Things to do and places to see nearby
The Lot is the gateway to the South of France.
It is far enough south to be consistently hot and sunny in summer and is characterised by warm late Autumn months.
It is still relatively undiscovered by tourism and its rural landscape has remained unchanged for thousands of years.
The area between the valleys of the River Dordogne and River Lot is amongst the most beautiful in the world, with an array of things to do and see, including exceptional prehistoric sites, medieval villages and a huge range of sporting activities.
Walking: this is great walking country and we have several tried and tested, mapped routes which you can follow with our complimentary detailed maps and notes.
Cycling - we have secure cycle storage and workshop facilities if you want to bring your bike to explore this stunning region at a slowerpace.
Canoeing:This is one of the most popular summer pastimes on the River Dordogne. You can hire a canoe and paddle downstream for a couple of hours or the whole day, stopping for a picnic lunch at one of the many beaches en route.
Horse riding: There are two horse riding centres near us wher you can book a trek through the countryside.
The appellation has been named after the city of the same name, which is the capital of the Lot department.
The growing area totals around 4.500 hectares and the vineyards are located on both banks of the River Lot.
Cahors wine is produced predominantly from the Malbec grape and is rich dark and deep, making a brilliant accompaniment to the gastronomy of the region.
Gindou film festival
Places to see
Chateau Beynac This medieval construction, with its imposing appearance, is perched on top of a cliff, dominating the town and the north bank of the river Dordogne.
Walk up the narrow cobbled streets to visit the chateau, one-time seat of Richard the Lionheart.
Rocamadour is both a place of pilgrimage and a tourist attraction with its shrines and chapels which cling precariously to the side of a cliff.
A majestic site not to be missed.
Dating from 1283, the bastide of Domme overlooks the River Dordogne from the south and is quite simply one of the most beautiful places from which to admire the view. The golden stoned village is crammed with small artisans' shops and is extremely well preserved. You can visit the underground cavern under the covered market where the village's population hid during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of Religion.
La Roque Gageac
Surrounded by ancient manors and crowned with cliffs, La Roque mirrors itself in the waters of the Dordogne river.
The Gouffre de Padirac is a natural chasm 75 metres deep formed when the vault of a limestone cave collapsed into the underground river below. The tour begins with a 100 metre descent by lift to the river and then proceeds with an underground boat trip which takes visitors to the cathedral-like Grand Dôme which is 94 metres high. The tour lasts about one and a half hours and covers 2km.
St.Cirq Lapopie was the first place in France to have a preservation order on the entire medieval village and is officially one of the most beautiful villages in France.
The prehistoric site of Les Eyzies includes the Musée Nationale de Préhistoire which is to be found in a 13th century castle perched above the village. The museum contains a large number of artefacts dating back in some cases more than 15,000 years. Nearby the Grotte de Font de Gaume and the Grotte des Combarelles contain a fine collection of prehistoric art including bison, reindeer, magic symbols and carvings.
Sarlat-la-Canéda is a medium sized market town with a medieval centre that is a delight to explore. The myriad of boutiques and souvenir shops will keep a visitor busy for hours. Sarlat's market, held in Place de la Liberté on a Saturday, is renowned as one of the best in France.
Our local town, a 15 minute drive away is built around the hilltop medieval church and chateau. Narrow streets lined with ancient golden stone houses trickle down from the top to the circular boulevard below, containing s good selection of shops, bars and restaurants.
The Knights Templar
The Knights Templar were formed after the first crusade, in the late Middle Ages, to capture the Holy Land (Palestine and Israel) from the Infidel1. They received the foundations of the ancient Temple of Solomon2 upon Mount Moriah in Jerusalem where they established their headquarters.
Their founder, Hugh de Payens, and his nine knights vowed to protect the overland path from the sea to the city of Jerusalem. For the first nine years of their existence however, they dug beneath the ancient temple, excavating an ancient network of tunnels. The Ark of the Covenant3 was supposed to be housed in this temple before the city was sacked by eastern invaders.
It's thought that the Knights Templar come across some ancient knowledge while they were excavating that may have originally come from Egypt or, as some have hypothesised, Atlantis.The knowledge was in the form of many things but most noticeably, to those in the Middle Ages, architecture. Gothic cathedrals sprung up throughout Europe in designs never seen before, one of the first being Chartres which employed flying buttresses. This is an architectural design feature which allowed for more space in the interior of churches and larger stained glass windows.
The Templars became extremely powerful over rather a short period of time, mostly thanks to the work of the priest named Bernard de Clairvaux (later St Bernard), who introduced them to Pope Honorius II, who eventually made them answerable to only him.
Upon their return to France, armed with what they had found, they grew strongly in number, gathering great quantities of gifts in lands and titles. Noblemen and peasants alike flocked to join the ranks of these knights who would then grant their own lands to the Order in the spirit of the brotherhood. Many noblemen who didn't want to join a crusade donated their lands to the cause in exchange for a quick passage to Heaven.