The département of Lot, the old name being Quercy Blanc, is No 46. It lies to the North of the bigger region of Midi Pyrenees, bordered by, to the South the département of Tarn-et-Garonne, to the West the Lot-et-Garonne, to the north the Dordogne and moving Eastwards are the departments of Corrèze, Cantal and Aveyron.
Lot is a rich and varied area with warm and charming welcoming people. The Massif Central to the East flattens to become a limestone plateau giving rise to deep fertile valleys producing crops from sunflowers, linseed and lavender to corn, vegetables and delicious fruits. The great rivers, the River Dordogne and River Lot with their tributaries flow through the region so water is seldom far away. Deep limestone gorges are found in places such as Padirac, the caves of Lacave and hamlets dating from the time of the Troglodytes have houses built into the rocks. Rocamadour is France’s second most important historic site and also produces the wonderful chèvre cheeses.
It is, largely, an agricultural region with small farms, hamlets and little villages. rchitecture reflects the white limestone of the region with charming pigeonniers, little gariottes and cazals. The medieval town of Cahors, steeped in history, on the River Lot, is the administrative centre. Figeac is a fascinating historic small town and the centre of Egyptology where Art and Music abound. Gourdon is a delightful, pretty little market town perched on the hill top. South of Cahors is the charming lively village of Montcuq set amidst glorious countryside where there is a view in every direction and a hive of activities within the village.
Lot is an area of gourmet food and restaurants: it is the region of foie gras, fabulous cheeses from goat, sheep and cow, walnuts and cèpes being the king of mushrooms, together with the wines of Cahors which have recovered so well from their destruction by phylloxera in about 1870. As the vineyards were destroyed, the oak trees were laid down leading to the establishment of the famous truffle. The Lot is also famous for its mouth-watering Quercy lamb and mutton. The lambs live on the plateaux in open sheds and are fed by their mothers night and morning. The lamb is low in fat and exceptionally fine and delicate.
Lot has a continental climate. It is a long way from the sea. The Summers are usually hot and dry, often with dramatic electric storms in August. The winters are bright, crisp and sunny with cold frosty nights.
Communications are excellent:
- By road, A20 Paris, Cahors, Toulouse,
- By Air to Toulouse, approximately 1 hour away and to Rodez by Ryan Air and about the same time. There is also Bergerac by Ryan Air, just a little further.
- By train, direct line, Paris – Gourdon - Cahors/Figeac - Toulouse.