Hot Air Ballooning
Montgolfieres de Gascogne
Base ULM Saint Exupery
Montpezat d’Agenais 47360 (right at first roundabout on D911 in direction of Villeneuve)
Tel: (+33) 05 53 95 08 81
Email: Philippe: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: Maryline: email@example.com
Boats to take you on a little river adventure or picnic are available for hire at Castlmoron sur Lot or alternatively there is a bateau mouche that leaves the key in Clairac for sightseeing trips on the Lot at regular intervals.
Check locally for times.
Near Agen, Parc Walibi Aquitaine provides an alternative day out, where the rides, shows and special events, offer a dynamic contrast to the more sedate activities of the region.
Monet's Water Lilies
The Jardins Latour-Marliac in Temple-sur-Lot were founded in 1875 by Joseph Bory Latour-Marliac. He had disovered how to hybridise water lilies, and at a time when the only waterlilies available elsewhere in Europe were white, he was creating them in colours from yellow to fuschia to deep red.
In 1889 Latour-Marliac exhibited his waterlilies at the World Fair in Paris (next to the brand new Eiffel Tower), where they were seen by Claude Monet. Their beauty inspired Monet to build his water garden at Giverny. For this garden, Monet ordered lilies from Latour-Marliac, and then immortalised them in paint.
The vast majority of waterlilies sold commercially today were created by Latour-Marliac. Part of his house in Temple-sur-Lot is now a museum and the nursery garden is open to visitors, with its original geometric pools and a café. It was denoted “Un Jardin Remarquable” by the Ministry of culture in 2004.
Bastides and towns
Several of Lot et Garonne’s forty bastides are visible on the ridges to either side of the Lot Valley. These fortified hilltop towns were the “New towns” of their day and were constructed to a specific model centring not on the church or town hall but on the marketplace. The majority of them were built just before or during the Hundred Years War, between 1222 and 1307, and changed hands between the British and French numerous times. They are all worth a visit for the architecture and views alone but many of them house superb restaurants and great markets.
Our local bastide is Laparade which is a pretty little village and is unparalleled for views over the Lot Valley but I think our favourites are Pujol, Penne d’Agenais and Monflanquin near Villeneuve sur Lot. Nerac is also definitely worth a visit.
There are numerous antique shops around and you will pass many signs saying “Brocante”. Some are enormous and very well stocked, some small and more like junk shops. If you look around you will find some great bargains.
There are a couple of excellent brocantes on the road between Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Agen and several more on the road between Aiguillon and Agen.
You could spend a day doing a big loop and take in lunch at Le Pique-Assiette in Bazens en route. If you wanted to make a big day of it you could also take in a wine tour in Buzet and pay a visit to the Cave de Buzet.
Musee et Ferme du Pruneau
Visiting a museum dedicated to plums is probably not something you ever envisaged yourself doing but if you are interested in the agricultural history of the Lot Valley, then certainly worth half an hour on your way to lunch. There’s also an amazing corn maze to lose the kids in.
Just follow the D911 in the direction of Grange sur Lot and you can’t miss the purple prune man on the left hand side of the road marking the entrance.
Musée et Ferme du Pruneau, Le Gabach, 47320 Lafitte sur Lot
Tel: (+33) 05 53 84 00 69
A guided tour is available of our local Buzet co-operative. It is only about 12 km from La Bique and well worth a visit.
Les Vignerons de Buzet - BP 17 - 47160 Buzet-sur-baïse
Tel: (+33) 05 53 84 74 30
“Thanks for the lovely experience”
It was a time to find the quieter rhythm in us and we enjoyed ourselves.