Cahors in the Lot

Set in the majestic Lot valley, Cahors, City of art and history, is made to be explored. From the Valentré Bridge to the Saint-Etienne cathedral, via the market place and the boulevard terraces, the Lot’s first city combines southern atmosphere, historical wealth and gourmet pleasures.

As it approaches Cahors, the Lot flows in wide meanderings. It is here, where the river makes one of its beautiful loops, that Cahors was established in Roman times. In the Middle Ages the city became a commercial and financial centre on a European scale. A real golden age to be relived when visiting the old centre, intact and wonderfully alive.

First stage: the fortified 14th-century Valentré Bridge, emblem of the city. Its three magnificent fortified towers span the river with pride. One can walk through the area, rich in a vibrant past, or approach it by boat while cruising on the Lot. The Valentré Bridge is a UNESCO world heritage site, as is the Saint-Etienne cathedral on the road to Santiago de Compostela.

The visit continues in the heart of Cahors, where the red of the brick combines with the grey of the limestone and the ochre of the sandstone. In the small medieval streets we revel in the charm of the small renovated squares and the inventiveness of the secret gardens that grace the city. The Middle Age arcades of boutiques shelter restaurants, cafés and shops. In the shade of the plane trees, boulevard Gambetta, dating back to the 19th century, invites us to take a stroll.

Not to be missed, on Wednesdays and Saturdays: The food market at the gates of the Saint-Etienne cathedral. Take a big basket because everything will tempt your appetite: Rocamadour cheeses, Quercy farm-reared lamb, Perigord walnuts, foie gras, Quercy melon and of course Cahors AOC wines.

For Cahors is in the heart of the vineyard that has borne its name since the time of François 1st. This territory is the cradle of a long line of winemaking expertise. At the heart of the wine region, the historic Malbec territory, the major grape variety in the appellation, châteaux and estates open their doors to visitors. A wonderful opportunity to discover what is known as black wine, a wine whose intense colour, subtle hues and strong character you will appreciate.

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