River cruise on the Lot: boat holidays in Occitania | Tourism in Occitania

Tourism in Occitania: Holidays in the South of France

You are here

Cruise on the River Lot
On a houseboat

from €525 per week for the 2/4 place boat
  • One of the most beautiful rivers in France
  • Your holidays will be different – guaranteed!
  • Explore the Valley of the River Lot
  • An uninterrupted view of St Cirq Lapopie
The best period
  • Automne
  • Eté
  • Printemps

74km of navigable river from Luzech to Larnagol

All aboard to explore the River Lot, one of France's most beautiful rivers. Take  your time – discover unmissable places like Cahors or St Cirq Lapopie; enjoy spectacular landscapes ... that's what this experience will bring you!

Tourisme Lot
Recommended by
Navigation et vignoble Lot Tourisme
Navigation et vignoble Lot Tourisme

You are guaranteed to unwind on the River Lot

It's time to change your rhythm of life and board your boat – it does not require a permit – and explore the Lot Valley as you have never seen it. You will feel at home as soon as you step onto your houseboat. It is well-equipped and comfortable.

When you've been instructed about operating the boat, you'll be ready for 74kms of fascinating landscapes between Luzech and Larnagol. You are guaranteed to unwind and enjoy a timeless trip.

Vignoble à Parnac Lot Tourisme
Vignoble à Parnac Lot Tourisme
Fresque de Chamizot à Douelle © Lot Tourisme
Fresque de Chamizot à Douelle © Lot Tourisme

Malbec and the Cahors vineyards

With Amarres left behind – here you are, captain of your boat! The first landscapes slide past, and the Cahors vineyards appear. Several wineries are accessible from the river – a good opportunity to discover Malbec, the iconic grape variety in Cahors wine. Some are famous, like Château de Caix, property of the Queen of Denmark; others are smaller, but all can be visited and provide a chance to meet the producers.

Did you know?

The Chamizo Fresco is 120m long and 6m high. It portrays the history and mythology of wine in 12 panels, starting with Julius Caesar.

Ecluse du Pont Valentré - Cahors © Lot Tourisme
Ecluse du Pont Valentré - Cahors © Lot Tourisme

Passing through a lock

When the 1st lock appears in the horizon, there is a little apprehension mixed with the excitement of this 1st passage, but you know you'll enjoy it as soon as you start turning the handle. There is no lock keeper on the Lot – the 17 locks are all manual (except one!). They are a high point of the trip, and an integral part of the adventure. You'll see – it's great way of staying in shape, and a very proud moment when the boat emerges into the next basin!

Useful information

You will find some teenagers hanging around locks (especially in Summer) and in exchange for a small sum of money they will help you manoeuvre. It is also possible for two boats to go into a lock at the same time.

Pont Valentré Cahors © Go-Production.com

The Valentré Bridge in Cahors, a Mediaeval jewel

Travelling on the Lot in a hired boat is very peaceful, and every minute brings a new horizon, often perched high above – houses, churches and numerous chateaux that overlook the river, such as the magnificent Château de Mercuès.

It's already time to enjoy the splendid view of the Valentré Bridge, the iconic monument of the town of Cahors, rising straight ahead.  You get the measure of this masterpiece when tying up at the lock right by it, and understand why it is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Cathédrale de Cahors vue de la rivière © Lot Tourisme
Cathédrale de Cahors vue de la rivière © Lot Tourisme
Marché coloré de Cahors © Go-Production.com
Marché coloré de Cahors © Go-Production.com

Cahors, in the South

When in Cahors, don't miss walking round the town. You can enjoy wandering round the narrow streets, exploring the Cathedral of St Etienne, lazing around the Boulevard Gambetta, or making the most of the famous market if you pass through on a Saturday or Wednesday.

The town's impressive architecture dates from the Middle Ages, and it enjoys the laid-back lifestyle typical of towns in the South.

Vue aérienne de Vers
Vue aérienne de Vers

Peaceful stop in the heart of the village of Vers

There are many place to stop overnight, but some make you want to drop anchor more than others. One of them is Vers, with a pleasant campsite, a stunning chapel, and a famous restaurant, and also really good facilities: here you can play pétanque, fish or go swimming, and a play park will keep the children happy.

Navigation sur le Lot à Bouziès © Lot Tourisme
Navigation sur le Lot à Bouziès © Lot Tourisme

Limestone cliffs and a towpath

As you continue on your way, the banks get wilder and wilder, and the cliffs, steeper and steeper, are reflected in the river as in a mirror.

Here you are in the midst of unspoilt nature – time seems to stand still. You can certainly enjoy coasting along, but keep your eyes open – you don't want to miss the cliffs at Ganil and its famous towpath. It is here, where the cliff plunges straight into the water, that the path has been cut out of the rock – 300m long and 2m high.

Did you know?

The towpath was constructed in 1845 by men. It was used by the horses to allow the "gabares" (traditional boats) to travel against the current taking local merchandise towards Bordeaux.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie au petit matin © Go-Production.com

The highlight of the trip at St Cirq Lapopie

After leaving the canal, look up and admire the hilltop village of St Cirq Lapopie. Listed among the "Plus Beaux Villages de France" (Most Beautiful Villages), it overlooks the Lot, perched 100m above the river on its rocky outcrop. The view from the river is unique, but the village also reveals its secrets when explored on foot.

Its steep, narrow streets; its artists; little shops and beautiful, half-timbered houses; its church and the impressive view of the river will certainly captivate you. When it's beautiful, it's beautiful!

Vue sur le Village de Calvignac © Lot Tourisme
Vue sur le Village de Calvignac © Lot Tourisme
Vue aérienne du Château de Cénevières
Vue aérienne du Château de Cénevières

More beautiful villages to explore

From 2007, the navigable length of the Lot been increased by 10km, from St Cirq Lapopie to Larnagol. The route is lined with peaceful villages and delightful landscapes. Don't miss having a look at Cènevières and its impressive chateau, or Calvignac, a beautiful hilltop village. It is at Larnagol, a delightful fortified village, that our adventure on this stunning river comes to an end, but the Lot continues on its way.

Cruise on the Lot from Douelle to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Useful information

Découvrez ici la liste des professionnels de la navigation sur le Lot, et choisissez votre formule ainsi que votre bateau habitable.

Find out more

Where to sleep and eat, what to do?

Voici les bonnes adresses de Cathy (Tourisme Lot) pour vivre pleinement votre expérience croisière sur le Lot.

All-inclusive holidays

Petite sélection de séjours dans le Lot. Après votre croisière sur le Lot, pourquoi pas une escapade dans le vignoble AOC Cahors, ou quelques jours à la découverte du patrimoine du Quercy ?

Latitude: 44.478119000000
Longitude: 1.287026000000
How to get there
  • By car: Luzech is 1½ hours north of Toulouse. From Toulouse: A20 motorway towards Paris/Montauban. Exit 58 Cahors, then départemental road D653 to Luzech
  • By air: arrive at Toulouse Blagnac International Airport, then travel by car as described above.