The houses occupy an elevated position and are situated on the edge of a hamlet, surrounded by delightful countryside, in the middle of a small farming and wine-producing community.
Le Vert is 3 kms from the village of Sauzet where there is a Boulangerie, General Store, Restaurant and Bar, Post Office and Doctor. For more shops and the Farmers’ Friday Market, Prayssac is just 20 minutes away, beside the River Lot. Cahors, only 14 miles to the east, is the historic capital of the Lot Departement and is famous for its fortified bridge, old town and domed Cathedral. Twenty minutes to the north-west is Puy l’Eveque, an attractive medieval town on a promontory overlooking the Lot river and reflected in its calm waters. To the south, ten minutes away by car, Montcuq is a little country town with a colourful Market on Sunday mornings.
The old name of the Departement of the Lot was Quercy and the adjective ‘Quercynoise’ is still used today to describe the architecture, craftwork and other elements typical of the Lot. The Quercy Blanc is an area of spectacular scenery ranging from craggy gorges to the gentler undulating countryside of the south-west with rural market towns, peaceful valleys, quiet roads and an unhurried pace of life. At almost every bend you will find attractive stone houses, with the characteristic roman canal tiled roofs of the area. The countryside of the Lot is quiet and uncrowded.
This land is the genuine sunny gateway to the South-West. Its winters are relatively mild, its springs and autumns are often marvellous, and it enjoys long, hot, dry summers.
Almost on the doorstep are the pretty villages along the River Lot including Albas, Luzech, Castelfranc and Douelle.
The ancient and beautiful city of Cahors is 14 miles from La Garenne and is the principal city of the Departement. Dating back to Roman times it is built in a loop of the River Lot and the medieval area remains a warren of narrow streets, at the centre of which is the magnificent 12th Century cathedral. The fortified Pont Valentre bridge over the river, has been designated as a World Heritage Site and is justly famous. Situated on the main tree-lined boulevard are numerous bars and restaurants spilling out onto the pavement and down the side lanes you will find interesting little shops and a large covered Market.
Swimmers and young children can enjoy lakes with sandy beaches at Montcuq, Catus and Montaigu de Quercy, and there is a small beach at Castelfranc from which you can swim in the river.
There are many attractive local walks, including two ’Circuit’ which pass through Le Vert, as well as the ‘Grand Randonne 36’ which travels up the Lot Valley, sometimes following the crests of the hills, sometimes following the valley floor. The rural environment and exceptional local architecture add real pleasure to walking or cycling in the Lot.
Sampling the local wines is another delightful distraction and gives an opportunity to meet the friendly local producers. You will find many domains and chateaux only too happy to receive visitors and offer a ‘degustation’. The rich dark Cahors wine, much loved by the Romans when they occupied this part of France, and later enjoyed by the Tsars of Russia, gains its character from the sunny slopes below the Causse or in the river valley. These days it is exported to China!
Last, but not least, the gastronomy here is part of the way of life, and the local delicacies include goose and duck confit, walnut gateau, foie gras, truffles and little round goats cheese called ‘cabecou’.
There are many good and inexpensive restaurants and ferme auberge in the area and we are happy to provide you with a list of our recommendations.
- Location: La Garenne is the ideal base for exploring the Lot Valley
- Sightseeing: picturesque towns and villages and spectacular natural scenery
- Activities: something for everyone – walking, boating, swimming
- Eating & drinking: good local restaurants, wine-tasting, local specialities
- Markets: farmers’ markets locally for six days out of seven
When driving from Calais (Ferry Terminal or Tunnel), we have the advantage of Autoroutes and dual carriageways for the major part of the journey. There is an Exit Junction for Cahors North from the A20 Autoroute. This journey can be achieved in a day’s driving if you do not wish to have an overnight stop. La Garenne is 21 kms from Cahors.
From Caen or St Malo the journey is slightly shorter.
Flights to Local Airports
Bergerac is our nearest Airport, which is to the north-west, and is a picturesque easy potter across country, taking about 1 hr 20 mins.
Toulouse is approx 1½ hrs by Autoroute and Bordeaux is about 2½ hrs drive. There are flights to our area from: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead, Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands, Southampton, Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Edinburgh and other UK Regional Airports.
Cahors has a Main Line Station with conventional fast trains from Paris. Alternatively, the TGV high-speed trains run from Paris via Bordeaux to Agen, which is 1 hour’s drive from La Garenne.