holiday south west france

Holiday South West France - About the Area

Holiday South West France - Activities in the Lot

Holiday South West France - Places to Visit

Holiday South West France - About the Area

Rocamadour, South West France, St Cirq Lapopie, Cahors, St Cere, near Figeac, Goufre de Padirac, prehistoric caves

The Lot valley in South West France is a region of unspoilt countryside, rolling woodlands, spectacular river gorges, prehistoric caves and grottes and picturesque medieval towns.

There is much to see and do in this magical area of South West France, making it a perfect family holiday destination.

Outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, canoeing, fishing and bird-watching are popular and there are also many historic sites to visit nearby, such as Rocamadour,
St-Cirq-Lapopie and St-Céré.

In addition, the Lot has all the ingredients necessary to make it a gastronomic paradise, fine wines, mouth-watering regional foods such as fois gras, truffles and cep mushrooms and walnuts found in the traditional local markets and many local restaurants.

During the summer months, you can enjoy the many music festivals, especially the popular Jazz festivals around the region.

However you choose to spend your time, you can be guaranteed a wonderful holiday in South West France.

Quercy Village Rooftops

Holiday South West France - Activities in the Lot

Recreational activities in the Lot, canoeing, boat trips, fishing, walking, cycling, bird watching and horseriding.

The River Lot, in south west france, is a great attraction for many people. Water-based activities are very popular in summer, such as canoeing, boat trips and fishing. This sparsely populated area also has some fantastic tracks and lanes to explore either on foot, bike or horseback.

There are many places where there are canoes for hire, for exploring the Lot river at your leisure, and all are well signposted in summer.

Swimming Lakes (Plan d'eau)
There are many swimming lakes to choose from and most have facilities for safe bathing, water sports, carp and trout fishing. Most also have a picnic area.

In Cahors, boat trips along the river Lot are readily available. These can be combined with a trip on the "Touristique Quercyrail" to make a full day outing, including lunch. A cruise down a stretch of the Lot river takes you through a varied landscape – from vineyards and chateaux to medieval Cahors with its Valentré Bridge, and upstream towards the stone-village of St Cirq Lapopie, perched high-up between towering cliffs.

Rambling in this part of the Lot region is delightful and there are many different terrains, all of them spectacular. There are hundreds of trails around the area, some of which have great religious significance such as the famed pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela.

The river Lot is renowned for its fishing. There are specific sectors allocated to night fishing for carp and many large specimens have been caught. Angling is also permitted in many of the swimming lakes. Trout, carnivorous fish, carp, whitefish, black bass and migratory fish are all to be found in the Lot, in fact there are officially 20 varieties of fish to be caught.

Cycling (VTC) and Mountain Biking (VTT)
You will find bikes for hire locally , or of course, you can bring your own. You can easily pick up a local map,(guide de la Randonnee) The trails are usually clearly marked with coloured arrows and the guides show the route in detail and describe notable sights to look out for on the way. Cycling enthusiasts may also be interested to know that the Tour de France often passes through the region.

Horse Riding
As a whole, the Lot region has over 1,500 km of bridleways and more than 25 equestrian centres most of which are open throughout the year.

Adventure Parks
At Pradines near Cahors there is an adventure park set in a wooded valley, which allows visitors to climb rope ladders, abseil and cross aerial walkways.

There are many excellent golf courses in the area to choose from.

Holiday South West France - Places to Visit

Click on this link to see some amazing images and video clips of this beautiful area.

St-Cirq-Lapopie one of the most beautiful villages in South West France, spectacularly overhangs the river Lot. Dating back to medieval times, the village has long been associated with artists, of which many are active today.
  Quercy village rooftops

Cahors the historic and beautiful capital of Quercy, is looped by the winding River Lot. Dating back to Roman times with it’s ramparts and historic monuments, most notably the magnificent Pont de Valentré, it is a well known landmark of the region.
  Pont Valontré Cahors

The medieval town of St Céré at over 200m altitude, has stunning views all round. This bustling market town is a perfect place to sit and watch the world go by, with its many cafes, hotels and restaurants. During World War II, the artist Jean Lurçat operated a secret Resistance radio post here; after the war he turned it into a studio, and it's now a marvellous museum of his work.

The Gouffre de Padirac is a natural chasm that opens onto the limestone plateau of the ‘Causse de Gramat’. Hundreds of feet below, a guided boat tour takes you along an underground river amongst the stalagmites and stalactites. A unique and truly magical experience.

Perched on a limestone cliff is the Historic Shrine of Rocamadour  devoted to the Virgin Mary it has remained a symbol of faith and hope for over 900 years, attracting pilgrims from every country. More recently, it attracts visitors and artists inspired by the breathtaking beauty and archaeology of this spectacular village.
The town also gives its name to Rocamadour cheese, a small round of goat's milk cheese that is found throughout the region.

Lying on the River Célé is the beautiful town of Figeac with it’s unspoilt medieval centre. In the Middle Ages it became a centre of tanning, which partly accounts for the many houses whose top floors have open-sided wooden galleries used for drying skins and other produce, mainly tobacco. The birth place of Jean-Francoise Champollion, in 1790, who was responsible for deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics, and is much celebrated as the founding father of Egyptology.

  Figeac Market
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