Driving Tour of Chateaux and Bastides in north Lot and Garonne

If you are in a hurry and wish to take a driving tour of many of the bastides and chateaux in the north Lot and Garonne Area here is a proposed route.

This is a circular tour which can be started at any point. It could be done by bike or car and the number of days it takes will depend on how much time you with to devote to each town/village/chateaux. The tour could be started at any point. The route has been taken from the booklet Panorama 47, Vivre en Lot et Garonne which can be picked up from tourist offices and provides more detail.

Monflanquin

Perched 180meters high this bastide is one of the best in the area.

To see: Musee des Bastides, Maison du Prince Noir, 13th century church, colombage houses (timbered houses). On the outskirts of the village you can see the lavoir, the original communal washing area.

Leave by the D 124 passing by the Pech de Cailladelles view point.

Castelnaud de Gratecambe

Founded in 1256.

To see: Moulins à vent (windmills) plus there is a good golf course here with a pretty good restaurant.

Cancon

Constructed originally on the plateau above the town where there are a few remains of a 13th century chateau.

To see: Some lovely colombage houses.

Monbahus

The village can be identified from afar by its statue.

To see: 17th century church.

Miramont de Guyenne

Ancient royal bastide destroyed by the English during the 100 years war.

To see: Cornières and church of Beffery.

Roumagne

To see: Chateau de Fremauret (private).

Allemans du Dropt

Village with some good architecture.

To see: Roman church with 15C frescoes (including paintings of devils carrying off souls) , a pretty pigeonnier on pillars. Old bridge on the river Dropt.

Monteton

To see: Chateau (now used for training courses), 13th century church sitting high on a terrace from which you can see 13 belltowers on th horizon. The church has escaped damage over the years and has unusual interiour buttresses and fine vaults.

Levignac de Guyenne

Ancient English Bastide founded in 1305.

To see: Lavoir (ancient communal washing area), church and prune oven.

Duras

The Chateau de Duras (see chateax page) has been fully renovated and you can visit the kitchen, room of secrets, oratory, and prison amongst other things and also, thanks to the same technical team who created Futuroscope, animated knights, ladies, troubadours etc.

To see: chateau, roman church with modern frescoes, musee du Parchemin where you can discover how parchment was made from sheepskins, and houses of the 16 and 17th century.

Esclottes

To see: One of the best Romanesque churches in the area.

Saint Sernin de Duras

Lake offering various activities.

Villeneuve de Duras

Various nice walks with sights of the vineyards and windmills in the area.

To see: Romanesque churches and ruins of the chateau de Puychagut.

Loubes Bernac

This commune has numberous moulins (mills) and panoramic views.

To see: Private chateau of Theobon XVI, 12-16century churh of Loubes, other churches, moulins and fountains. It is possible to take a hot air balloon from St Jean de Duras.

Soumensac

To see: museum of small tools (musee du petit outillage) with around 1000 old tools, 13century church, traditional houses.

Pardaillan

To see: Remains of a private chateau, l'eglise de St Front

La Sauvetat du Dropt

To see: colombage (timbered) houses, ramparts; roman church , ancient bridge.

Eymet

Attractive bastide on the river which has retained its original arcades.

To see: 13th century donjon with a small museum of Archeologie.

Lauzun

To see: Private 13th century chateau; gothic church, next to an 11th century tower.

Cahuzac

To see. Ancient fort constructed on a hexagonal plan.

Castillones

Bastide built in 1259.

To see: Preserved cornières, a fine 17C house, remains of ramparts. To the north (one can be seen at St Dizier) are various houses built of wood in almost the method of log cabins. These are called maisons à empilage and are some of the oldest in the area.

Bournel

To see: 12th century church dedicated to Saint Marie Madeleine. This sanctuary was on the pilgrim route to St Jacques de Compostelle; roman tower.

Montaut

To see: 14-16th century church with fantastic, recently restored frescoes.

Saint Eutrope de Born

To see: Chateau de Born, Chateau de Scandaillac, Le Moulin de la Bique. Lovely moulin converted to chambre de hôtes.

Villereal

Attractive bastide town with a 14th century halle.

To see: Fortified church, Maison de Campagne with exhibitions of flora and fauna in the area.

Le Lac de Brayssou

Lake where migratory birds can be observed.

Take the direction of St Martin de Villereal and see the imposing Chateau de Biron (see chateau page).

Lacapelle Biron

Apparently this village was built on the orders of Biron's baron to host the Monday market so that this would not be held in the village of Biron beneath his chateau and wake him up!

To see: La fontaine du curé; le moulin de Courrance, the departmental monument to the resistance and in the hamlet of St Avit the museum of Bernard Palissy, the great Renaissance potter famous for his enamels. He was arrested in 1589 for being a protestant and thrown into the Bastille where he died soon after.

Blanguefort sur Briolance

Situated in the heart ot the Forest of Perigord.

To see: Ruins of a 13th century chateau, moulins and roman churches.

Saint Front sur Lemance

At the heart of an industrial zone producing lime.

To see: fortified roman church

Sauveterre La Lemance

Remains of prehistoric man have been found in this commune.

To see: Musee de la prehistoire, 14th century castle, roman church with gothic part.

Bonaguil

Fantastic chateau. (see chateaus page)

Cuzorn

To see: Relics of the Lemance's old economic mainstays, forges and paper mills.

Gavaudun

Pretty village dominated by the donjon de Gavaudun (see chateaus page).

To see: the donjon, 12th century church, above the village the ancient priory of St Sardos de Laurenque, cave which used to house the lepers in the area.