Greater Than a Tourist- Lot-et-Garonne South-West France
50 Travel Tips from a Local
By Chrissie Stephens
Are you excited about planning your next trip?
Do you want to try something new?
Would you like some guidance from a local?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this Greater
Than a Tourist book is for you.
Lot-et-Garonne by Chrissie Stephen offers the inside scoop on
the Aquitaine region of southwest France. Most travel books tell
you how to travel like a tourist. Although there is nothing wrong
with that, as part of the Greater Than a Tourist series, this book
will give you travel tips from someone who has lived at your next
In these pages, you will discover advice that will help you
throughout your stay. This book will not tell you exact addresses
or store hours but instead will give you excitement and knowledge
from a local that you may not find in other smaller print travel
Travel like a local. Slow down, stay in one place, and get to
know the people and the culture. By the time you finish this book,
you will be eager and prepared to travel to your next destination.
- Inside this travel guide book you will find:
- Insider tips from a local.
- Packing and planning list.
- List of travel questions to ask yourself or others
- A place to write your travel bucket list.
Gently rolling hillsides with fruit orchards and seas of
Castles, windmills and enchanting hilltop bastides.
Market days filled with fresh fruit, vegetables and
Local cuisine hearty, time-honoured recipes sprinkled
And the river, dark, silent and mysterious,
Beautiful as the dawn breaks and stunning in the sunset
– as it is reflected in your wine glass.
Lot et Garonne... there isn't just one reason to visit... but
1. TWO MIGHTY RIVERS – THE LOT
The River Lot (unusually pronounced with the letter
‘t’!) was originally called the Oit and is still called the
Olt in Occitan (the local dialect). The Lot is the seventh
longest river and longest tributary river in France. The
river rises in the Cévennes mountains and flows
westwards through Quercy (the old regional name for
this part of south-west France). The Lot flows into the
Garonne near Aiguillon and is a total of 481 kilometres
in length (299 miles) and interestingly, is also one of
the longest canalised rivers in France.
The river is prone to flooding and to help prevent this,
there are many dams – particularly in its upper reaches.
A 275 km stretch of the river is being restored to make
it popular with visitors who are seeking peace and
tranquility and who enjoy seeing the hill villages, rural
environments and cultivated areas with abundant crops
Enjoy a holiday afloat...
The Lot was closed to boating in 1926, but several
sections have been re-opened and these are open to
boats between April and October. The first section to
re-open was in the Upper Lot and was the 75 kilometre
stretch between Larnagol (Just up river from the
picturesque village of Saint Cirq-Lapopie) and Luzech,
west of Cahors. This stretch passes beautiful
countryside with many vineyards, but is hard work as
there are 17 manual locks! The second section, which
re-opened in 2002 is from the confluence of the Lot
with the Garonne at Nicole (near Aiguillon) to Sainte
Vite. This section can be accessed via the Canal de
Garonne and the lower River Baise. Work on trying to
connect these two sections continues, but it is costly
and with the deisappointing lack of interest from
boating holidaymakers, the project may be shelved.
There are several companies renting cabin cruisers of
various sizes and there are many places to moor – most
offering free water and electricity.
2 . TWO MIGHTY RIVERS - THE GARONNE
The Garonne rises at 1862 metres (6,109 feet) at Uelh
deth Garonna in Spain and winds its way through the
Aran Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees. The river flows
across the Spanish border after 38 kilometres and heads
northwards via Agen and Toulouse towards Bordeaux.
Just outside the city the Garonne meets the Dordogne
river to form the Gironde estuary before flowing into
the Atlantic's Bay of Biscay.
Along its course, the Garonne is met by three tributaries
– the Anège, the Tarn and the Lot. The Garonne is an
important inland route for shipping vessels travelling to
the port of Bordeaux, which in the 18th century was
one of the most important ports in Europe. The ships
pass through the Gironde estuary and up the Garonne as
far as Pont de Pierre (the 'stone bridge') in Bordeaux.
And a holiday afloat?
The Garonne has always been a difficult river to
navigate. Today it is navigable as a tidal river and for
two short stretches. At Toulouse there is a 5km stretch
with one lock and the second is a 4.7 km stretch at its
confluence with the Baise at Saint-Léger and on to the
Lot Canal at Nicole. This was made semi-navigable in
1985 but the shifting channel and varying depths
creates obstacles and a river guide is essential. The
Garonne becomes fully navigable as a tidal river at
Castels en Dorthe and a maritime waterway at Pont de
Pierre in Bordeaux.
For those who prefer a leisurely pace of life, the Canal
de Garonne and the Canal at Montech are beautiful.
They both follow the course of the Garonne and often
run beside the river. There are villages to explore along
the way such as Montauban, Moissac, Valence and
Agen. At Castets, the canal feeds into the Garonne for
the final leg of the journey on to Bordeaux.
Read all 50 Tips in the book
Greater Than a Tourist- Lot-et-Garonne South-West France
available at Amazon.
TOP REASONS TO BOOK THIS TRIP
• The beauty of the valleys of two mighty rivers –
the Lot and the Garonne – this is almost a well kept
• The wonderful unspoilt countryside where deer
wander, pheasants strut and majestic birds of prey glide
• The chance to enjoy good French cuisine in the
most stylish restaurants or laid back at a fun-filled
Lot-et-Garonne, the place you leave, knowing there is
always more to see next time...
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chrissie and her husband John moved to Lot-et-
Garonne three years where they run a successful gîte
business on the banks of the river. Chrissie has been a
writer for many years, but finds herself regularly drawn
away from her work as there is much to see and do in
the area and she has been fascinated by its rich history.
She and John regularly welcome visitors from all over
Europe who are keen to explore the area during their
holiday – visiting all the 'must see' places and
discovering some of the lesser known treasures as well.
Many of them are keen fishermen who are delighted
when they land seriously large carp and catfish! Many
of the snippets of information in this book are based on
the many questions Chrissie has been asked!