Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

Lot: an insider’s guide

PUBLISHED: 13:17 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:17 14 March 2017

Cahors (c) Pase4 | Dreamstime.com

Cahors (c) Pase4 | Dreamstime.com

(c) Pase4 | Dreamstime.com

An insider’s guide to Lot in Occitanie, including the main attractions to visit on holiday, the best towns and villages to live in, the major festivals and events, and buying property in Lot

Lot shares a border with Dordogne and is often compared to its hugely popular neighbour. While Dordogne is better known, Lot can more than hold its own and is becoming increasingly popular with those looking to escape the ‘Dordogneshire’. So much more than just a bridge between Dordogne and the sunny climes of the former region of Languedoc-Roussillon, the Lot department is in fact an area of outstanding natural beauty which forms part of the stunning Lot valley.

Holidaymakers and expats searching for a French property in Lot can expect quaint villages bathed in sunshine, heritage, gorgeous food and wine, stunning scenery and fascinating caves to explore. If that isn’t enough, prospective homeowners can also anticipate affordable property and the quintessential French laidback lifestyle.

Map Of France Lot (c) Ministere de l'InterieurMap Of France Lot (c) Ministere de l'Interieur

Getting here

Plane: The nearest airport is in Brive-la-Gaillarde in the Corrèze department with seasonal flights from the UK or the airports of Toulouse, Bordeaux and Limoges have regular flights from the UK.

By train: Eurostar and then jump on the TGV to Montauban then regional services to Lot

By road: Cahors is an 863km drive from Calais

Places to visit in Lot

Cahors (c) Dominique VIET - CRTCahors (c) Dominique VIET - CRT

Cahors, the capital of the department, combines old and new, with its medieval and newly built parts standing side by side in perfect harmony. The city’s iconic feature has to be the Pont Valentré, an impressive 14th-century bridge with arched gateways and three towers which span the river. A well-trodden part of the route to Santiago de Compostela in the Middle Ages, it is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is easy to while away a day exploring the city with its ‘secret gardens’, medieval arcades and Renaissance houses.

Lovers of pretty French villages, certainly won’t be disappointed when in Lot. Located to the north of the department capital is the picture-postcard village of St-Cirq Lapopie. Designated as one of the country’s Plus Beaux Villages and is home to 13 historical monuments, it perches on a cliff high above a bend in the river and seems to reach up and touch the sky. Enchanting and charming, the village truly is the stuff of fairy tales and casts a spell over all those who have the chance to visit.

Saint Cirq Lapopie (c) Dominique VIET - CRTSaint Cirq Lapopie (c) Dominique VIET - CRT

There’s also the village of Cabrerets, in an impressive cliff side setting and the spot where you can visit the Pech Merle caves, one of the very few caves in France with prehistoric paintings that remains open to the public

Not listed as a Plus Bleaux Village but certainly not to be missed is the stunning village of Rocamadour. The village is on the Saint-Jacques pilgrimage route and visitors come to see the statues of the Black Virgin and the tomb on Saint-Armadour. Walking the patchwork of alleyways of this ancient pilgrimage site is magical.

Rocamadour (c) FreesurfRocamadour (c) Freesurf

The towns of Figeac and Gourdon are also worth a visit. The historic gem of Figeac has small, pretty palaces dating back between the 13th-16th centuries which are a wonder to see. While in Gourdon admire the yellow stone properties that dot the town, walk the ramparts of the former fortified castle, shop for local delicacies at the town’s frequent street markets and visit the world famous Cougnac’s cave.

Things to do in Lot

Figeac © Dominique VIET - CRTFigeac © Dominique VIET - CRT

The south-east of the department follows the meandering Lot Valley between Figeac and Cahors, and largely forms part of the Regional Natural Park of the Causses de Quercy. Also the Regional National Park of Causses, stretching over 97 towns, boasts a varied landscape including caves, abysses and underground rivers to explore.

The vast lush countryside is perfect for nature lovers and water sport enthusiasts. Outdoor activities popular in Lot include hiking, mountain biking, climbing, horse riding and golf. In the summer, the River Lot, partly running through Lot Valley, is frequently full with people canoeing and kayaking.

Wine lovers rejoice, the vineyards in and around Cahors produce large quantities of internationally renowned red wine (often called black wine) with the dominant variety being the Malbec. Other regional dishes include foie gras and mique, a soft, bread-like substance made with milk, eggs and duck fat.

Buying property in Lot

The department of Lot is becoming increasingly popular with Brits due to affordable property, the relaxed pace of life and the beautiful scenery and features that can be admired in the department’s town and villages.

The typical property styles found in Lot include Quercy houses, rectangular shaped properties holding a chimney, a long façade wall, shed dormers, covered terrace and a pigeonnier (dovecote) and some may have a swimming pool. There are also bastide houses, charming and attractive properties with exposed stone brickwork, character features and shutters, buried in the department’s countryside.

The average property price in this department is around €136,400, slightly less expensive than the average property price in France (€157,600) and one of the cheapest departments to purchase property in the Occitanie region.

As you may expect property prices do vary throughout Lot, with the most expensive being the department’s historic capital Cahors with an average property price of €149,900, while the towns of Gourdon and Figeac have average property prices of €107,000 and €117,500 respectively.

You can find properties in Lot for sale on the France Property Shop website.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Travel

Fri, 16:00

There’s more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, as author and blogger Lindsey Tramuta proves with her off-the-beat guide to the city’s best-kept secrets

Read more
Paris
Fri, 15:22

Known for its laid-back elegance, Montpellier is an enchanting southern city with plenty to rival its glitzy Côte d’Azur cousins. Here’s our insider’s guide to the main attractions, restaurants and property in Montpellier

Read more
Languedoc-Roussillon
Friday, April 21, 2017

From arts festivals to wonderful food markets, there is plenty to do in Provence this summer

Read more
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, spring has sprung in France! Take a look at how stunning France is in the spring

Read more
Paris
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

From amazing swimming pools to entertaining kids’ clubs, these are the 11 reasons a family camping holiday in France is the perfect choice for your next family holiday

Read more
Family holidays
Thursday, April 13, 2017

From the spectacular, 14th-century papal palace to the renowned performing-arts festival, there is plenty to see and do in Avignon in the south of France

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Picturesque fishing ports and beautiful sea views…the French coast is full of charming little towns. Here are some of France’s prettiest coastal villages.

Read more
Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur
Monday, April 10, 2017

If you’re planning a driving holiday in France then you might want to consider leasing a car rather than a traditional car rental - it could save you a lot of money

Read more
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ever dreamt of escaping it all? Discover these hidden islands off the French coast where you can enjoy true peace and quiet

Read more
French beaches
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Aude in south-west France offers a huge array of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to cycling and windsurfing, and so is the perfect place for your next holiday

Read more
Languedoc-Roussillon

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now