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The little known Lot Valley: rich in culture, history, beauty

The Lot Valley is also known as France Profonde 'Deep France'. P eaceful and rural, this is the place for driving on deserted mountain roads or wandering around medieval villages that don't seem to have changed much over the last few hundred years. Tucked quietly in between the tourist draws of the Dordogne, the wineries of Bordeaux and the glamorous Riviera, the Lot is one of the last forgotten corners of France. It is  an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its dramatic gorges, lush green hills and fascinating medieval villages (many are classified as the most beautiful in France).

The Lot Valley has so much on offer for holiday makers.  You will find beautiful countryside where you can enjoy the relaxation and sheer breathtaking views on offer and at the same time immerse yourself with adventurous sporting activates like canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, horse riding trails that stretch from village to village, the amazing biking tracks and meandering through the rivers on your own house boat, or simply hop on one of the tourist boats for the day...this only to mention some of the activities on offer. The people of South West France are known as they friendliest of all French, so approachable and accommodating, you will feel like you have lived there forever.

There are many picturesque quaint French villages, chateaux and vineyards scattered throughout the Lot Valley ...pure bliss to discover village after village of immense beauty and history, such as:

  • Rocamadour, perched on a cliff in the narrow Alzou River Valley, is a village of wonderful beauty and attracts the attention of artists, historians and archaeologists alike. Of particular importance is the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin which has for centuries attracted pilgrims from all over the world.
  • Also of archaeological importance is the Grotte des Merveille which feature cave paintings by Aurignac Man dated from around 20,000 years bc. Other important archaeological and geological sites of interest in the area are the prehistoric caves of Cougnac, the Paleolithic temple-cave of Pech-Merle at Cabrerets and the spectacular 100m metre deep Padirac Cave in the heart of the Causse de Gramat.
  • Saint-Cirq Lapopie is another famous town, and is known as one of France's most beautiful villages. Sited on top of a cliff side of the Lot river valley, it boasts magnificent views of the area and contains ancient manor houses, a 12th Century church, 13th Century castle, and the Chapel of Sainte-Croix.
  • There are the beautiful towns of Souillac, with it's 12 century Romanesque church, and the town of Figeac with its historical old town and market, the Church of Saint-Saveur, the Church of Notre-Dame-du-Puy, and the Aiguilles; two stone monumental obelisks overlooking the town.
  • Monpazier, Pujols, Issegac, Belves, Beaumont, Villeneuve -sur - lot, Bergerac, Agen, Villereal, Beynac ( as seen in the Movie Chocolate and Ever After) , Sarlat ( as seen in the movie Everafter) , Tournan d'Agenais, Puy l'Eveque, La Roque Gageac, Chateau de Biron, Chateau de Gavaudun, Chateau Castlenaud, Chateau Les Milandes, Chateau Monbazillac ( and cave), Chateau Beynac (as seen in the movie Ever After).
  • Monflanquin is a medieval bastide village classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Sallie, one of our members who kindly wrote this article, has a renovated stone house in this village and it is available for holiday rental: for more detail on her place, click here.


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