Family attractions

A list of family orientated attractions and other things to do en famille will appear here

Food & Drink

Information will appear here on food producers, wines and wineries and eating out

Towns & Villages

driveHalcyon Leisure properties are situated within a 25 mile radius of Montaigu-de-Quercy, straddling the regions of Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrenees. The regions’ towns and villages are always worth exploring, and with 30 villages listed as being amongst the ‘Most Beautiful Villages in France’, visitors are never disappointed. The principal cities are Toulouse and Bordeaux, with many interesting towns and villages in between, including:

AGEN: The County town of the Lot-et-Garonne which changed hands 11 times during the Hundred Year’s War, and is well known for its plums (pruneaux). On the banks of the Garonne river there is a beautiful museum housed in four Renaissance houses.

www.ot-agen.org

BEAUVILLE: Complete with arcades, gothic church and superb views from the hilltop on which it is perched. Local shops, a leisure lake and restaurant.

www.ot-beauville.com

pontcahors263BOURG de VISA: A small local village close to the Gaulish spring ‘source de St Quinin’ with restaurant, small supermarket, bank and boulangerie.

CAHORS: County town of the Lot and home to the dark red wine known as Cahors Noir. It has a charming town centre and the notable landmark of 14c Pont de Valentre.

www.tourisme-cahors.fr

CATUS: Once the site of a 10c priory and with a 12c chapter house, Catus has an excellent leisure lake and a small range of shops.

DAUSSE: Quiet village on the main road between Penne d’Agenais and Tournon d’Agenais: Food lovers will keenly seek Le Moulin de Dausse for delightfully imaginative food.

FUMEL: Named after Francois de Fumel, once captain of the king’s guard and Catherine de’Medici’s ambassador to Constantinople. It has a good range of shops, supermarkets, restaurants and a cinema.

www.tourisme-fumel.com

LAUZERTE: Nicknamed the Toledo of Quercy, its interesting square, one corner of which looks as it has been turned up like a page of a book, sits in the centre of the village. Choice of restaurants and shops. Tremendous views across the countryside.

www.lauzerte-tourisme.fr

moissac cloisterMOISSAC: On the banks of the Tarn river this bustling town with lively weekend markets, is famous for its Romanesque Abbey and Cloisters.

www.moissac.fr

MONFLANQUIN: Founded in 1256, this lovely colonnaded village with a superb square and arcadesis considered to be one of the best examples of a bastide village.

www.monflanquin-tourisme.com

MONPAZIER: An ‘English bastide’ founded by Edward I in the late 13th century: This architectural treasure has a delightful assortment of small shops, cafés and restaurants, and is in superb countryside

www.northofthedordogne.com/monpazier.php

montaubanMONTAUBAN: County town of the Tarn-et-Garonne. This rose-hued town was founded in 1144 and has an interesting old town, cathedral and the prestigious Ingres art museum.

www.montauban-tourisme.com

MONTAIGU-de-QUERCY: Was the site of a 12c castle built by Raymond V of Toulouse. Now this atmospheric lively village has a range of local shops, a typical French market each Saturday and a large leisure lake

www.tourismemontaigu.free.fr

MONTCUQ: A lively village dominated by the 12c Tour Comtale with a superb Sunday morning market. Restaurants, leisure lake and local shops.

www.tourisme-montcuq.com

PENNE d’AGENAIS: Penn means hill crest in Celtic and this lovely restored ‘arty’ village once had a castle built by Richard Coeur de Lion and has an interesting basilica, spectacular views over the Lot river, and many restaurants.

www.penne-tourisme.com

pujols le haut3PRAYSSAC: Prayssac has a memorable marble statue of Venus and is a lively village with an excellent Friday market and a good range of shops, restaurants and a cinema.

PUJOLS: Noted medieval hill village just south of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. Great views across Villeneuve, the River Lot and away to the north.

www.france-voyage.com/tourism/pujols-1604.htm

ROQUECOR: A sleepy laid back hilltop village with an excellent bar/restaurant and Sunday morning market.

www.coll82.com/roquecor

ST ANTONIN-NOBLE-VAL: Once a Cathar stronghold, this charming village has a good choice of restaurants, shops and is close to the stunning Aveyron Gorge.

www.tourisme-saint-antonin-noble-val.com

ST MAURIN: A pretty half-timbered village which includes the ruins of a 1097 abbey. It has a small shop and restaurant.

www.tourisme-paps.fr/saint-maurin

cirqlapopieST-CIRQ-LAPOPIE: One of the prettiest villages in France sitting dramatically 330ft above the Lot. Once the home of surrealist Andre Breton, there are many artistic shops and wonderful views.

www.saint-cirqlapopie.com

TOURNON d’AGENAIS: Pretty royal bastide village from 1271 and on the route of St Jacques de Compostella with a lovely square and belfry tower. Superb views, a leisure lake, restaurants, small supermarket and a seasonal market.

www.tournon-dagenais.com

VALENCE d’AGEN: A pretty town with a lovely square. Originally a 1283 bastide it has a good range of shops & restaurants and a 9 hole golf course nearby, as well as markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

www.valencedagen.fr

VILLENEUVE-SUR-LOT: A powerful bastide on the banks of the Lot river. Founded in 1264, a large quantity of small streets have been preserved along with half-timbered buildings. Close by is a superb 18-hole golf course.

www.ville-villeneuve-sur-lot.fr

VILLEREAL: Bastide town with a 14th century market in the Town Centre, next to an equally impressive 13th Century church. A few miles from the impressive Chateau Biron, and also on a quiet route from the Lot to Bergerac.

www.villereal-tourisme.com/en/index.htm

Main towns

Information will appear here shortly on the main regional towns: Agen, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Fumel, Cahors, Montauban and Bergerac

Main Cities

 Quick links      Bordeaux        Toulouse

Bordeaux – Capital of the Gironde department and Aquitaine region

Standing where the Garonne river gives way to La Gironde, the outlet to the Atlantic Ocean, the history and economy of Bordeaux make it a fascinating visit for travellers

lafiteThe city's main claim to fame, and one of the mainstays of the economy in the area is as a centre to the global wine industry.

The industry is estimated to be worth €14.5 billion annually to the Bordeaux area alone with internationally known wine names also very close to the city. 

The bi-annual Vinexpo attracts over 50,000 visitors from all over the world.
boursemirror

Other names for Bordeaux include ‘La Perle d’Acquitaine’ (The Pearl of Acquitaine), and the city has a rich history.  Its strategic importance saw many changes of government in the first 1000 years AD including Romans, Visigoths, Franks and Vikings.

From the 12th century onwards the city developed as a trading port, whilst remaining strategically important during the various conflicts right into the 20th Century when the Italian submarine fleet were based there to support the German fleet in the Battle of the Atlantic: The reinforced submarine pens now serve as exhibition halls.

Besides the attractions offered by the wine industry, the city has a large military aerospace presence and has developed as a major centre for laser technology.

The architecture of Bordeaux has led to the city being made a UNESCO World Heritage site with many spectacular buildings to be found, including the Esplanade de Quinconces, the largest square in Europe. The buildings to be seen around Bordeaux span the centuries from Roman times to the present day.

theatrepontpresThe Grand Théatre (pictured) is of particular significance, and is renowned as one of the most beautiful 18th Century buildings in the world, inside and out.

Among the modern projects is the impressive Pont Jacques Chaban-Delmas (pictured),  the central 117m span of which can be lifted to let ships 53m high pass.

Served by a tram and bus network, all parts of the city are very accessible, and road and rail links to all parts of France are excellent as would be expected in service of a major port city. An inclusive travel and attractions CityPass is available for visitors.

From Cahors, Bordeaux is approximately 240km (150 miles) and is approximately 4 hours by train, with a change at Montauban.
From Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Bordeaux is 150km (90 miles), and approximately 2 ¼ hours by train, with a change at Agen.

For more information on visiting Bordeaux, visit the Bordeaux Tourism website (opens new window)

Travel by train to Bordeaux  http://www.virail.com/ (This English site will transfer you to SNCF for full information)

Toulouse – Capital of Haute-Garonne departement& Midi-Pyrenees region

tou capitoleWith a population of just over 1 million, Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city after Paris, Lyon and Marseille. The striking architecture of many buildings in the city using pinkish terracotta bricks gives Toulouse its nickname of ‘La Ville Rose’.

Visitors can explore the exceptional history of the link between France and the Mediterranean. The amphitheatres, churches and cathedrals tell the story of the Roman origins of Toulouse, and the ongoing religious influence through the years. Grand mansions reveal the city’s golden age during the Renaissance, largely fuelled by the local development of pastel blue dye.
The later years of the 20th Century saw the city become an international centre of the aerospace industry with development of the Concorde airliner and the A380 Airbus: These are celebrated in the Cité de l’Espace (Space City)

Situated on the Garonne River, Toulouse offers a wealth of attractions radiating from the impressive Capitole (pictured) right in the centre of the city.

tou amphiThe well preserved Roman amphitheatre at Purpan across the 16th Century Pont Neuf is the best preserved Roman remain in the area, and is just one attraction included in the ‘Pass Tourisme’ inclusive pass available from Tourist Information centres.

tou canalLe Canal du Midi, running 150 miles down to the Mediterranean coast, joins the Canal du Garonne at Toulouse.This makes a navigable passage from the Atlantic coast at Bordeaux to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean.

Much of the building work was done in the  17th century and  exploration by bicycle or boat has become a large industry for the area.

tou espacetou pontneufGetting about in and around Toulouse is quite easy with its own metro, trams and bicycle hire.

The gastronomic reputation of the city and the area in general means there are a great selection of places to eat out suiting all budgets. As ever in France there are a selection of bars serving excellent wines.

Approximately 115km / 70 miles from Cahors, also with direct rail links, and 150km / 95 miles from Villeneuve sur Lot: Train travellers from Villeneuve sur Lot will have a change at Agen.

Useful links: (All open in new windows)

For up to date Toulouse tourism information visit http://www.toulouse-visit.com/

Travel by train to Toulouse  http://www.virail.com/ (This English site will transfer you to SNCF for full information)

Canal du Midi and Canal du Garonne

Cité de L'espace