the Camino de Santiago in series 6. The cited reference contains information about this episode and resources for the trip, as well as blog posts and user comments.
-In 2013, Simon Reeve presented the “Pilgrimage” series on BBC2, in which he followed various pilgrimage routes across Europe including the Camino de Santiago in episode 2.
Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage (1987)
Jack Hitt, Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain (1994)
Hape Kerkeling, I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago (2009), on his 2001 voyage. It is the best-selling German-language non-fiction book since Gods, Graves and Scholars (1949).
Hemingway, Ernest, “The Sun Also Rises” (1926). Jake’s journey from France to the fiesta of San Fermin is an undertaking of the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela.
David Lodge, Therapy (1995)
Shirley Maclaine, The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit (2001)
James Michener, Iberia (1968), contains one chapter about the Camino de Santiago.
Cees Nooteboom, Roads to Santiago (1996, English edition)
Conrad Rudolph, Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela (2004)
Walter Starkie, The Road to Santiago (1957) John Murray, reprinted 2003.
What you need to take with you on your walks
- Your rucksack
- Your lunch (crucially important, don’t leave the farm without it!)
- Your water bottle filled up with water
- Your hat, sunglasses, suntanning lotion and insect repellant
- Your mobile phone with your downloaded map
- Our phone number
- Your walking boots
- A camera
- Your raincoat (if rain is predicted (best weather site around here is meteociel.fr)
- A small first aid kit with the bare essentials especially plasters in case you develop blisters
- a few euros in case you want to buy a drink or some fruit from the market in Barcelone.
The Weekend Program
Friday: Guests Arrive from 18h00 onwards and have time meet the animonsters and to explore the farm and its immediate surroundings before the first evening’s welcome dinner.
Saturday: After breakfast on the first walking day, we leave for the cathedral city of Eauze. The time we leave will depend on the weather. The hotter the day, the earlier we will leave. Today, guests walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostella from EAUZE to NOGARO. This section is 20 km (12. miles) long and takes about 5 hours to walk. The walk meanders through woods, vineyards, meadows, orchards and sunflower fields from the Roman and cathedral city of Eauze towards Manciet, a small market town with a beautifully preserved lavoir. It continues past an ancient church that once belonged to the Order of the Knights of Malta, Saint Claire de l’hopital de Crevancères – it is worth a detour. Our choir, the Gersabelles, sings here at least once a year. A bit further you will come across an 18th-century milestone with a Maltese cross. From there it is just a short walk into Nogaro or Nogarium, which means ‘a place planted with walnut trees.’ This small town was established in the 11th century and has a fine Romanesque church, which is where we will come and pick you up. Just give us a ring when you are ready to come home. Don’t forget, there is still the wine tasting at Saint Mont to fit in before dinner! (see below)
Sunday: The second day’s walk is from NOGARO to AIRE SUR ADOUR. Guests can either do the full walk (28 km 17,4 miles) or opt for a shorter walk (23 km or 14.3 miles). The walk takes 5-7 hours to walk. The full walk is fairly flat: Nogaro is at 100m above sea level and Aire is at 80m above sea level. The path passes by several ancient farmhouses, along the vineyards towards Lanne-Soubiran and the onwards towards Barcelone-du-Gers, a small town adjacent to Aire. Every Sunday morning, there is a fresh produce market here. From Barcelone the scenery changes, the vineyards give way to trees: oaks, pines and chestnuts until one finally arrives in the beautiful town of Aire-sur-Adour, on the mighty Adour river. There is a beautiful church in Aire-sur-Adour, St Quitterie, up the hill on the southern bank of the river. Just across the river, as you come into town, there is a small bistro called the Comptoir de l’Adour – this is where we will come and pick you up, just give us a call when you are ready.
Neither of these walks is particularly strenuous. There are no steep hills to clamber up nor deep valleys to scale down. The route is very well indicated. The walk is not guided, but if anything should go wrong, help is just a phone call away.
Tasting the wines of Gascony
On Saturday afternoon, we visit the Saint Mont cellars at the foot of the village of Saint Mont.
- How to taste Wine – click on this link to find out how to make the most of this afternoon’s wine tasting.
- The Wines and Spirits of Gascony – click on this link to find out more about the wines of Gascony
Monday morning, you can have a well-deserved lie-in, although we will lay out the breakfast things at 09h00. Your holiday ends at 11h00. Don’t forget to say good-bye to all the animonsters!
Bookmark this page, because you might want to come back here frequently during your stay.