The Lot Valley South West France

February 10, 2014 by
Filed under: France, Lot Cycling holidays 

The Lot Valley in the Lot Department

The Lot Valley actually runs across five department of south west France. From its source in Lozère through Cantal, Aveyron, the Lot and ends around Fumel in the Lot-et-Garonne. The river itself continues onwards where it joins the river Garonne and on to Bordeaux and the Atlantic. In all about 500kms in length.
These departments have joined forces to promote the Lot valley as a whole but to my mind the best part of the valley is actually in the Lot department (probably because I know this section best).

Lot Valley Map

There is a velo route (bike route) from Cahors in the east to Fumel in the west, a section of this from Cahors to Puy L’Eveque. This was the old site of the Cahors Bishops Palace.  This bike route has been named the Cahors Wine Trail as it passes through the main Cahors vineyards which straddle the river Lot. These vineyards were originally planted by the Romans and despite various diseases and hard frosts still remain, although extensive replanting has taken place. There used to be vines all over the Lot department but now they are mostly along the Lot Valley where the majority is of the Malbec variety. In order to be a Cahors wine they must be at least 70% Malbec (if not 100%) and then only Merlot and Tannat grapes varieties added.

From Cahors east there is an old tourist railway complete with tracks that were last used in 2005 after which it was moth balled until in 2010 a final decision was made to close permanently. Our Lot Valley Vistas and Villages bike route follows alongside this from Vers in the west to St Cirque Lapopie in the east. St Cirque Lapopie was voted the most beautiful village in France by the French in 2012. It is an ancient hilltop village with magnificent views along the Lot Valley in both directions. It’s a shame that the old railway line has not been converted to a bike route; it would be a fabulous route and a real tourist attraction in itself. There is always talk of it but no progress so far.

Velo Route in the Lot Valley

 

More detailed velo route maps online

Again our bike routes follow these, one of them ends at Douelle an old port on the river and another starts at Luzech and ends at Puy L’Eveque. Both of these cycle routes with us include wine tasting at the end of the day.

This probably why I prefer this section of the valley as it includes the vineyards.

Official website of the Lot

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