Things to do in and around the Lot region of south west France
Our cottage is located at the gates of Cazals, a medieval village on the border of the Dordogne and Lot regions. Each week its market takes place there, offering you a fine selection of fresh and local products. A deli, an award winning bakery, as well as a small supermarket are open all year round. The restaurants of the region, well known for their haute cuisine, are accessible by the pretty roads in the area. The surroundings offer a wide range of attractions, many beautiful villages, castles, vineyards, gardens, rivers, caves and excellent hiking trails.
Markets are the life blood of many of the villages in both the Lot and the Dordogne. If you've never been to a local French market then you are missing out on a cultural experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else. As much a social scene as somewhere to buy local produce, they are a great place to people watch and buy some fabulous food. Due to the size of most villages in south west France, many will only hold a market during the summer months, however a few villages, including Cazals, have a market every week throughout the year.
Here are some of the other markets nearby:
Prayssac - every Friday morning
Sarlat la Caneda - every Saturday morning
Domme - every Thursday morning
Monpazier - every Thursday morning
Cahors - every Saturday morning at the Halle Place Chapou
Gouffre de Padirac
An amazing network of underground caves, accessible by descending 100 steps (or by taking the lift). An underground lake and stunning rock formations makes this one for the album. Reservations advised during school holidays.
For more information or to prebook tickets go to their website:
Only 20 minutes from the Gouffre de Padirac, sits this world famous, stunning medieval village hewn into the rockface.
For a bried overview take a look at the tourist office website:
Saint Cirq Lapopie
Saint Cirq Lapopie was voted the most beautiful village in France in 2012. This medieval village with 13 listed historic monuments is a magical mix of paved lanes, gothic façades and fortified gates.
For more information on how to get there and activities nearby take a look at their website: http://www.saint-cirqlapopie.co.uk/
10 kms south of Sarlat is another of the Most Beautiful Villages of France: Domme. Perched on a breathtakingly high cliff this fortified village is a great stop off.
For more information about the village and the caves that lie underneath take a look at this great website:
One of the most famous towns in the area and one of the most visited. It's also one of the most attractive and vibrant. Often just called Sarlat, it is only a short drive away from La Grange du Lac. Dating from both medieval and rennaissance times, this is a must see at any time of the year.
Grotte de Peche Merle
7 underground caverns takes you back more than 25,000 years. An amazing opportunity to see a prehistoric art gallery of mammoths, horses, bison, signs, hands and human silhouettes. A must see!
For more information on how to get there, opening times and costs, take a look at their website:
Chateau de Castelnaud
A fabulous medieval castle overlooking the Dordogne river. A museum of warfare complete with catapults, full size trébuchet, cannons and almost enough armour to start anew the 100 years war! - A must see!
Even if it's just for the beautiful photos take a look at their website:
Pont Valentré and Cahors
A short drive across country brings you to the capital of the wine region: Cahors. It's most famous site being the 13th century fortified stone bridge which spans the river Lot. The town itself is full of little shops and cobbled streets and there are several cooperatives selling locally grown food and wine and beer.
Monpazier boasts 32 listed buildings! Founded by Edward 1 of England in 1284 it has a long standing relationship with the English. Also listed amongst the Most Beautiful Villages in France.
For more information take a look here:
Canoe down the river Lot / Dordogne
As we are almost on the border of the Dordogne and the Lot valleys you have twice the number of opportunities for canoeing, whether it's down the river Lot or down the river Dordogne, there are companies who cater to all ages and abilities.
There is an amazing network of very well signposted footpaths that can take you all the way to Cahors and beyond. The local countryside is a spidersweb of pathways, criss-crossing the hillsides and passing through villages in places that you are not accessible by car. The famous pilgrim route Chemin de Compostelle passes through this area and access to many of the pathways are accessible from the gite.
The Lot offers a wide variety of countryside to explore, from the hillsides of the Bouriane to the vineyards next to the River. Wherever you are, you will find very well signposted cycle paths ranging from simple family rides to something a little more challenging.
We provide maps for some cycle paths, but to get an overall idea of what is to see take a look at the following pages: