Périgord – Lot-et-Garonne

In the land of the walled towns, well before rugby was invented, the English and French were already squaring up to each other, but then it was over a crown! Winding your way along the roads of Upper Agen, to the borders of Périgord, Lot and Lot-et-Garonne, is to travel between the Middle Ages and our present time. Of the 315 walled towns recorded in France, more than a third are found in Aquitaine. They arouse the curiosity with the visionary nature of their urban space, designed on a grid pattern – like in the United States? Yes, that’s where the inspiration comes from! They have come down to us from the 13th century, and have a thousand stories to tell. These towns are full of life, too. Head for the central square, as vibrant today as it ever was with village activity, with cafes, markets, craftsmen, festive gatherings … Feast your eyes – and your taste buds – as you drink in this "sweet side of France"!
+-
1

Eymet

Here, you’ll find a warm welcome mixed with easy living to the rhythm of the Dropt’s gently flowing waters or in the shade of the noble keep. This town changed hands several times between the French and the English during the Hundred Years War. Today, you can admire its pretty houses and beautiful square with its medieval arcades.

http://en.eymetperigord.com

The inescapable

Eymet
Eymet
Medieval arcades
Medieval arcades
2

Villeréal

Founded in 1265 by Alphonse de Poitiers, this walled town contains an amazing hall from the 14th century supported by oak pillars, with a beautiful structure and wattle and daub upper floor. From Villeréal you can explore the Dropt and Lède valleys. Some go climbing here…

www.villereal-tourisme.com

The inescapable

Walled town
Walled town
3

Monpazier

This is a “little England”, a jewel of medieval architecture! Founded during the reign of the King of England and perfectly preserved, it’s deservedly famous, ranking among the "most beautiful villages in France" ... and your first port of call! Check out the market and you’ll find a stall where grain measures are still used on market days.

www.pays-des-bastides.com

More feelings

Amusement

Monpazier recently opened a heritage interpretation centre called the Bastideum, featuring a multimedia guide you can download onto your smartphone. Your visit starts with the archives, 3D reconstructions and a video seen from above. On site, you download the app for smartphones and tablets and continue your real-life journey of discovery via a dozen points of interest through the village streets. A visit that’s tailor-made, brought to life through interviews, reconstructions...  

www.bastideum.fr 

Marvelling

In the surrounding area, visit Château de Biron, whose construction began in the 12th century. It belonged to the same family for 24 generations and contains many different types of architecture. Lots of filmmakers have chosen it for its authenticity and natural setting.

www.semitour.com

4

Villefranche-du-Périgord

Now you’re in the oldest walled town in Périgord, founded by Alphonse de Poitiers, brother of St Louis King of France in 1261. Villefranche is also famous for its large markets selling porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and other mushrooms, depending on what’s growing and the seasons, in a local atmosphere with accents of the South-West!

www.perigordnoir-valleedordogne.com

More feelings

Marvelling

A few miles away, visit Château de Bonaguil, a major site in Aquitaine of huge proportions. Here, you’ll discover graffiti dating back over 400 years! In summer, you’ll find numerous events and workshops to delight children and adults alike.

www.chateau-bonaguil.com

5

Tournon-d’Agenais

A little walled town from the 13th century, very picturesque, fortified by the English, clinging to a tall hill, and Penne-d'Agenais, another medieval town perched on high, are home to numerous craftsmen, and well worth stopping off at.

www.tourisme-fumel.com

www.penne-tourisme.com

The inescapable

Penne-d’Agenais
Penne-d’Agenais
6

Villeneuve-sur-Lot

This is the largest walled town in Lot-et-Garonne. Its name recalls firstly how these walled towns were, in the Middle Ages, new towns (their modern urbanism with its rectangular design has since inspired America’s cities), and secondly, that it’s built on both banks of the Lot. You can also take in Pont de Cieutat (bridge) from the banks, not far from the river stop. Fancy a boat trip for a change?

www.tourisme-villeneuvois.com

More feelings

Serenity

Near Villeneuve, stop in Pujols, ranked among the "most beautiful villages in France", to discover, as well as its half-timbered houses, the many artists who come to exhibit here in summer.

www.tourisme-castillonpujols.fr

Serenity

Take a break at the Latour-Marliac Gardens in Temple-sur-Lot, the historic cradle of water lilies that inspired Claude Monet for his water garden in Giverny.

www.latour-marliac.com

7

Montflanquin

Ranked among the "most beautiful villages in France", this walled town is the best preserved in Lot-et-Garonne. Stroll along its central square bordered by “cornières” (arcades) or the many “carrerots” (alleyways). You’ll no doubt come across the house of the Black Prince. And as Monflanquin is perched on a hill, you get the added bonus of a beautiful view over the Lot valley, which resembles Tuscany in summer.

www.monflanquin-tourisme.com

www.janouille.com

The inescapable

This is the birthplace of Janouille, the most mischievous of all south-west guides. His tours mix history, humour and unusual anecdotes. You really must hear him sing in Occitan!
Monflanquin is also home to the Museum of Walled Towns which tells, using modern scenography, of the phenomenon of the new towns and medieval history in the South-West.

Janouille
Janouille
Monflanquin
Monflanquin
Market
Market

As of 1 January 2016, the Aquitaine, Limousin and Poitou-Charentes regions are now only one! Also discover tourism opportunities in