Le Lot, La Dordogne « a thousand and one wonders »

 

 jm911Spotlight on the most beautiful villages of the Lot 

There are six of them. Six villages that won the highly coveted title of “Most Beautiful Village of France” (Carennac, Loubressac, Autoire, St Cirq Lapopie, Capdenac le Haut and Cardaillac). Because their brown tile roofs, ochre stone, sculpted windows or square dovecotes give them an exceptional character, these villages single-handedly embody the spirit of the Lot. Many others are worth the detour and although all of them are different, their charm is unquestionably their common feature.   

  30 unmissable stops in the Dordogne 

 jm870Of course, the list is never-ending, or almost so. The Périgord is so vast and dense that there are very many walks to do around it. Apparently there are 1 001 châteaux!  But only a few are open to the public. The gardens, caves, prehistory, but also the rivers, forests and old stone, everything can be discovered from near or far… Without forgetting the gastronomy, with  foie gras, confits,  magrets, ceps, truffles, walnuts, Bergerac and Monbazillac wine… Château de Fénélon – -Château de Montfort – the village of Domme – the town of Sarlat –  Gardens of Marqueyssac – Château fort de Castelnaud  – Le Bugue –  La Roque St Christophe –  Château des Milandes – Château de Puymartin –  the caves of Lascaux II – La Roque St Christophe –  The a Hundred Mammoth Caves – Le Thot : animal park –  Le Château de Hautefort –

 

The must-see places

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The Padirac cave located 8 km from Rocamadour is the top cave in France and one of the most fascinating to explore in Europe.

The Valentré Bridge:  Remarkable testimony of medieval architecture, it is classified as a Historic Monument and registered since 1998 on the UNESCO world heritage list.

St Cirq Lapopie is this eternal gem which time seems to slide over without leaving a mark. Straight from the Middle Ages, discover this partly Historic Monument classified village on foot, to soak up the nobility of its architecture, the elegance of its arcades, steps, fortified gates…

Sarlat, with its preserved sector and architectural heritage, offers every visitor an exceptional journey through time. Many shops nestled in the medieval houses contribute to the charm of the alleys. The buildings with old façades, protected by lauze roofs, keep their authenticity.

 In the open air for active holidays

 Leisure, relaxation, swimming

The Lot is ideal for cyclists who don’t want to climb steep terrain but who still want good trails and superb landscapes. For the less athletic who are nevertheless eager for historical or patrimonial discoveries, let yourself be led on the little train, in donkey-drawn carriages or by boat, on cruises on the Lot or the Dordogne rivers.

The Dordogne is an incomparable playground where you can discover remarkable natural spaces. There is over 600 km of river to canoe on, and over 7000 km of marked trails for all types of hikes (pedestrians, on horseback, bikes). The smoothness of a ride in a “gabare” barge on the river or the magic of a hot-air balloon ride at dawn. Without forgetting unsual activities such as stand-up paddle, cable water skiing, or via ferrata for an adrenaline rush.

Sports lovers will discover the many hikes, bike and horse-riding trails or open air activities such as golf; the leisure areas also offer treetop adventure parks, canoeing, etc.

6 km from Milhac, the Groléjac canoe base is ideally located at the end of the Dordogne river. They offer you the possibility to discover the most interesting tourist attractions in canoe.

At  Gourdon, the lake with man-made beach, picnic area with tables, benches and barbecue. Refreshments (in summer) Fishing lake (with pier for people with reduced mobility) and picnic tables. Direct access to the bike lanes and marked hike trail, parking, fishing school.

Located in Luzech, between Cahors and Puy-L’Évêque on a meandre of the Lot river, the Caix leaisure area welcomes you in an authentic, quiet and shady environment.

At the « green lake » located near Catus, 7 km from Thédirac, there are many activities: supervised swimming, pedal boats, canoe, tennis, playground, hikes…Its 7 hectares of water come from the river Vert, which gave it its name.

 

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                                                           Are you a thrill-seeker ?

 

Want to reach for the sky? Embark on a hot-air balloon and fly away peacefully in search of quiet.  If you are a true driver, try karting and put your foot down, whether you are competitive or just want some fun. For pilots, try a ULM or paramotor flying experience and discover the superb landscapes of the Lot and vineyards. Ever dreamed of making the leap? Go ahead and make a parachute jump, breathtaking view guaranteed.

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Gastronomy

 

Cahors: a must-see all year round, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is the market at the doors of the Saint-Etienne cathedral. Here, everything gives you an appetite: Rocamadour cheese, Périgord walnuts, foies gras, Quercy melon, Cahors wine.

Cahors is indeed at the edge of the vineyards that bear its name since the era of François I. The historic local region of Malbec, with the main vines of the appellation, offers many domains to visit with winetasting in store!

The Local Producers’ Markets… live

Solely made up of farm and artisan producers, these markets encourage direct contact between the producer and consumer. You will recognise them thanks to the logo and the trademark « Marchés des Producteurs de Pays » which identify them and make unique markets.

In the Lot and especially in Cahors, cooking rules. The restaurant chefs will make you discover exotic flavours but also regional dishes.

The restaurants of the Bonnes Tables du Lot will also welcome you to share the pleasures of the Lot dishes and cuisine.

 

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Won over by these activities? Come and take part by staying in one of the « Villas Occitanes » by going to the booking page