Visit Lot-et-Garonne, France
Lot-et-Garonne is perhaps the France that you always hoped existed but could never quite find - medieval villages and sunflower fields, quiet roads and small farms in gently rolling countryside. One of the 'best kept secrets' in France!
Lot-et-Garonne: an introduction
The Lot-et-Garonne department is situated in south-west France to the south of the Dordogne and north of Gascony. It forms part of the Aquitaine region of France.
The landscape of the north-eastern Lot-et-Garonne department is similar in appearance to the Dordogne region to the north, with a mix of wooded slopes, small scale farming and some forested areas.
To the south it becomes more like Gascony, with gently rolling fields and quiet roads passing through lovely countryside.
Everywhere in the department you will find quiet roads through fields of sunflowers, traditional market towns and small picturesque villages, and orchards - typically of plum trees grown for the delicious pruneaux d'Agen, a local speciality.
The north-east of the Lot-et-Garonne has easy access to the highlights of the southern Dordogne (such as prehistoric sites, caves and castles) plus the beautiful bastide towns such as Monflanquin and Villereal are here, along with nearby Castillonnes.
The valley of the Dropt runs along the northern edge of the Lot-et-Garonne department as you head west from Villereal, with other places to visit along the Dropt Valley including Miramont-de-Guyenne, the castle at Lauzun, and the 15th century frescoes in the church at Allemans-du-Dropt.
There are several particularly notable castles to visit, and by chance they are quite close together in the north-east part of the department. One of our favourite castles in France is at Chateau Bonaguil and another impressive castle is close by at Chateau Biron.
Heading south passed Villeneuve-sur-Lot be sure to visit the small medieval village of Pujols, and near neighbour Penne d'Agenais, also the traditional village at Frespech and the bastide of Tournon d'Agenais.
Even further south past Villeneuve-sur-Lot and around Agen the Lot-et-Garonne is often equally beautiful but without the tourist levels or important sites and monuments you will find in the north of the department.
Agen itself is perhaps best known for being close to the popular theme park at Walibi but also has several of its own historical treasures. The region around Agen, quite undiscovered by most visitors, is one of our favourite areas for a peaceful getaway.
The small towns and villages of the 'Pays Agenais' of south-eastern Lot-et-Garonne (on the border with Tarn-et-Garonne) include Laroque-Timbaut, Beauville and Puymirol and Caudecoste. To the far south of the department it merges into ancient Gascony, while to the south-west we see the start of the enormous forests of the Landes department.
See Agen and the south for places to visit
To sum up the appeal of the area, Lot-et-Garonne is a very good choice for a holiday in France if quiet appreciation of nature and the chance to relax away from crowds is your priority.
Above all it is a department for relaxing, quiet country walks, and is great cycling country. There are more 'sights' (bastide towns, castles etc) towards the north-east, less tourists and quieter roads further south.
It is also a good choice if you want to see the sights of the Dordogne but prefer to stay in the north of the Lot et Garonne department to avoid the crowds along the Dordogne river.
Note: we lived in Lot-et-Garonne for 11 years and travelled far and wide in France with our work for France This Way, but it still remains one of our favourite regions in the country!
Among other places of interest here in Allemans-du-Dropt be sure to admire the impressive medieval frescoes in the church
Castillonnes is very much a traditional small French market town
Chateau de Bonaguil
Surely one of the most imposing castles in France, a visit to the medieval Chateau de Bonaguil is highly recommended
Chateau de Gavaudun
The Chateau de Gavaudun has a very imposing donjon - for those who are not scared of heights!
Duras is best known for both the castle in the centre of the town, and the impressive wines produced in the surrounding area
Lauzun is a small town in the Dropt valley best known for its castle
Stop for a stroll through the arcaded centre of Miramont as you explore the Dropt valley
Listed as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France' Monflanquin has far reaching views from its hilltop position
The 13th century bastide town at villereal retains many historic buildings and an imposing medieval market hall
Beauville is a picturesque small town with several historical buildings in the heart of the Lot-et-Garonne
Chateau de Fumel
While lacking important sites, if you visit Fumel you can look across the river from the castle terraces
See Chateau de Fumel
Frespech is a small but very lovely fortified village in the heart of the countryside
The medieval heart of Laroque-Timbaut is very small - and very scenic
A very pretty village dominated by a (recent) basilica, Penne d'Agenais also has lovely views across the countryside
See Penne d'Agenais
Although small, the village of Pujols is very lovely, listed as a 'most beautiful village in France', and highly recommended
Tournon d'Agenais is one of the most inviting villages in the central part of the Lot-et-Garonne
The market town at Villeneuve-sur-Lot is best known for the picturesque houses along the river front
Agen is the prefecture town for the Lot-et-Garonne and also close to the well known theme park at Parc Walibi
The main attraction in Barbaste is an imposing 13th century water mill and 12th century bridge across the river
The town of Casteljaloux makes for a pleasant stroll when you are in the region
The small medieval town of Mezin is very much traditional of those in the southern Lot-et-Garonne
Best known for its castle, Nérac also has several other interesting historical buildings to discover
Although small Poudenas has a castle and several other sites of interest
Puymirol is the oldest bastide town in Lot-et-Garonne and has preserved several important medieval buildings
Villeneuve de Mezin
The small village of Villeneuve-sur-Mezin is usually visited for its unusual 12th century fortified church
Market towns & days in Lot-et-Garonne
all markets in morning unless otherwise stated
Agen: Wednesday & Sunday & Saturday
Aiguillon: Tuesday & Friday
Casteljaloux: Tuesday & Saturday
Castillonnes: Friday (high season only)
Duras: Thursday (high season only)
Duras: Saturday & Monday
Miramont-de-Guyenne: Friday (high season only)
Sauveterre-la-Lemance: Wednesday (high season only)
Tonneins: Wednesday & Saturday
Villereal: Wednesday (high season only)
Selected tourist destinations in the Lot-et-Garonne department
The following sites have received official "tourist classifications"...
Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)
Villages classified as "most beautiful villages"
UNESCO world heritage sites
French version: Lot-et-Garonne (Francais)
Explore all departments in the Aquitaine region
To help with your travel planning we have divided the attractions by region and category:
- Introduction to Lot-et-Garonne
- North: Bastide towns and the Dropt valley
- Central: Villeneuve-sur-Lot and quiet picturesque villages
- Agen and the south
- The weekly market days in the department
- Sites with tourism awards and classifications
- Map of the department
- See a list of all Lot-et-Garonne communes, and