The River Lot and its tributaries, have carved their way through the causses (limestone plateaux), giving way to stunning gorges, oak forests and rich farmlands. They are home to a huge diversity of plants, insects and butterflies, reptiles, mammals and birds. The locality is particularly known for its orchids. There are over twenty species to be found in the Causses and many can be discovered at Les Teyssonnières and on walks in the surrounding area.
In addition to the unspoiled wildlife in the Causses du Quercy Natural Regional Park, within an hour by car you can reach a number of beautiful towns and villages which are fantastic locations for photography, shopping, food and sightseeing. Several of ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ – the 100 most beautiful villages in France, including St Cirq Lapopie, Najac, Bruniquel, Conques, Puycelsi and Belcastel, are within a short drive (St Cirq Lapopie being only ten minutes away). Each village is unique, with many featuring stunning architecture, narrow cobbled streets, amazing views, riverside settings, castles, churches and fortifications.
The 'beau village' of Belcastel
Local produce markets are a feature of the region and offer a wide variety of local, seasonal fruit and vegetables, wines, clothing and much more. Special truffle markets are held in Limogne en Quercy and Lalbenque over the winter months. They are a colourful spectacle of local tradition with buyers frantically bartering over truffles once the church bell rings to start the sale! Jamie Oliver visited the Causses (Cahors, Limogne and Bach) in his 'Jamie does the French Pyrenees' programme. This is worth looking up on YouTube if you would like to get a taste for the food attractions of the locality.
Our regional administrative centre of Cahors is well worth a visit in itself with its rich architecture and heritage. Home of the 14th Century Pont Valentré, a medieval fortified stone bridge (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) crossing the River Lot. There are large markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays outside the Cathedral, along with brocantes (antique markets) at the Boulevard Léon Gambetta. Cahors is world renowned for the Malbec wine produced here. Tours and wine tasting are available at many vineyards and we can arrange a visit to some excellent 'domaines' for you.
Pont Valentré, Cahors
There are many places to go and things to do within easy reach of the gîte, including:
• Walking, including the Chemin de St. Jacques de Compostelle pilgim route;
• Cycling, both on and off road;
• Visit the Peche Merle caves, famous for their prehistoric cave paintings of animals;
• River bathing, canoeing and Fishing on the Rivers Lot, and Célé;
• Visit the Parc Animalier de Gramat (a wildlife park with lots of European species in large enclosures) or the Rocher des Aigles bird of prey centre at Rocamadour;
• Truffle markets at Lalbenque and Limogne-en-Quercy;
• Brocantes – French antique markets;
• Numerous fetes and gourmand (food festival) events.