These exceptional places such as the Gouffre de Padirac, the Grotte de Pech Merle, Rocamadour and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie are all famous in the Lot and are well worth a visit.
But with a bite of curiosity, the Lot will reveal hidden treasures and give you other totally unexpected emotions..
Whether it is this magnificent Dordogne valley, these small intimate valleys of the Vers, of the Ouysse, these causses so contrasted and bewitching, all these small paths, this rural heritage... everything, here, is water, stone, light, earth and men.
It is not by chance that the Lot can pride itself on hosting sensitive natural areas, a Regional Park and more recently a Geopark !
You don't have to go far to be amazed... Everything you love is there, just a few steps away, a few kilometres away... And often, far from the crowd...
Let your curiosity guide you!
The land of the Lot, mainly limestone, gives free rein to water. Present on the surface, it can disappear (losses), only to reappear a few kilometres further on (resurgences).
It shapes the rock like a sculptor. Whether it is the splendid cliffs of the Dordogne valley, the caves decorated with astonishing stalagmites or stalactites, the more or less accessible underground rivers, the tuffs born of the magical alchemy of water and karst, water is there, alive, imaginative and expressive.
It has carved out valleys that are now emblematic of our region: the Dordogne, the Célé, the Lot, and the more intimate ones such as the Vers, the Alzou, the Ouysse.
People frequents them to feed himself, to relax, to create unique emotions (leave the chlorinated pools behind and rediscover the sensation of living water...). But he also knows how to keep it (St Nympahise lake) because it is rare.
It is impossible to ignore stone when staying in the Lot.
Omnipresent, it is the result of the work of water, but also of the work of humans: low dry stone walls, caselles/gariottes, barns, rural houses, bourgeois houses, pigeon houses. It will give you the secret of a sea present here millions of years ago (look for the shell in the living room of the gite...) and remains the witness of those who lived there a few thousand years ago (stones cut by Homo Sapiens, dolmens...)
The light of the Lot is powerful, warm, and it also knows how to caress you by associating itself with the softness of the air at the end of these beautiful summer days (ideal conditions to discover handgliding in Floirac!!).
It is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the mind and the imagination. Look at it when you get up, when you walk, at aperitif time. It is never the same.
Let it light up the water and admire the changing reflections, the intensity of these blues and greens that mix and change throughout the day (resurgences).
And when it sets, it gives way to an incredible spectacle: a deep black sky, one of the purest in France and thus illuminated by millions of stars. Give your favour to these small "Starry Village" in the Black Triangle: they play the game of switching off their public lighting to limit night-time pollution and set up spaces dedicated to observing the constellation.
It's impossible to ignore the green, undulating, hedged landscapes and the limestone plateaus of the Causses, which make up the richness of this multiple geography. Set out to explore this land! Whether on foot, by bike or on horseback.
Go and meet the pastoralism, the open spaces and the quality agricultural and craft practices.
Because here, the earth is nourishing: agriculture is one of the main economic activities of the Lot. It allows people to assert their originality by offering products of a very high quality: lamb and duck meat, Cahors and Côtes du Lot wines, goat's and sheep's cheese, saffron, truffles, fruit and vegetables (Carennac plums, melons).
Discover all these talented specialities (my "Favourites" guide of these producers is available at the gîte) and make your holiday a moment of pure delight.
But this land is also home to exceptional fauna and flora, endemic to the valleys, cliffs and limestone plateaus. All you have to do is walk, look, observe and listen. And you will be rewarded !
Finally, this land holds the mystery of its subsoil, so particular to the Lot: its galleries and underground rivers which provide local, French and foreign speleologists with exceptional sites. But also the chasms (how can we not mention Padirac), these « igues » (that of Planagrèze). Numerous paths dedicated to geology will take you to a very distant history. When you walk, ask yourself what you have under your feet. Here too, your curiosity will be rewarded !
It is a unique sensation: to walk on the land where Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens probably crossed paths!
Whether it is at the Pech Merle or Cougnac caves (for their parietal ornaments), whether it is at the Chapelle aux Saints, or at the small museum of Piage the emotion is there, Immense !
Then, going down the ladder of time, dolmens, medieval villages (Rocamadour, of course, and Carennac a Benedictine town with its pretty little cloister), Renaissance castles (the little "pearl" of Montal), rural villages that bear witness to a disappeared agriculture ("Musée éclaté" of Cardaillac, or the site of Cuzals), mills on the Alzou and Ouysse valleys (Cougnaguet), WWII war sites (Gabaudet near Issendolus), museums of contemporary artists (Jean Lurçat Museum – tapestry, or Zadkine – sculpture) will tell you the history of the Lot.
And you will contemplate a rich and varied heritage.
Without forgetting the people of today of course: they carry the torch of a people attached to its traditions, its land, its nature, but also turned towards the future. Go and meet them in the small producers' markets, at flea markets, during music/theatre festivals, in the various outings organised by passionate specialists (see the documentations: Causseries du Quercy, Planète Lot).
They will make you love the Lot as much as they love it !
In this page "Discoveries and Activities", I wanted to show you the Lot and make you feel its atmosphere, as I live it and as it charms me daily.
Of course, La Bocagère will provide you with all the necessary documentation for good addresses, and the essential information for the organisation of your outings and visits.
ou will also find very complete information on the following sites :
As well as in all the nearest tourist offices: Rocamadour / L'Hospitalet, Gramat, Carennac.
46500 Thégra, Lot, France
Certified Refuges LPO
in the heart of the Natural Park
of the Causses du Quercy
+ 33 06 7908 9485