CAHORS, LOT VALLEY
Stone, water, wine
Why visit Cahors and the Lot Valley?
- Cahors, approved as a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire and a major stage on the Santiago de Compostela routes (Puy trail).
- AOC Cahors, a major Occitania vineyard.
- Unmissable villages with character: Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and Puy-L’Evêque.
- Pech Merle cave in Cabrerets.
- Majestic scenery brought to life by the winding navigable Lot River.
Start with 2 Cahors gems listed as world heritage in relation to the Santiago de Compostela routes: the town's iconic Pont Valentré (14th century bridge) and the stunning Saint-Etienne Cathedral with its Byzantine-style domes.
Then wander around the old town's medieval lanes which give Cahors a mysterious and magical atmosphere. Soak up the beautiful rich homes, magical little squares and inventive Secret Gardens that splash the town with colour.
Unwind in the shade of the plane trees as you watch the hustle and bustle on Boulevard Gambetta built in the 19th century.
Drive or walk 30 mins up Mont Saint-Cyr for views of Cahors sitting on the front of the Lot like a crown glittering with jewels.
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A great trip to a great vineyard
4000 hectares of vineyards on both sides of the Lot River peppered with traditional Quercy villages, pretty churches, châteaus and a national "Vignobles et Découvertes" accreditation to boot: you don't want to skip this vineyard given the beauty of its scenery and its famous Cahors Malbec red wine oozing personality.
Lot of Saveurs: a food and drink festival held in July in Cahors. It's pure joy and is packed with a LOT of surprises every year. The atmosphere is buzzing and tastebuds are tingling.
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Saint-Cirq-Lapopie on its cliff
An unforgettable vision of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie clinging to its cliff 100m above the Lot. The entire village is listed as a Monument Historique and its uniform look is rare to see. From the top of the village, the view of roofs covered in plum-coloured Quercy tiles is stunning.
Wander along lanes, staircases and hidden passageways. The setting has attracted countless artists and authors just like André Breton. You can still visit artisans, explore the Rignault Museum and meet resident artists at the Maison Daura.
“Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has cast a single spell on me: the one that is unbreakable. I stopped wanting to be elsewhere”: André Breton, writer, leader of the French surrealists, in 1950.
Puy-L’Evêque among wine and water
You will love Puy-L’Evêque, a medieval town surrounded by the AOC Cahors vineyard. The terraced village built above the Lot was the fief for Cahors' bishops. Soak up its carefree atmosphere as you admire its amazing heritage: 13th century keep, churches, lanes and staircases lined with gold stone houses, hanging gardens and more. This will lead you down to the port. Barges used to berth here as they transported wine on the Lot: they have now been replaced by houseboats and canoes.
THE LOT RIVER
Let the river run your holiday
Follow the Lot on either side of Cahors. It will take you to the valley's best sites: Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, one of the most beautiful villages in France, Laroque-des-Arcs, Luzech and its Tour de l’Impernal, the lovely bastide of Castelfranc, the medieval town of Puy-Lévêque and more. The river was once a major trading route and winds along white cliffs or loops around vineyards.
A houseboat cruise on the Lot: meet Cathy, our Lot Tourism expert, and get all the tips you need to make your trip magical.
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How to get to Cahors
Cahors is the capital of the Lot, 1 hr 25 mins from Toulouse.
- By car: on the A20 motorway (Paris / Brive / Toulouse) or the D820.
- By plane: from Toulouse-Blagnac (75 mins) or Brive-Dordogne Valley Airport (1 hr).
- By train: from Cahors (Paris –Toulouse line) and Montauban stations (TGV Bordeaux – Montpellier).