The Lot Valley is one of France's best kept secrets. From the beautiful town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot in the west, Cahors and Saint-Cirq Lapopie in the centre, to Mende in the east, this spectacular, ancient region is a wonderful place for a holiday.
This Green Travel Guide to the Lot Valley will show you how to make the most of a trip to the region. We have done the hard work for you - we have selected the best places to stay, from locally run hotels to self-catering apartments, and the best places to eat, from cafes to quality restaurants and village markets where you can buy fresh, local ingredients. We also feature a range of activities, from visiting hot-water pools to guided hikes and canoeing along the eponymous river.
We also provide detailed information on you how to reach the main gateways to the Lot Valley by train from the UK. With a simple change of station in Paris, you can get there easily in a day. See also: Top 5 Holiday Activities in the Lot Valley
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Cantal has a variety of water activities on offer, as well as beautiful walks and ecomuseums.
Run with the wolves and climb the trees in this deeply rural region.
A land of plenty and of tradition, Aveyron is a diverse natural area and the home of Laguiole Knives.
Called Land of Marvels, this area not only has an intimate relationship with the river but some of the world's first cave paintings.
Visit this outdoor lovers' paradise, ideal for cycling, hiking, canoeing and walking.
Map of the Lot Valley
The major towns and chateaux in the Lot Valley.
On one side the Mont Lozère, on the other the Garonne and in the middle flows a river, the Lot. Like a long blue ribbon, it weaves a unique strand of heritage, of culture and nature that has developed across five départements, to be explored at every meander of the river.
The Valley is a fabulous journey back in time: from the prehistoric caves of Pech Merle to the fortified châteaux and proud country houses which tell the tale of the Hundred Years War to the mining basin of Decazeville. The region is bathed in rich natural wonders with the high plateaux of the Aubrac, which look like the Mongolian steppes; the emerald lakes; the steep-sided gorges and the rich plains of the Aquitaine, with their vineyards and orchards…
Enjoy the region’s fine cuisine that mixes its deep French roots with exquisite wines and cheeses from local farmers. Stroll through the lovely countryside or take a bike ride through its vineyards and valleys. Or enjoy the river first hand, either by boat or on your own canoe.
All in all a magical and fragrant region, with character and lots waiting to be discovered.
Did you know?
- The Lot Valley is made up of five départements : Lozère, Cantal, Aveyron, Lot and Lot-et-Garonne
- It spans over 590 towns and villages with a permanent population of around 360 000 inhabitants
- There are over 6000 km of rivers and waterways in the Lot Valley
- The Lot river begins in Lozère, flows from Mont Goulet and ends in the Garonne at Aiguillon
- Water sports are very popular with over 500 000 water activities recorded per year, including swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and sailing