Lot and Dordogne in south west France
Situated near the village of Catus, our chambre d'hotes is in the Grand Cahors area of the Lot in southwest France, between Cahors with its vineyards on the river Lot and the beautiful town of Sarlat, north of Catus, in Dordogne.
Cahors, the vineyards and the Pont Valentre
Cahors is well-known for its deep ruby-red wines. Wine lovers will find numerous châteaux and vineyards all along the picturesque Lot valley. The producers are very happy to let you taste the wines and will sell to you directly from their caves. There is a vineyard trail from the west of Cahors along the Lot valley to the beautiful medieval town of Puy l’Évêque.
The largest market in the region is in Cahors (Wednesdays and Saturdays) and is well worth the visit. It takes place in the old part of the town around the cathedral, and has an excellent range of local produce on offer - including many local wines and cheeses. Cahors has a good selection of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants, museums, galleries and historic architecture.
The beautiful 14th-century “Pont Valentre” spans the River Lot and is the symbol of Cahors. It is the only fortified bridge in the world with three towers. We recommend exploring the River Lot from the water. There are many river boat trips and boats for hire, including canoeing and kayaking. Other popular sporting activities in the area are rambling, horse riding and mountain biking.
To the east of Cahors, sitting high above the Lot valley is Saint Cirq-Lapopie. The village has a maze of lanes filled with interesting craft shops, galleries and restaurants. As you meander between the attractive half-timbered, stone houses, there are many stunning views to enjoy of the Lot valley far below. This beautiful village was recently voted “Le village préféré des Français”.
The village of Rocamadour is quite extraordinary and is the most popular site in the Lot. The château and ramparts are at the highest point, with the sanctuary, churches and museum on the next level down, and nestling just above the Alzou Gorge are the village houses, clinging on to the side of the rocks below.
Gouffre de Padirac and Grotte du Pech-Merle
Nearby, visit some of the famous grottos and caves in the Causse du Quercy, the 103 metre underground river of the Gouffre de Padirac. And many others including the Grotte du Pech-Merle have prehistoric paintings and engravings on display.
Catus and Lac Vert
The River Vert runs through the charming village of Catus and through the Lac Vert leisure lake. Catus, once a fortified town, boasts a beautiful, historic 16th century church and has many amenities, these include a post office, bank, small supermarket, bakery, butcher, pharmacy, newsagent, vinotier, hair salon, tourist office, restaurant and a popular Tuesday morning market.
As well as swimming and fishing in the lake, the Lac Vert has pedaloes and canoes for hire. It also has a lakeside café bar by the beach, and two restaurants with views overlooking the water. Free activities at the lake include two floodlit tennis courts, a basketball / five-a-side football court, a football pitch, volleyball and table tennis.
For the more sporty and adventurous, bikes are available for hire locally, to explore the wonderful French countryside, cycling through the beautiful vineyards of the Lot valley.
South of Sarlat in the department of Dordogne, and in the Périgord Noir, is the bastide of Domme, a fortified medieval town. Perched high on a rocky outcrop with an altitude of 215 metres, Domme has with magnificent views overlooking the beautiful, meandering Dordogne river valley. Bastide towns were usually built to a rectangular city plan, but due to the surrounding terrain the bastide of Domme was adapted and built to a trapezoid shaped city plan. Domme has retained its historical character with the Place de la Halle or Market Hall Square and the Place de La Rode being two examples of beautiful medieval architecture in Domme.