The Lot region

The Lot is at the northern extremity of the Midi-Pyrenees region, which stretches from the Dordogne valley to the Pyrenees and forms the heart of south west France. It has a rich and varied heritage, with differing landscapes, architecture, farming practices and traditions. Consequently, there is a lot to see in this lovely part of France.

La Grange is 10 minutes away by car from Figeac, renowned for the beauty of its old houses and with an exceptionally rich architectural and historical heritage. Its history goes back well over a thousand years to the foundation of a Benedictine abbey around which a settlement grew and prospered. By the 13th -14th centuries, Figeac was a thriving centre of trade and commerce.

Figeac is also the birthplace of Egyptologist, Jean-Francois Champollion, the interpreter and translator of the Rosetta Stone. A magnificent museum dedicated to him was opened in 2007 and is well worth a visit.

The River Lot is one of the loveliest in France and meanders between white cliffs and green plains to join the Garonne in the west of France. The Lot is still a navigable river in parts and cruises along it are possible from nearby La Grange.

Medieval castles, prehistoric caves and historic villages abound in the countryside around Figeac Some of the best known sites which are well worth visiting are:

  • Les Arques – the museum of well know sculptor & painter, Zadkine
  • Rocamadour – well-known pilgrimage, and a ‘World heritage’ site
  • Gouffre de Padirac – underground caves, accessible by boat
  • Sarlat – ancient town full of lovely architecture, cafes & artists
  • Grottes du Pech-Merle – famous cave drawings
  • St Cirq Lapopie – hilltop village with lovely old buildings & craft shops
  • Autoire/Loubressac – two of the loveliest villages in France
  • Conques – also one of the ‘Best Villages’ in France
  • Collonges la Rouge – interesting village built in red stone
  • Cahors – a fascinating Roman town with a roman bridge over the Lot

The vineyards of Cahors, Entraygues and Gaillac are also nearby.

Literary, theatre and music festivals are widespread throughout the Lot region during the summer months. The most well-known are:

  • Festival of Blues in Cahors every July
  • St Cere Classical Music and Opera Festival every August
  • Figeac Festival de Musique every August

Figeac and the local area

Figeac has a good mix of supermarkets, shops and banks with the nearest supermarket, L’Eclerc, only five minutes away by car from La Grange. There are numerous places to eat of differing styles, qualities and prices in and around Figeac – a descriptive list of recommended ones is included in the Information Folders.

If you are interested in visiting French markets, it would be possible for you to go to one nearby La Grange every day of the week. However, the two most popular and situated in picturesque market squares are at Figeac on Saturdays and at Villefranche de Rouergue on Thursdays

For those who want to do more than laze by the pool there are plenty of sporting and adventure activities within easy distance of the house:

  • Golf – there are 3 golf courses within 45 minutes’ drive away – two 18 hole courses and one 9 hole course. All can provide clubs and trolleys for hire.
  • Tennis – there are riverside tennis clubs in Capdenac Gare (5 minutes away) and in Figeac (10 minutes away). We can book courts for you.
  • Canoeing/kayaking/rafting – locally on both the Lot and Cele rivers and a little further afield on the Dordogne.
  • Adventure parks – there is an excellent adventure park in Figeac offering a wide variety of adventure activities for all ages – adults & children.
  • Fishing – you may fish anywhere in season. Permits can easily be obtained on a daily/weekly basis.
  • Hiking/walking – there is excellent hiking and walking country all around Figeac as well as good walks from the La Grange
  • Cycling/mountain biking – if you want to be more energetic, bikes can be hired in Figeac
  • Horse riding – there are two excellent riding schools nearby

More information about other attractions in Figeac and the Lot can be found on the following websites:

Midi Pyrenees – official site of the Regional Tourism Committee

Figeac – Office de Tourisme, Figeac Communaute.