This is one of the most scenic areas of France. High limestone plateaus (the ‘Causses’) are intersected by the Lot and the Célé rivers, resulting in varied landscapes with dramatic gorges and beautiful views.
No wonder there are walking paths signposted from every village as well as several long-distance hiking paths (GR routes) in the area, including the famous pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostella which passes nearby. Look out for the picturesque “cazelles”, stone shelters used by shepherds, dotted along the paths.
Mountain bikers come from all over France to enjoy the off-road tracks, but road cyclists are also a common sight on the stunning scenic routes along the river valleys or up in the ‘Causses’.
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This area is a gastronomic paradise, renowned for famous specialities such as Roquefort and Rocamadour cheeses, foie gras, smoked duck and ‘fouace’, a delicious sweet bread. You can find a market bursting with fresh local produce almost any day of the week, including the fabulous market at nearby Villefranche-de-Rouergue on a Thursday morning.
The towns and villages are evidence of the area’s rich medieval heritage, with many delightful “bastide” or fortified villages to discover and enjoy perched amongst the hills.
There are no less than 29 of the officially recognised ‘most beautiful villages in France’ in this region – St Cirq Lapopie, Najac and Belcastel for example – and many of them are less than an hour away.
Well worth a visit is Conques, a World Heritage Site and a marvel of preserved medieval architecture and beautiful artefacts. And sixty kilometres away along the beautiful Lot Valley is Cahors, a centre of wine production and historic cathedral city.
The video below shows some of the highlights of the region including Conques, Peyrusse-le-roc, Cahors, our local market at Villefranche-de-Rouergue and other scenes from the Lot valley.