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Cahors gardens visitor guide

Photo of Cahors gardens

Visit Cahors gardens, France

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Cahors have had the excellent idea of creating small gardens around many of the key sights of the town and designing a garden route that encompasses all of these gardens.

Cahors is a town on the Lot river in the Lot department of south-west France.

Explore the gardens of Cahors

France This Way comment: The main sights of Cahors are spread out around the town and following the garden trail is a very picturesque way of discovering them. It takes about half a day to do the tour at a leisurely pace.

To start the garden trail head for the tourist office on the Place Francois Mitterand just off the main high street, the Boulevard Leon Gambetta. Here ask for the map of the secret gardens. It is called "laissez vous conter les jardins de Cahors".

Cahors gardens

The garden walk starts at the iconic bridge of Cahors. At the foot of the Pont Valentré a garden of vines has been planted. The heady red wines of Cahors are well known and appreciated and these vines are a celebration of Cahors as a wine producer. Flower beds have also been planted along the edge of the riverside path.

The second garden is in front of the Chapelle du College Gambetta and is a mixed flower and vegetable garden. Next the trail heads to the narrow streets of Rue Saint Urcisse and the Rue du Chateau du Roi which have a number of little gardens along their length.

These include the lovely Jardin Mauresque with its long pond and tall, blue ceramic pots. Also the two gardens near to the cathedral, one planted with traditional plants and herbs of the Middle Ages and one planted with three colour themed borders, blue and white to represent the Virgin Mary, orange and red to represent the suffrance of Christ and yellow and gold to represent the resurrection.

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On the Rue du Chateau du Roi is the garden of the witch and the dragon with the symbol of evil drawn out on the floor and flowers linked to witchcraft planted in the borders.

Beyond here is a garden at the foot of some of the remaining fortifications of Cahors, the Barbacane and the Tour Pendus. To celebrate its military location it is planted with plants brought back from the Crusades such as the rose de Damas, agapanthus and myrtle.

Next is a garden that forms a border between the upper town and the lower town is the Jardin du Passeur or smuggler's garden. This is the largest of the secret gardens and has a walkway along four terraces leading from the medieval city down to the river's edge.

A pleasant walk around the rivers edge then leads back down to the southern edge of the town, crossing over the river at one point and on to where the river then loops back up - most of the town of Cahors lies in this loop of the river Lot.

At either side of the Louis Philippe bridge are the last two gardens, the Promenade de Coty which includes fruit trees and the 'Hortus of the Melusine fairy' a legend from the Middle Ages of a fairy who turns into a snake when she is angry. This garden is mostly white flowers and ornamental grasses and has a pond and fountain.

Cahors gardens

Attractions nearby

One of the most beautiful villages of France, and one of our favourites is near here. Saint Cirq Lapopie with a hill top position overlooking the River Lot and cobbled medieval streets is a gem.

Cabrerets and the famous Grotte de Peche Merle is also near here. The Grotte de Peche Merle is one of the few cave systems where you can still see the original prehistoric paintings.

You can find more travel ideas in the Lot guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also: 

Photos of Cahors gardens

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Map of Cahors gardens and places nearby

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Visit near Cahors gardens with France This Way reviews

Cahors cathedral of Saint-Etienne

Cahors cathedral of Saint-Etienne

The cathedral of Saint-Etienne in Cahors is an unusual 12th century cathedral which has two domes and a roman style entrance among its features

Cahors cathedral of Saint-Etienne guide
Cahors

Cahors

Best known for the famous Pont Valentre bridge, Cahors is a lively town which also has a small historic centre

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Pont Valentré

Pont Valentré

Pont Valentré in Cahors is an impressive fortified bridge from the middle ages

Pont Valentré guide
Albas

Albas

Albas, a village on the Lot river, has a renowned wine festival each May

Albas guide
Cabrerets

Cabrerets

Cabrerets is a pretty village on the Célé river best known for the Grotte de Pech Merle

Cabrerets guide
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is certainly among the most beautiful villages in France, with its riverside setting and lovely historic streets

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Lot

The French version of this page is at Cahors gardens (Francais)

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