“The Lot-et-Garonne is perhaps the France that you always hoped existed but could never quite find - medieval villages and sunflower fields, quiet roads and small farms in gently rolling countryside. One of the 'best kept secrets' in France!”
An hour and a half away is the city of Bordeaux. It is the capital of Aquitaine, and with nearly a quarter of a million inhabitants, the city is the 9th largest in France.Very cosmopolitan, full of beautiful buildings and extensive shopping areas, just the place to hit the credit card. The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital and in 2015 won the ‘European Best Destination’ award.
Two hours away is the resort area of Arcachon Bay. With its fabulous beaches and the largest sand dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat, the area is well worth a visit. Well known in France for oyster harvesting.
This delightful medieval village, in the heart of the world-famous Bordeaux vineyards, has a status all of its own thanks to many famous vineyards, superb wines, impressive monuments, and beautiful architecture.
Wine has been grown here since the 2nd Century, when the Romans found that the limestone soil produced the perfect grape. We recently saw a bottle of Chateau Petrus 1948 for sale in a wine merchants in the town for 12,000€!
A fascinating town to wander around, with some stunning architecture and cobbled streets. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated on the Dordogne river, just 25 minutes away, the town of Bergerac is famous for its wine and was the centre of France’s tobacco industry.
The famous Monbazillac wines come from here. A vibrant town, it can easily be discovered on foot. Lots of winding alleys and great restaurants.
Further to the east, approximately 100 kms away, is the medieval town of Sarlat-le-Canéda. Said to be the 3rd most visited town in France.
It is the capital of the Foie Gras industry, and a visit to any of Sarlat’s many excellent restaurants will confirm this. In a nutshell, you had better like duck!
It’s market on a Saturday is huge, with everything from wine, fruit, vegetables to art and crafts.
Originally built in the 12th century, the Chateau of Duras is well worth a visit. There are several good restaurants in Duras, and for wine lovers the exhibition and shop at the Maison des Vignerons is a must.
For chocaholics, a visit to Maison Guinguet to sample and buy their hand made chocolates is an absolute must!!
When visiting Sarlat, drive across country and you will also see the Bastide towns of Issigeac and Beaumont-du-Perigord.On your return, drive south to the stunning fortified Bastide of Domme, where many of the Knights Templar were imprisoned in 1307. Then drive back through Beynac along the Dordogne and on almost every bend in the river, you will see stunning Castles and Chateaux.
Other Towns to Visit
It is difficult to pick out just a few towns to visit, as the whole area is full of fantastic places. The Bastides of Monségur, Eymet, Montflanquin, Monpazier, Villeréal and Laparade are well worth a visit and Pujols, on the River Lot, is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
Allemans-du-dropt, right on the doorstep, this pretty village boasts a small church with a series of frescoes painted in the 15th century.