Places to Visit
Castles, waterways, vineyards, pretty towns and villages, plus beautiful countryside, are all within easy reach of Chateau Plombis. Here are some ideas for trips out..
Places to Visit - Towns and Villages
Montjoi is the next village to Castelsagrat, perched on the opposite hill across the Seoune Valley from the chateau. It is a quaint little place of half-timbered houses which line two tiny parallel streets. There are galleries, cafes and the restaurant La Cage aux Oiseaux.
5 minutes by car, or a very do-able walk, at approximately 45 minutes.
Saint Maurin is nestled in a valley just behind Montjoi. It is in the departement of Lot et Garonne and the region of Aquitaine. This charming village is built around the ruins of a Benedictine abbey. There is a lovely old covered market-place and a museum of village life. Saint Maurin plays host, in the summer, to one of the best night markets in the area.
5 minutes by car
Puymirol is a 13th century bastide, one of the oldest – if not the oldest – in Aquitaine. It is perched on a rocky promontory with views on all sides, and in the middle ages held the reputation as being ‘impregnable’. These days Puymirol is more renowned for its 2 michelin-starred restaurant and weekly market.
15 minutes by car
Lauzerte is a pretty hilltop bastide town, with lots of restaurants, galleries and cafes. It is classified as one of ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ and is a stopping point on the ‘Via Podensis’ – one of the pilgrim treks to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.
20 minutes by car
Just south of Valence d’Agen, across the River Garonne, is the town of Auvillar. Another of ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ it is lively and creative, and plays host to a very popular ceramics fair each year in October. There is a museum of faïence ceramics, made in the town from 1739 to 1909, plus lots of restaurants and two art galleries.
25 minutes by car
Montaigu de Quercy
The small market town of Montaigu de Quercy grew around the ramparts of a 12th Century castle built on top of a hill, overlooking the Petite Séoune valley, to protect the area from the ambitions of Richard the Lionheart. The château is no more, but medieval timber-framed ‘colombage’ houses, as well as traditional Quercy Blanc stone houses, still line the streets that curl around the hill. On your way to Montaigu you will pass near the hilltop villages of Lacour de Visa and Rocquecor, which are also worth a visit.
27 minutes by car
Places to Visit - Further Afield
Montauban is the administrative centre of the Tarn et Garonne département. It is known for its imposing rose-pink brick buildings built in the 18th Century during its golden age as a european centre of textile production. One of the few reminders of its medieval origins is the 14th Century ‘Vieux Pont’ which crosses the River Tarn. At one end of this bridge, in the former episcopal palace, is the Musée Ingres, which celebrates the work of the most famous son of the city – the neoclassical painter, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Since 1998 Montauban has been a ‘Ville d’art et d’histoire’, designated by the French Ministry of Culture.
43 minutes by car
Cahors is a beautiful city built within a loop of the River Lot, and dating back to Roman times. Its medieval heart is centred around a cathedral. Spanning the river is the famous Pont Valentré with its two towers, one of the best examples of a fortified medieval bridge in Europe. Wandering through the narrow streets of the medieval quarter you may stumble across a ‘Jardin Secret’ – there are 24 to discover, each brimming with plants from the Middle Ages. In 2005 Cahors was designated a ‘Ville d’art et d’histoire’ by the Ministry of Culture.
55 minutes by car