By: Edward Dye
The Lot Valley located in rural France survives on tourism and vine. Though it is young and lively, it is a traditional place. The Malbec vineyards, medieval villages and splendid views, along with busy and colorful market towns, offer many things to do in the Lot Valley.
The boutique hotels and restaurants are pleasant. You can walk between the various places in Lot Valley, or drive along its peaceful streets, or sail on its river, to enjoy the attractions that it has to offer. Lot et Garonne and departments of Lot are covered by the western stretches of Lot.
Pujols is a thirteenth century village located on a high ridge, and gives panoramic views of the valley. It portrays the typical architecture of the locality. The well-known Lou Calel restaurant is an excellent dining place with local fare.
Penne d'Agenais is another medieval village, where you can meet craftsmen and artists. You can see town gates, rampart remains and hill top views in this village, which is among the most wonderful places in France. Going eastwards to the cliff country, the St Cirq Lapopie is a significant place, with steep cobbled streets, medieval houses with tiled roofs, and balconies draped with flowers. The rock-top above the village gives a general view of the entire valley.
You can taste black wine and foie gras from the Cahors vineyards, as you stroll along the medieval town to get a glimpse of the small thematic gardens in the lanes.
At the cathedral, you can see original paintings of the middle ages, behind the nave, and also the marble font and the pulpit. You can have a look at Roman remains unearthed from an underground car parking lot, at Gambetta Square. From the river bank, the fortified Valentre Bridge, seen on postcards is visible. There are many more things to do in Lot Valley, such as going on a river cruise, sailing along the river banks as ducks and herons flutter around, and enjoying the amazing limestone cliffs. Self-drive boats and canoes are available.
At the water lily garden at Temple sur Lot, you can enjoy the colorful reflections that probably inspired the popular Monet paintings. Bonaguil is an interesting castle with ninety nine steps to reach its top. It has many defences, but it was never attacked and had no strategic value too. The view is excellent, and is worth the effort taken to reach the top.
Pech-Merle cave claims to have a few of the finest paintings of the prehistoric era in France, which includes the Black Frieze, showing twenty five animals, on a seven-meter-long area.
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