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The Lot region is a rural idyll. Green forests and fields surround broad, slow moving rivers with hamlets and towns hugging the bends. These rivers have gradually worn away the landscape into deep gorges, giving this countryside some drama - all of this watched over by the châteaux which cling to the hilltops. The best places to stay in the Lot offer the opportunity to make the most of the region from exploring its highlights to relaxing by a pool in the summer sun.
The Lot is for those who like spending afternoons poking around beautiful old villages, or mornings hiking out into the grand outdoors.
Cahors is one of the best places to stay in the Lot if you like your historic towns medieval. The old town has some very fine 13th century houses, the remains of the original ramparts and a very famous bridge - the 14th century, World Heritage Listed Pont Valentre.
Puy-l'Eveque is one of the most photographed towns in the Midi-Pyrenees. Narrow lanes run between ancient houses and courtyards towards the river and Puy-l'Eveque's bridges. Among this town's most beautiful buildings are the convent, the Chapel of Saint Michel, the Church of Saint Sauveur and the 14th Century château de Lychairie.
Rocamadour is on a medieval pilgrim's route - one which is still followed today. It is within the Causses de Quercy National Park.
Carennac, Loubressac and Autoire have all been included on the official list of 'the most beautiful villages of France'. 11th century Carennac has a priory, Saint Peter's Church and rows of perfect stone houses. Loubressac has a lovely château and church and magical views over the surrounding countryside. Autorie, surrounded by vineyards and fruit trees and perfect for foodies.
The Great Outdoors
The Upper Dordogne Valley offers a nice blend of village views and dramatic river-cut landscapes. This area is known for having a gentler pace of life, for being pleasant and sunny and for being a bit 'off the beaten track'.
The Causses de Quercy National Park is a favourite among trekkers popular for its dramatic limestone landscape carved by the flow of water above and below the ground. There are 36 marked hiking trails across the park, so plenty of empty space to get lost in.
If you're interested in France's famous caves, one of the best places to stay in the Lot is Cabrerets. As well as being impressively positioned on the side of a cliff, this town is close to the Pech Merle caves - one of the few caves with prehistoric paintings that is still open to the public.
What Not To Miss
- Be sure to check out the Padirac, Pech Merle and Lacave caves. These historic sites were used by humans as long as 29,000 years ago and are truly breathtaking, they mustn't be missed.
- Take the whole family along to Monkey Forest where Barbary macaques roam freely in a forest environment. There is information available to learn all about the species and you are given a handful of popcorn to feed to the monkeys!
- If you fancy seeing some historic structures then consider visiting Château de Montal or the impressive 14th century Pont Valentré.
Such a popular area with lots to see and do means that many of the best places to stay in the Lot are quickly snapped up so make your plans and book early.
- If you're looking for somewhere romantic, book La Terrasse. Square and almost medieval looking, this château in warm stone has wonderful riverside views, especially from the terraces, where you can also enjoy a gourmet meal. The restaurant is beautiful too, all exposed beams and vaulted ceilings.
- Hotel Le Saint Cirq is a peaceful getaway located by the Malbec vineyards. Offering a wide range of tasteful accommodation in creamy hues, there are lovely views of the area and an outdoor pool.
- The charming Lou Repaou is a quiet 5-room place with cosy rooms featuring stone walls, king sized beds and wooden beams. Enjoy a splendid breakfast each morning before relaxing by the outdoor pool.
- Located in the Natural Park, the Domaine de la Rhue country house boasts rustic stable-conversion rooms and a one bedroom apartment. With an outdoor pool and lots of restaurants nearby, it's a great choice for a laid-back retreat.
- The gorgeous 15th century Chateau de Bessonies offers smart accommodation with wrought iron beds and antiques. Breakfast and dinners are available upon request and there are plenty of activities on offer in the area.
- Boasting a splendidly picturesque location on the Dordogne River, Chateau de la Treyne provides elegant rooms with antique furnishings, creamy fabrics and some even have four poster beds. With 300 acres of gardens, a tennis court, pool and top-notch restaurant, it's the ideal romantic retreat.
For A Country Escape
- Originally a 14th century mill, Moulin de Fresquet is set amidst parklike grounds and boasts charmingly traditional rooms. With only three rooms, it's an intimate getaway, and there are plenty of local spots to explore during the day.
- The rural Le Grezalide is located in the heart of the Parc Naturel des Causses du Quercy. Offering pleasing accommodation with contemporary art on the walls, you can also enjoy regional cuisine from the restaurant after spending the day out in amongst your natural surroundings.
- Located in Montcuq and with the Lot Valley on your doorstep, Four Maison D'Hôtes provides smart rooms in light hues and with stone walls. Breakfast and dinners on request.
- The charming Le Pont de L'Ouysse offers tastefully decorated rooms in bright hues with splendid views. Tuck into dreamy fare served up at the Michelin-starred restaurant and unwind in the pool or the hot tub.
- Set in a 17th century manor house, Les Vieilles Tours enjoys a wonderful location in the middle of a national park. The rooms are wonderfully traditional, with stone walls and exposed beams and you can enjoy terrific regional dishes from the restaurant.
- The glorious 13th century Chateau de Mercues boasts tastefully decorated rooms with great bathrooms. Enjoy scrummy, typically French cuisine from the restaurant and spend your days by the pool, on the tennis courts or enjoying tasting sessions of the region's top wines.
- Manoir de Malagorse is set in a charming property with chic rooms featuring wooden floors, four posters and lovely bathrooms in slate. There's an apartment which is ideal for family trips, as well as large gardens, a pool and regional cuisine served up.
- Le Troubador enjoys a hilltop location with wonderful views of the area. With a pool, tennis courts and billiards table there's plenty to keep the kids busy, whilst if the adults fancy a night off then babysitting services are also available.
For great value
- Le Relais St. Anne is one of the best places to stay in the Lot if you're looking for something elegant and traditional. Some of the fourteen rooms and two suites have four poster beds, some open fireplaces and some private terraces. All are charming, as are the terraces and gardens. Surprisingly this is also ideal for those on a budget: rooms start from less than seventy pounds per night.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you think you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.
- The weather's obviously nicest in Lot during the summer months, with the average daily temperature rising to 21°C in July and August.
- The nearest international airport is Toulouse-Blagnac, located 124km south of Lot. From here, take the train to Toulouse city centre and then on to your final destination in Lot.
- Ryanair fly direct from Stansted to Toulouse, easyJet go from Luton and Gatwick whilst British Airways from Heathrow. The journey time is usually just under two hours.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Lot
Hotel Le Saint Cirq 22 rooms from £78Tour-de-Faure, Lot
A fabulously positioned near the Malbec vineyards, on a river bank, and with stunning views up to the hills around. A selection of rooms, triples, family suites, and a fully equipped apartment, all in chic creams with elegant furnishings. Fantastic surrounding restaurants and wineries.Families - Family rooms sleep three and four people.Views - Great views from hotelRomantic BreakSights nearby - Pech Merle Cave, Marcilhac-sur-Cele Abbey and Cahors Cathedral. .
Chateau de Bessonies 5 rooms from £109Bessonies, Lot
A stunning 15th century chateau renovated with flair. Elegant rooms and suites have wrought iron beds, antiques, luxurious furnishings, and views of the grounds. A very quiet and romantic atmosphere. Breakfast is served in a large dining room. Romantic and family friendly.Romantic Break - Sleep within 15th century chateau and enjoy breakfast in the gardens, before a riding or mushroom picking afternoonCooking classes - In hotel kitchen: preparation of foie gras, gathering and production of jamGreat walks - Routes through Monts du Cantal and SalersSights nearby - Towns of Figeac and Saint-Céré
Lou Repaou 5 rooms from £89Lot
A quiet hotel in the mid-Pyrenees. Themed rooms feature stone floors with heating, king size beds and private spa baths or hammams. A heated outdoor pool, rustic gardens and charming breakfasts. A great choice for an intimate romantic weekend with lots of countryside walks.Romantic Break - Rooms equipped with private hammams or spa baths; idllyic walks along the river; horse riding and spa treatmentsGreat walks - Canal towpath between Bouziès and St. Cirq Lapopie. Along the Lot, you can follow the horses hauling boats up the riverSights nearby - St Cirq Lapopie and CahorsFishing - On the River Lot
Le Grezalide 19 rooms from £75Grezes, Lot
Beautiful rural hotel situated in the Parc Naturel des Causses du Quercy. The rooms are appointed with elegant furnishings and tasteful contemporary art. Take a horse ride through the surrounding parkland or nearby visit fascinating prehistoric caves. Stunningly good value.Country Escape - Set in a charming park with solar powered swimming pool and yummy regional cuisine using fresh local produce.Sights nearby - The amazing Pech Merle Cave is twelve miles away with an abundance of prehistoric drawings.Great walks - Spend long days walking through the stunning parklands and along the riverbank.Fishing - Bring your rods, there is excellent fishing all along the Lot river.
Four Maison d'Hôtes 4 rooms from £118Montcuq
As the name suggests, four modern, chicly furnished rooms in an ancient building hidden away in Montcuq's side streets. Owner managed means personal touches, delicious breakfasts of local organic produce and dinners on request. A stylish base to explore the beautiful Lot countryside.Sights nearby - Explore the Lot valley, on your doorstepFull of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Le Relais St Anne 14 rooms from £70Martel, Lot
A hotel and restaurant in a charming Quercy village. Traditional rooms and suites with stone walls and wooden beams, some with four poster beds, fireplaces and private terraces. An excellent restaurant, swimming pool and terraces. A relaxing and low-key spot.Private Hot Tub - Some of the bedrooms have jacuzzi bath tubsSwimming Pool - Outdoor heated poolLocal markets - Good for local colour.TraditionalRecommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de la Treyne 17 rooms from £263Lacave, Lot
Gorgeous chateau right on the Dordogne river. Elegant bedrooms feature original French antiques, creamy fabrics and garden views. Tennis court, outdoor pool, sun terrace and 300 acres of woodland. Sublime gourmet French cuisine in ambient dining room. Utterly charming.Local exploring - Abundance of outdoor activities from riding, canoeing on the river, wine tasting, or just wandering the stunning groundsBirdwatching - Eagle Rock, which is home to more than 400 birds, representing 60 different speciesSights nearby - Explore the towns of Domme, medieval Sarlat and RocamadourGreat walks - Walk through the castle’s 300 acres of woodlandRecommended by - Relais & Chateaux, Fodors, Tablet, Kiwi Collection
La Terrasse 15 rooms from 90Meyronne, Lot
Spectacularly romantic chateau with magnificent views over the Dordogne. Fantastic gourmet food served from terraces or in the vaulted-ceiling restaurant. Stone-walled bedrooms with parquet floors, wooden beams and soft fabrics. Very special, utterly romantic.Romantic BreakRomantic - Good for couples.Swimming Pool - Outdoor PoolGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Moulin de Fresquet 3 rooms from £73Gramat (Lot)
Venture down a long drive to this 14th century mill, amidst parklike grounds and waterways. Step back in time with traditionally decorated bedrooms including exposed beams and brickwork, flagstone flooring and ancient tapestries. Breakfast includes Claude's homemade jams, pastries and strong coffee.Sights nearby - The historic town of Rocamadour, home to the striking sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a must visit.Local markets - Owners Gérard and Claude will be more than happy to advise on market days.Great walks - Complete (part of) the Causse de Gramat - a four day rambling route.Sailing - Take a boat trip through one of nature's wonders, the Padirac Chasm.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chateau de Mercues 30 rooms from £264Lot
A sumptuous hotel in 13th century castle. Elegant rooms have parquet floors, antiques and regal drapes, excellent bathrooms. Chapel, outdoor pool, tennis court, gardens and terrace. Simple, yet exquisite French cuisine in the restaurant, lovely bar. A must for foodies and wine lovers.Wine tasting - Taste the Malbec wines of Cahors in the grand cellars of hotel. The chateau produces some of the region's best.Foodies - Tours, tasting and workshops of the three main treats of the region: Truffles, Saffron and MalbecFishing - Upon Lot River; hotel can advise on local regulationsSights nearby - Toulouse
Le Troubadour 10 rooms from £73Rocamadour, Lot
A traditional stone building with blue shutters and ivy clad terraces in the heart of the Dordogne. Charming rooms have stone floors and iron bedsteads. Local produce served in the restaurant, outdoor pool, tennis court, billiards, and many activities around. A fantastic spot for families.Families - Children's menus in the restaurant, baby sitting available.Sights nearby - Chapelle Notre-Dame, Grottes de Lacave.Kayaking - On the Dordogne River.Great walks - Biking/walking tours.
Domaine de la Rhue 5 rooms from £83Rocamadour
A country house B&B in the middle of a Natural Park. Charming stable-conversion bedrooms and one apartment have lots of space, attractive fabrics, and traditional materials. Hearty breakfasts, an outdoor pool, and lots of good restaurants in the area. Excellent value for local exploring.Sights nearby - A few mins from the pilgrimage of Rocamadour and the villages of oubressac, Carennac, Autoire, Martel, Collonge-la-Rouge, Domme.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Views - Great views from hotelSecluded setting - For escaping.
Les Vieilles Tours 15 rooms from £66Rocamadour, Lot
A beautiful 17th century manor house set in the middle of a national park. Charming traditional rooms have stone walls, attractive fabrics, and wooden beams. Pretty parkland, panoramic valley views, swimming pool, and excellent local cuisine. An ideal spot for exploring.Views - Panoramic views of the surrounding valleys.Local exploringGreat walks - Good for walkers.Swimming Pool - Indoor/outdoor
Le Pont de L'Ouysse 12 rooms from £67Lot
Nestled beneath the Belcastel Castle and beside the Ouysse River there is magic in the air at this charming hotel. The rooms are bright and crisp with gleaming hardwood floors and gorgeous views. It boasts a Michelin starred restaurant, outdoor pool & hot tub.Great walks - The Rivery Ouysse is lined with lovely footpaths and gardensSights nearby - Chateau de Montal and Saint-Céré are well worth a visit.Secluded setting - For escaping.Views - Great views from hotel
Manoir de Malagorse 6 rooms from £103Cuzance, Lot
A beautiful B&B in a 19th century mansion. Large, contemporary rooms have wooden floors, four posters and superb bathrooms in slate. Outdoor pool, enormous gardens, and a peaceful sun terrace. Fantastic regional cuisine with local wines. Elegant, chic and quiet.Families - The apartment is ideal for families, with a kitchen to prepare picnics before setting off riding, cycling or on a truffle huntCooking classes - During season, enjoy truffle hunt with trained dogs, visit a local market and then return to hotel to prepare a meal with themFishing - Trout, pike and carp fishing in river Lot. Hotel can advise on local regulationsGreat walks - Through the Natural Park in QuercyRecommended by - Sawdays, Fodors