La Croix de Loubas is set in a peaceful hamlet in the hills facing the picturesque village of Penne d’Agenais, and within easy reach of the riverside town of Villeneuve sur Lot. This charming house was built some 200 years ago and has been delightfully renovated, still retaining many of the original features. The large gardens with an attractive variety of trees, shrubs and a large lawned area. Relax by the 10 x 5m swimming pool or explore the local villages and countryside at your leisure.
This beautiful region of southwest France, lying between Bordeaux to the west, Toulouse to the east, Bergerac to the north and Lourdes to the south, is a delightful, relatively undiscovered area. Off the beaten track the countryside is breathtaking. Steeped in history, ancient hilltop villages look out over beautiful, secret valleys. The area is scattered with farms and orchards, fields of sunflowers in early summer and ancient villages criss-crossed by quiet country lanes.
The Lot-et-Garonne is France as most people imagine France to be. Warm, verdant, colourful, picturesque, historic, and very peaceful. It has one of the lowest population densities in all of France. It also has some of the best wine, the most beautiful scenery, and the loveliest and friendliest people.
In the summertime there is always something to see and do, wherever you go in this beautiful region: bastide villages, brocantes, music festivals, vide greniers, daytime and evening markets, art exhibitions, fetes, wine tasting, chateaux, rivers, canals, lakes, boat rides, horse riding, cycling etc. as well as such things as theme parks, water parks, and cinemas (often with English language films). In summer, this “quiet little corner" of France is buzzing with activities and none of it is "laid on" for tourists. Here you will truly be participating in 'la vie de Gascogne"!
The valleys of the Rivers Lot and Garonne offer many delights such as boat trips and small beaches for freshwater swimming. Our summers are significantly warmer and sunnier than further north, with long settled spells. Rain is not usually a problem as, when it does come, it tends to be very heavy and of short duration.
The vineyards of Duras, Buzet and Bergerac are all within easy reach. You can enjoy fine restaurants with good local and traditional cuisine and the area is well known for producing plums and prunes.
There is golf at Castelnaud, an 18-hole championship course, and at Tombeboeuf there is a 9-hole golf course with practice area and a pro shop. Both golf courses have clubs, trolleys and buggies for hire.
There are various places on the River Lot where you can spend a day fishing, hire canoes or water ski. Locally there are riding stables and two lakes where you can swim, which have water sports facilities - Lac de Peyrat and Lac de Ferie. Villeneuve Tennis Club is open to everyone.
Agen, the county town, (20 mins) has a good shopping centre, a renowned art museum and a fascinating warren of medieval streets. . Visit the “old quarters” with magnificent old buildings, churches and market halls – many dating back to the middle ages. Near Agen is Parc Walibi, an American Six Flags Amusement/Water Park for the whole family to enjoy, with exciting and exotic water rides/slides, water bumper cars, performing sea lions, water acrobats, a ferris wheel, a roller coaster, and a circus.
The bastide riverside town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot (10 mins) has lots of shops and restaurants, banks, theatre and cinema. There is a good farmers market on Saturday mornings and an organic farmers market on Wednesdays. There are also two large supermarkets on the outskirts of the town.
Nearby is Penne d’Agenais, a picturesque ancient bastide hilltop village with a warren of tiny, steep lanes, lined with immaculate stone and brick houses. It has several restaurants and bars; L’Air du Temps & La Maison Sur la Place in particular, are extremely good and highly recommended. Bar Fabien is great for entrecote & frites, duck dishes, fantastic salads and other mouth-watering meals and is very child friendly. There are fantastic views from the medieval church at the top of the hill.
A short distance away, on another hilltop on the outskirts of Villeneuve is the 13th century village of Pujols, which is delightful to walk around and has fine views over Villeneuve and the river valley. It has two very good restaurants, ‘La Toque Blanche’ is Michelin starred. This medieval village attracts many antiques lovers and has a number of shops and art galleries.
Perched on a hill above the river Lede is Aquitaine’s largest Bastide town, Monflanquin. The House of the "Black Prince” is at one corner of the market place and next to the church. There is a good museum all about Bastides, in the market square itself, which is surrounded by 13th-15th century buildings and timber framed properties. In summer, the town holds a fresh produce and local crafts market every Thursday morning and has a very busy schedule of events throughout the year including guided tours with the village jester (Fripouille). Come and feel the atmosphere of a truly French, open-air market and relax whilst watching the passers-by and enjoying a coffee and delicious pastry. There are several restaurants, open lunchtimes and evenings, and you shouldn’t miss the amazing sight of the house martins returning to their nests, as dusk falls.
On the Canal Latéral-a-la-Garonne , near Buzet, you can hire your own small boat for a day or half day, take a picnic and meander slowly along the tree-lined water-ways of this UNESCO World Heritage site travelling through ancient locks and past elegant waterside buildings and beautiful fields and orchards. Take the opportunity to stop and enjoy a coffee or lunch at one of the nearby, river or canal-side villages.
Throughout the area, there are many restaurants to discover, from the very chic to country-cooking. The latter being particularly friendly and reasonably priced, starting from around £8 for 3 courses.
In the summer there are classical concerts thoughout the region, all sited in the Bastide towns, mostly in the churches.
The area is famous for truffles, foie gras, wine and prunes. In October the many mushroom hunts take place, to be sold by the locals in the local town squares. There are more than 90 vineyards in the area with wine tasting!
Penne-d'Agenais, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, フランス