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Cahors and the Lot, Quercy, Dordogne region of south west France

La Galerie, 1km from the village of Catus, is in the Pays Bouriane region of the Lot, in the Midi-Pyrénées in southwest France. Cahors, the capital of the Lot, is situated on the River Lot and is 15km away. The beautiful town of Sarlat-la-Caneda, north of Catus across the Dordogne river, situated in the Dordogne, with its many attractive bastide towns, vineyards and riverside activities, is just 25km away. The Lot was part of the medieval province of Quercy, the Quercy Blanc to the south and the Quercy Noir to the north, with the River Dordogne to the north, the River Tarn to the south and the River Lot running through the centre.

 

Local places of interest

The River Vert runs through the charming village of Catus and through the Lac Vert leisure lake close to La Galerie. Catus, once a fortified town, boasts a beautiful, historic 16th century church and has many amenities, these include a post office, bank, small supermarket, bakery, butcher, pharmacy, newsagent, vinotier, hair salon, tourist office, restaurant and a popular Tuesday morning market.

The largest market in the region is in Cahors (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and is well worth the visit. It takes place in the old part of the town around the cathedral, and has an excellent range of local produce on offer - including many local wines and cheeses. Cahors has a good selection of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, museums, galleries and historic architecture.

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Serving a range of regional gastronomy, the local area has a wonderful choice of places to eat, and many are Bonnes Tables du Lot. Restaurant Le Gindreau in the neighbouring village of Saint Medard is one of the best. Cahors, to the east, also has many good restaurants, bistros and café bars, and to the west the larger villages of Prayssac and Puy l’Evêque also have cafés and restaurants.

Throughout the summer months, you will always find festivals and fêtes to visit in the local area. The fêtes celebrate everything from local produce to medieval times - and music and wine always seem to be flowing freely...

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The beautiful 14th-century “Pont Valentre” spans the River Lot and is the symbol of Cahors. It is the only fortified bridge in the world with three towers. We recommend exploring the River Lot from the water. There are many river boat trips and boats for hire, including canoeing and kayaking. Other popular sporting activities in the area are rambling, horse riding and mountain biking.

Cahors is well-known for its deep ruby-red wines. Wine lovers will find numerous châteaux and vineyards all along the picturesque Lot valley. The producers are very happy to let you taste the wines and will sell to you directly from their caves. There is a vineyard trail from the west of Cahors along the Lot valley to the beautiful medieval town of Puy l’Évêque.

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To the east of Cahors, sitting high above the Lot valley is Saint Cirq-Lapopie. The village has a maze of lanes filled with interesting craft shops, galleries and restaurants. As you meander between the attractive half-timbered, stone houses, there are many stunning views to enjoy of the Lot valley far below. This beautiful village was voted “Le village préféré des Français” in 2012.

Another “must see” village in the area is Rocamadour. It is the most popular site in the Lot. The château and ramparts are at the highest point, with the sanctuary, churches and museum on the next level down, and nestling just above the Alzou Gorge are the village houses, clinging to the rocks below. Nearby, visit some of the famous grottos and caves in the Causse du Quercy, the 103 metre underground river of the Gouffre de Padirac. And many others including the Grotte du Pech-Merle have prehistoric paintings and engravings on display.

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Other towns of interest in the Lot are Gourdon, Figeac and Castelnau Montratier. Between Cahors and Toulouse is Montauban. The pedestrian streets of this pink brick city will lead you to the 17th century “Place Nationale”, with its four magnificent façades of brick, the heart of this historical city, where you can stroll and shop under its surrounding arcades and enjoy the many cafes in the square. The magnificent historic fortified walled city of Carcassonne is situated south of Toulouse and is another city worth visiting.

The “pink city” of Toulouse is also well worth a visit, and is now a huge aerospace centre with regular Airbus tours. Toulouse airport is a growing international airport. Other local international airports include the smaller Bergerac airport and Rodez airport and also Bordeaux airport with links from Paris and other major European airports, transfer times from these airports is between 1 and 2 hours.

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The highest bridge structure in the world, the new (2004) Millau Viaduct, taller than the Eiffel Tower, is a spectacular site, spanning the River Tarn. Rising above the clouds from the Tarn gorge below, it is now a major tourist site in the region.

 

There's so much to see and do

There are also numerous music festivals, fêtes, markets and festivals in the Lot and the surrounding area of south west France.

For your visit to south west France, see our useful travel guide with information on local airports and flights, rail travel, sea crossings and car hire.

La Galerie route de Lherm 46150 Catus (Grand Cahors) France