The Célé, Lot and Dordogne Valley landscapes.
Heritage: a town of art and history, Figeac, a clifftop medieval village, Rocamadour.
An introduction and opportunity to sample the Lot's outstanding produce.
the best period
Spring and Summer
A town of art and history, Figeac, a clifftop medieval village, Rocamadour, a good dose of curiosity and a thirst for unspoilt and quiet nature. You're ready to explore the Célé, Lot and Dordogne Valley landscapes and heritage. Meet people, take your time, experience the Lot's outstanding produce, make like Jules Verne and journey to the centre of the earth or soar over the Dordogne Valley in a hot-air balloon… your "fabulous voyage" in the Lot awaits!
After arriving in Champollion's hometown of Figeac the night before, soak up the peace and quiet of the early morning in this medieval town as the fog lifts over the romantic Célé Valley, carves into the causse and reveals its treasures.
Figeac wakes up to its colourful market on Saturday morning. It's a lively foodie experience bursting with the Lot's signature flavours and aromas. Listen to the local accent, have a drink on the terrace, soak up the atmosphere, indulge in local specialities and chat with producers who will happily spill the beans about their produce! What a way to work up an appetite!
Is it lunchtime? Make up a picnic with the market's fantastic local produce and feast your eyes on the Célé Valley views. Tuck in and chill out!
Spend the afternoon exploring Figeac's fabulous heritage in a town of art and history where the past meets the present. Be dazzled by its medieval houses and manors, lose yourself in its narrow winding lanes, relax with a drink on a terrace on one of the little squares in the protected area or step into the Champollion - World Writing Museum, a wonderful exhibition and source of local pride.
Don't miss Place des Écritures either. The square is a sight for sore eyes covered by a huge black granite slab: a reproduction of the Rosetta Stone, a stele inscribed with three versions of a decree in Ancient Egypt which helped decipher hieroglyphics in the 19th century.
Spend the evening experiencing gourmet seasonal dishes at the fine dining La Dinée du Viguier eatery approved by "Les Bonnes Tables du Lot". Young chef Anthony Carballo is passionate about the area and serves dishes made using seasonal produce and a heavy dose of regional inspiration: local foie gras "au naturel" and spiced malbec jelly, Quercy roast lamb with wild garlic, broad beans and wild minted peas... Our mouths are watering!
Le Soleilho B&B where Martine and Jean-Louis will give you a warm welcome and top tips during your stay. The beautiful 14th century medieval B&B has just 4 spacious rooms each with their own cosy and classy interiors in the heart of the old town.
Make your way to the Dordogne Valley with a stop in Rocamadour (46km), a world-famous medieval clifftop village and a show-stopper clinging 120m above a canyon with the Alzou running below.
Rocamadour inspired admiration back in the Middle Ages and pilgrims flocked here from all over Europe to pray in the 12th century. The village was home to Saint Amadour's relics (a famous hermit who found solitude in Rocamadour!).
Have lunch at Les Troubadours where Marie-José picks the best local produce to tickle your tastebuds. Signature dishes: foie gras au torchon and duck breast in Cahors wine sauce!
Soar over the Dordogne Valley, the river and châteaux in a hot-air balloon to the sound of the wind. Take off at the bottom of Rocamadour then, as the hot-air balloon gains ground and glides over the sanctuary, magic happens!
Back on terra ferma, visit La Ferme la Borie d'Imbert and meet passionate farmers making Rocamadour AOP cheese (Protected Designation of Origin). A fun-filled trail reveals the secrets behind making it.
Gouffre de Padirac is a chasm just 14km away and the next stop on your exciting adventure in 3 dimensions. Welcome to the depths of the earth! Now this is one "fabulous voyage" you won't forget as you journey 103m underground in France's biggest chasm. Set sail on an underground river boat to explore one of the most fascinating chasms in Europe.
Nothing beats a traditional dinner on-site at L’Auberge du Gouffre to get your feet back on the ground before you head to bed. Tuck into home cooking celebrating the region's produce: foie gras, Quercy lamb, fresh sausages, Lot salad and vegetarian options. An entire menu that will put a smile on your face!
Your accommodation is the Gîtes de France-awarded (3 ears of corn rating) La Grange in Padirac: 2 gypsy caravan rentals with a swimming pool in the great outdoors and a 10 minute walk from the Gouffre de Padirac deep in the Causses du Quercy Regional Nature Park. Feast your eyes on the purest sky in France in the famous "Quercy black triangle" where the stars shine bright! Keep the magic alive and book one or two extra nights in the 5ha estate surrounded by meadows and forests... Little ones will love meeting the donkeys, Bambi, Chacha and Paulo, whilst the many nearby footpaths and mountain bike trails will make you hungry for adventure.