Variable depending on accommodation
the best period
Spring, Summer, and Autumn
Discovering Cahors and its unmissable attractions
Cahors' southern atmosphere is in evidence on market day, while its rich history is clear to see in front of the Pont Valentré bridge or its cathedral. The gateway to the Cahors vineyard, it's an ideal place for a weekend in Lot.
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On Saturday mornings, Place de la cathédrale in Cahors is the place to be!
For 700 years and in all weather, Cahors market has taken place at the foot of the magnificent Cathedral of Saint-Etienne.
This market is the pride of the local area, and has an impressive list of achievements, it must be said: in 1996, it was listed among the exceptional markets of France. More recently, it was included in the 25 most beautiful markets of France in "Votre Plus Beau Marché de TF1", a campaign to highlight the country's best markets.
After a quick look around, it's clear that there's a huge choice and it will be hard to resist temptation!
Traditional traders rub shoulders with local farmers and the stalls everywhere are colourful and brighten up the square.
As you have no doubt guessed, here the charcuterie is artisanal, the fruit and vegetables are picked on the eve of the market or on the day itself, and the farmers love to share and show their products.
So you stroll along, smell, taste... and shop!
The market lasts until 1 pm but is busiest between 11 am and midday. The whole of Cahors and the surrounding area get together there.
Trolleys vie with wicker baskets, queues form in front of some traders' stalls and empty shopping bags cross paths with full ones.
Striking up a conversation by a stall is a local habit. Indeed, locals come here to shop but also to meet people and shoot the breeze.
Did you know ?
Pastis, a local speciality
A familiar sight at the market, this is nothing to do with the aniseed drink of the same name. Here, pastis is a famous apple cake with extremely thin pastry. You can imagine the skill it takes to make it. One small detail: the apples are marinated in vieille prune brandy. Mmmm! This recipe isn't given freely, it's a secret which can only be passed on down families, if they're lucky!
On a Saturday afternoon, nothing beats spending time at the Cahors Malbec Lounge, the official place to find information about Cahors wines and taste them.
With its resolutely modern aesthetic, the atmosphere in this space is that of a wine bar where you can enjoy a tasting at a table or at the bar. A team of hosts is available to tell you more about the appellation, terroirs and history of the vineyard, and also to assist you during your tasting.
An excellent way to learn about some great wineries!
To really get a sense of a town, it's good to stroll around its streets. Cahors lends itself wonderfully to this little game.
Boulevard Gambetta, the main street, separates the more recent part from Cahors old town. It's the ideal place to enjoy a drink on a bar terrace or go shopping on the neighbouring streets.
To discover the town's old houses, beautiful half-timbered homes, carved doors and secret gardens, don't hesitate to wander around the old quarter.
To complete your tour of Cahors, be sure to visit the Pont Valentré. This famous medieval bridge with 3 towers is the pride of Cahors. A remarkable example of medieval architecture, the Pont Valentré is listed among France's Monuments Historiques (national heritage sites). Since 1998, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site in connection with the Paths of the Way of St. James.
It is fully pedestrianised so feel free to venture onto its arches. Just next to it is the Fontaine des Chartreux, a spring that supplies the town's drinking water and is also worth a look.
You can't leave Cahors without taking a look at the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne and its cloister. Built at the start of the 12th century, it is distinguished by its Romanesque portal with a remarkable carved tympanum, as well as its nave covered by two cupolas which are 16 m wide and 32 m tall. A real technical feat, they are the biggest in the South-West.
As for the cloister, it's a pure marvel of the Flamboyant Gothic style. Near the cloister, the Chapel of Saint-Gausbert, with its 16th-century murals, and the archdeaconry, a remarkable group of Renaissance homes, are well worth a look.
Like the Pont Valentré, the cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.