Medieval Bastide Towns
The area is renowned for its hill-top towns, planned as part of the defences against the English in the 100 Years War; their architecture and views out across the landscape are stunning.
Just ten minutes by car, Lauzerte is a magnificent example of a fortified, medieval town. It’s officially one of one of ‘The Most Beautiful Towns in France’ - with excellent cafes and restaurants too.
Close by are two more of ‘The Most Beautiful Towns in France’ - Auvillar and Monflanquin.
Slightly further afield and also well worth a visit are the towns of Moissac where you will want to see the stunning Abbey Church of St Peter and its magnificent cloisters, Montaigu-de-Quercy, a vibrant town with a good choice of restaurants and cafes and its own weekly market, and Montcuq – another beautiful medieval town to stroll in, which is also an official stop on the Pilgrim’s Way.
Most of the local towns still have traditional weekly food markets which go on year-round. Sometimes our own little village has its own tiny market usually on a Friday, offering perhaps cheese, charcuterie, vegetables and fish. You’ll find a full list in the house. In the summer these are augmented by ‘night markets’ where you can browse the stalls in the warmth of the evening. Agen’s is a great favourite.
Lauzerte's weekly food market is held on a Friday, in its beautiful cobbled square and with its range of cafes and restaurants, its perfect for a lazy lunch or morning coffee in the sunshine.
The region is noted for its cuisine – the food is rich, varied and tasty. Magret de Canard, confit de canard and fois gras are specialities. So too are the succulent prunes of Agen. There are also a number of excellent cheeses produced nearby including Le Tome de Ramier. Wines are typically from the Malbec grape and are rich and velvety. A short drive from the house is La ferme Au Clair de la Brune – their special ‘race brune’ cows produce fabulous milk which makes the world’s best yoghurt (!) and their own cheeses - le Quercynois, le Saint Urbain, le Camembrune.
The house is not far from the Pilgrims’s Way – the Way of St James – which runs through this area from Cahor to Moissac. It’s an official waymarked trail – GR65 – which has also generated a number of smaller local walks (from 5km to 20km in length). Details are available in the house and also from the local tourist office. A Tarn-et-Garonne trail map is here to download.
You can hire bikes from the experts -VeloPlus - in the next village. Mountain bikes and hybrid bikes for adults and children are all available at a rate of 20€ per bike per day with no deposit taken. All bikes come with a helmet, spare inner tube, puncture repair kit, multitool, pump and water bottle. The roads in our area are generally very well maintained, peaceful, often wide and some good ups and even better downs. Perfect for taking to a bike.
There’s canoeing available at Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val on the beautiful River Aveyron, about 1hr 20mins away. Sailing and a variety of other water sports are also available during the summer months at local lakes (for example Montaigu du Quercy)and at the ST NICOLAS DE LA GRAVE (TARN ET GARONNE) Reservoir – ‘un base de loisirs’, here there are also walks, wildlife to look for, picnic tables etc.