- The spirit
of Le Rêve
- Weekend &
- Get inspired
Vacations are also an opportunity to learn about a new culture, architecture and local history. It is difficult to select among our treasures of the Lot! Of course, it can’t be exhaustive and I encourage you to go to the tourist offices for more information. Here is my selection of must-sees and especially my favourites. I apologize to all those who are not mentioned here…
They are numerous! The ‘Gouffre de Padirac’, the must see, unique in Europe. We liked the caves of Lacave in which we enter with a small train. It presents a room illuminated with black light, which enhances the droplets. The cave of Pech Merle is one of the few original decorated caves that can still be visited. It is remarkable for its horse panel and negative hand. One should not pass by Lascaux which does not have many rivals with its frescoes of several meters, stunning! Our favourite however comes back to the cave of Cougnac. Special mention to Francis who makes us discover this jewel with such intensity that I felt like a Neanderthal during the visit.
Lovers of prehistory, you are here in a territory largely occupied by our ancestors. They left their traces here, go to meet them. Our selection which makes it possible to satisfy adults and children.
The ‘maison du Piage’ in the nearby village of Fajoles offers workshops for children: painting, excavation, making ornaments or musical instruments…
The ‘archeosite des Fieux’ near Gramat, site used for hunting and habitat since the Neanderthal man. Proposal of workshops for children.
My favourite reading: the novel by Jean M Auel “Earth’s children”.
The geographical position of the region and its topography with valleys and hills have given rise to many castles. You have the choice between medieval castles or slightly more recent but equally spectacular buildings. We particularly recommend the Château de Fénelon.
For families with young children, we recommend the castle of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle, which corresponds to the imagination of our youngest children. Spiral staircase, small rooms with nooks and crannies, weapons room and above all outdoor activities and catapults “for real”!
We are in the land of nuts. You can visit a hazelnut grove like the Organic Farm of Bennet in Payrac whose products you will find in our grocery store.
We also very much enjoyed the visit of the oil mill of Les Fumades. In 1h30, you have excellent explanations and especially a real demonstration of oil production, ideal to understand the stages of production. Visit suitable for children.
Don’t miss the detour to the ‘Musée du patrimoine agricole et automobile’. The name is not the most appealing especially for kids, but the content is a real eye-catcher! Benoît is a passionate person and he knows how to transmit his passion to his visitors. He started his collection at the age of 16 when he bought his grandfather’s old tractor. Since then, he has been accumulating all kinds of vehicles and objects that he stages to explain how his grandparents worked. There’s something for everyone, even children!
The label of the Plus beaux villages de France speaks for itself, we have 13 of them around us! You can make marathon outings by combining them or take the time to discover them one by one. On the Dordogne side, you have Domme, La Roque-Gageac, Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and Beynac-et-Cazennac. Around the Dordogne valley, on the Lot side, you have Carennac, Loubressac and Autoire. To the south and east of the department, you have Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Capdenac and Cardaillac. Going up north on the Corrèze, you can go to Collonges-la-rouge, Curemonte and Turenne. My preference is to take advantage of each over a day and spread out the visits…even if it means coming back to see us !!!
In the same spirit of sharing, visit the Moulin de Cougnaguet. It is located on the way to Rocamadour, a small oasis in the middle of nowhere! It is a water mill that produces flour. You will be greeted by madame and monsieur will give you a tour. There too you will deal with passionate people who are in the sharing of their passion. The visit is interesting for the children who will really see the mechanisms at work and will be able to touch the flour, the result of the mill’s production.
We like the serenity of the Jardins d‘Eyrignac. We fell in love with the nursery, where they shape the shrubs before transplanting them in the garden. In 2021, there is an exhibition of monumental wooden sculptures by Christian Lapie. It’s also a quite playful place for children. As for the Jardins de Marqueyssac, they combine French-style gardening to the much wilder plot. The children loved the Via Ferrata and the games in the park, I loved the view of the Dordogne valley and the castles around!
In addition to all these places, there are also occasional appointments, celebrations and festivals. Our hosts especially like the Medieval of Gourdon the first week of August, really very nice with the children. The older ones will appreciate the colors of the festival of the plants at the Abbaye Nouvelle at the beginning of May. And it will be useful to find out about votive festivals, yard sales, music festivals… Follow the news with the agenda of the tourist offices.