Places to visit
For the most in-depth and up-to-date information click on the Lot-et-Garonne Travel Guide
Bastides (medieval planned towns)
The main Bastide area covers most of Aquitaine and a part of the Midi Pyrénées region of France. The largest concentration of Bastides is in the Lot-et-Garonne along what was once the shifting borderline between the English and the French-held lands.
Among the more famous, best preserved or most attractive are Monflanquin, Montpezat, Villeréal, Vianne and Puymirol, all in the Lot-et-Garonne and Domme, Eymet, Monpazier and Villefranche du Périgord in the Dordogne.
View of the Bastide of Lauzun
Grottes (natural caves)
Below is a selection of a few natural caves not to be missed:
Grotte de Fontirou and Grotte de Lestournelle, both in the Lot-et-Garonne, and in the Dordogne you will find Grotte de Domme, Grotte de Villars, Grotte du Grand Roc, Grotte de Carpe Diem and Gouffre de Proumeyssac.
The Atlantic Coast
For a day’s outing you might like to visit the Atlantic coast, perhaps taking in La Dune du Pyla (or Pilat). Situated in the south of the Arcachon Bay at La Teste de Buche, it’s the biggest sand dune in Europe at 107 metres and a 1 hour 45 minute drive away. At its summit the view is spectacular, with the ocean coast, the inlet of the Bay, the large pine forest and, when the sky is very clear, the Pyrenees mountain range. A detour to the splendid historic city of Bordeaux is well worth the trip if you are visiting this area.
Most villages hold their own street festivals throughout the summer and visitors are very welcome. Look out for the advertising placards by the roadside and leaflets which you can pick up from the many Vide-Greniers and Brocante fairs held during the summer months.
The capital of the tomato, Marmande, is the principal large market town of the area having a picturesque old quarter with narrow cobbled streets leading down to the river Garonne. Every Saturday morning there is a very colourful, bustling and interesting market, bringing together the old outdoor and the more recent covered venues. You can buy anything from clothing through to plants and flowers, fish and seafood, meat and dairy produce, fresh fruit and vegetables and even live animals and birds! After shopping, relax, sit back and watch it all happen from one of the watering holes which surround the square. Marmande also has a museum, up-market shops and boutiques, bars and restaurants. There is a railway link from Marmande to Bordeaux, Toulouse, the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts and Paris. We have left a complete list of market days in other towns you may like to visit.
In the house you'll find a comprehensive list giving weekdays/times of all the markets in the area.
The farmers' market at Soumensac is held on Sundays for eight weeks during the summer. Just take knife, fork, plate and glass.......
Restaurant Le Vieux Porche
Visit Seyches where you will find Le Vieux Porche (9km). Full of atmosphere, this is one of the best family-run cheap restaurants in the area with a 4 course menu, including wine, for only 13 Euro. On a sunny day, dine on the shady terrace overlooking the picturesque square and narrow winding streets. It's very popular with both locals and visitors alike, so booking for Sunday lunch and public holidays is strongly recommended. N.B. Open for lunch and dinner every day except for Friday evening and all day Saturday.
Up-to-date information is provided on site, but we would encourage you to visit the local tourist offices at the start of your visit to have a browse. Most towns have their own and are well signposted. The Tourist Office in Marmande is situated near the covered marketplace in the pedestrianised town centre or, if you've brought your laptop with you, just log on to our on-site internet to access all the up-to-date information.
Issigeac Market (Sunday mornings) is full of atmosphere. There are three good restaurants where you can eat afterwards