The upper River Lot is quite unlike any other area in France. Its clear waters meander through wide valleys and steep gorges. Ancient castles, medieval villages, sheer limestone cliffs, and cascading waterfalls accompany the winding river.
Spectacular and breathtaking scenery and a green landscape with orchards, vineyards and hillside pine forests provide a memorable cruise location in one of France’s most unspoilt regions.
Our cruiser boat base at Douelle lets you explore the River Lot in both directions. Travel west to Luzech, the last Gallic town to hold out against Caesar, situated in a great loop of the river, and home to the boatmen who once transported the local Cahors wine by barge to Bordeaux.
Head east to Mercuès with its imposing 7th century castle towering over the river. Then cruise to the region’s capital, Cahors, and pass under the medieval Valentré Bridge, an amazing structure with three towers over the river. The penichette base at Cahors allows a journey along the navigable River Lot to be enjoyed in a week.
This is the home of foie gras, truffles, confit of duck and goose and the renowned Cahors wine. At Arcambal you can sample La Biere d'Olt at a traditional brewery close to the river.
Cruise along the foot of the Bouzies cliffs and gaze up at the 7th century stone village of St Cirq Lapopie perched on a rocky slope above. Discover this medieval village and its timber fronted houses, home to craftsmen and artists throughout the ages.
The prehistoric cave drawings of Pech-Merle in a huge cavern close to the town of Cabrerets are a cycle ride from the river. The caves are also noted for remarkable stalagmites.
River Lot - Spectacular Natural Beauty
Further east, the fortified village of Larnagol dominates the river, and the chateau at Calvignac is well worth a cycle ride.
The River Lot is an ideal one week cruise, with a short break from Douelle also worthwhile. The variety of wildlife will give added pleasure - otters, kingfishers and heron, perhaps eagles. For the energetic, canoes and kayaks can be hired along the river.
The locks are unmanned but straightforward to operate by boat crews. We recommend the Lot for boaters who have some experience - it’s rewarding boating holidays on a spectacular river.
Please note that the River Lot can occasionally flood, and in that event it may be necessary to transfer you to another suitable base. We have cruiser routes in the lower River Lot area - see France maps for information.