THE RIVER LOT BY BOAT
A journey on one of France's most beautiful rivers
The River Lot is navigable over 160 km on either side of Cahors. You will be enchanted by its winding course as it makes its way in between high cliffs, slopes covered with oak trees, fertile fields and the Cahors vineyards.
As the captains of your easily manageable boat, you will have the chance to travel past all the major sites of Occitania on the river: "Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Cahors, Luzech".
RENT A BOAT (NO LICENCE NEEDED)
Where to rent, duration
Set off for a few days on a boat on the River Lot: an adventure accessible to everyone. You just need to rent a river boat with no licence required. No experience or special skills are necessary. You can set out from April to October, between Luzech downstream from Cahors and Larnagol upstream from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Boat rental companies are on hand in Cahors, Bouziès, Douelle and Luzech.
Cruises are on offer for 1 week or 3 nights, but also for 2 weeks or more, with the boat being returned to the starting point at the end.
From the 16th century, the River Lot was a major trade route. With bargemen at the helm, river scows (flat-bottomed boats,) transported wood, wine and coal between Quercy and Aquitaine.
WILL YOU KNOW HOW TO GO THROUGH THE CANAL LOCKS?
Yes, no problem!
The 17 canal locks on the River Lot are managed by hand, but are easy to use and are all part of the adventure! You can take a break where you want, whenever you want. You just need to take bikes with you if you want to enjoy a ride on land.
Before you weigh anchor, your rental company will show you how the boat works and how to steer and moor the boat.
Your boat is a real floating house and very comfortable and stable on the water. No sickness or spilled coffee to worry about.
SO MANY THINGS TO SEE AND DO
When you are on a boat on the River Lot
You can take a swim in the river - the quality of the water is excellent. Make the climb up to see Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, have lunch or dinner in the "most beautiful village in France", perched on a cliff 80 m above the River Lot. Vary the pleasures with a canoe trip or a mountain-bike ride. Stroll through the little streets of Cahors, a wonderful town with the biggest listed heritage area in France. Don't miss the great market on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings at the foot of the cathedral. Make a visit to the wine estates of Cahors. Visit the medieval town of Luzech...
The specialities from the Lot region (foie gras, cabécous cheese, strawberries, asparagus, walnut cake, etc.) and the excellent Cahors wines will be part of an unforgettable experience in the Lot region.
THE GANIL TOWPATH
A real surprise!
6 Km downstream from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, you will see the Ganil towpath: a 1 km section that was cut out of the bottom of the cliff between 1843 and 1847. The wall is decorated with a contemporary fresco evoking life on the river made by a sculptor from Toulouse, Daniel Monnier. In the past, the towpath was used by horses to pull the river boats against the current. You can also follow it on foot or by mountain bike from the Bouziès nautical stopping place. It continues along a signposted path leading to the foot of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.
Valentré bridge, with its 3 towers, is the emblem of Cahors! This fortified bridge dating from the 14th century is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Way of Saint James.
The River Lot, at the foot of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
"An architectural treasure in a breathtaking landscape": Saint-CIrq-Lapopie, one of the highlights of your cruise on the River Lot, and was voted French people's Favourite Village in 2012 during a popular TV show.
Japan's travel agents also voted it the most beautiful village in France, along with Riquewhir (Alsace). Saint-Cirq-Lapopie will be. Video 4:52 © Le Village Préféré des Français.
- By car: Cahors is near the A20 motorway (the "Occitane") from Vierzon (near Paris) and Montauban, which then continues on to Toulouse as the A62 motorway. Cahors is 5 hours 30 minutes from Paris and 1 hour 30 minutes from Toulouse. Cahors is also accessible by the D820 road (formerly the N20).
- By plane: from the international airports of Toulouse-Blagnac (1 hour 20 minutes from Cahors) and Brive-Vallée in Dordogne (1 hour from Cahors)
- By train: the SNCF Paris-Toulouse line runs to Cahors and through the centre of France. Cahors is 5 hours from Paris and 1 hour from Toulouse.