X5J-964279 - © - ICP
France, Lot-et-Garonne (47), Granges-sur-Lot, le musée Au Pruneau Gourmand
France, Lot-et-Garonne (47), le château de Duras
Gavaudun - Lot-et-Garonne
XD3-2266325 - © - Ian Cook
Between history and heritage
The diversity of this tour unfolds in many different ways, with unique stories. A distinctive gentle way of life is combined with a tranquil energy: at the same time, you’ll discover a rich heritage of stone and wide spaces. The pleasant climate twinned with the diverse range of activities on offer will satisfy all tastes: wine tourism, cycle paths, bathing facilities, river tourism … Agen, Penne d’Agenais, Villeneuve-sur-Lot, Bonaguil: all the treasures are at your disposal
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« Avé l’assent » (With the accent), the southern city of Agen opens your route with its carefree bonhomie. Stroll through the old town’s medieval streets lined with half-timbered houses (Rue Beauville) and shaded squares. Be sure not to miss the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts (closed on Tuesdays) which offers an excellent tour for children. The banks of the Garonne welcome hikers, cyclists and pilgrims … And, if you’re a fan of the town’s emblematic prune, you should time your visit for the last weekend of August.
Head to Hautefage-la-Tour, a timeless haven of peace: on a plot planted with beautiful plane trees, you will find an old wash-house and a fountain of pilgrimage. Next, head into the caves of Fontirou, where tunnels and rooms carved into the gray Agenais limestone are adorned with colourful concretions of ochre-red clay. Admire Penne d’Agenais (“penne” means the hill) where you can stop overnight; take a trip to château de Fumel before the end of the day.
Visit Château de Bonaguil, which has been exceptionally well maintained – Breton said: “Chambord is the shade, here is the light”. Make your way to the Museum of Prehistory in Sauveterre-la-Lémance, an extremely interactive journey through time, from Prehistory to the present day. In St-Avit, a hamlet with stone the colour of Sienna earth, enter the slate covered church. Finally, the beautiful location of Gavaudun will welcome you before your return to Penne d’Agenais.
Explore Villeneuve-sur-Lot, a bastide that stretches along the banks of the Lot, from the heights of the beautiful old town of Pujols. Enjoy its beautiful view of the wide Lot valley and learn all about the prune at the Granges-sur-Lot Museum; Be sure to explore its maze and treat yourself to some tastings. Around you, as far as the eye can see, are green hills, vineyards and orchards, nourished by the river. Villeneuve-sur-Lot will welcome you for the night.
In the morning, after enjoying the atmosphere of Villeneuve’s huge weekly markets, head towards Duras and its château. Lunch at the edge of the Canal des Deux-Mers, formed by the Canal du Midi and the Canal de Garonne. From all types of boat, you can enjoy charming landscapes lined with plane trees (boat rides available from April to late October). Discover the delights of the Jardins des Nénuphars Latour-Marliac, which inspired Monet before reaching Nerac and its old town.
After leaving Nérac, a perfect balance between heritage and a haven of well-being, head for the church of Moirax, a fine example of 12th century Romanesque architecture. Next, set off to explore Villascopia in Castelculier. The Gallo-Roman site of Lamarque features a villa (2nd-4th century) unearthed to reveal an exceptional spa complex. A museum, a 3D show all year round, and evening shows in season will help you to appreciate the extraordinary value of this site before you return to Agen.
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