Causses Nord Itinerary - Perigord & Quercy
Welcome at Rodez Airport
The car will drive you to the nearby village of Belcastel, the first one of ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’ (The Most Beautiful Villages of France) we will see. Here in this one star restaurant in this enchanting village, you will formally meet your travel partners over a lunch created by the sisters Nicole and Michèle Fagegaltier. We will outline the coming week’s experiences, what you should expect and answer any questions you may have about our journey. After lunch, you will have a little time to stretch your legs while visiting this tiny picturesque village before we move on.
Belcastel – Hôtel du Vieux Pont – Lunch
We will drive to the centre of the Marcillac regional wine, the Vallon de Marcillac (Valley of Marcillac) nestled between the Causse and the Rougier. We will stop to visit a local producer to begin to sense the terroir of the region.
We will circle back to l’Hostellerie de Fontagnes in Onet le Château for our first evening. While we install your luggage in the hotel, we invite you to relax and have your first “apéro”. We will have a light dinner in the hotel’s superb restaurant La table de l’Hostellerie de Fontanges where the young and talented chef, Mathieu Bessières and patissier Jérôme Gal compose menus in the “style ruthénois”, a culinary link of all the terroirs of Aveyron: Aubrac, the Causses, Lévézou, Ségala et the Vallée du Lot…
After an amazing first dinner, we suggest that you will begin to get the sense of the history and the terroirs surrounding you. We propose an after dinner stroll to contemplate the hotel grounds by night before turning in for the evening.
Onet le Château – l’Hostellerie de Fontanges – Dinner, Night and Breakfast
No doubt your night will have been restful and your breakfast a perfect culinary wake-up to the next step of your journey. We will start the day travelling to the ancient bastide Sauveterre de Rouergue (another member of the LPBVF or ‘Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’); where we stay visit this 13th century bastide, its arcades, and its narrow streets. We will visit one of the most famous leather craftsmen in the country at his studio outside the village.
Then it’s off to another LPBVF, the medieval village of Najac, where the remains of the chateau, built by the villagers in 1253 on the orders of Alphonse de Poitiers dominates the hilltop.
Najac – L’Oustal Del Barry – Lunch
A few kilometres away, we will visit a traditional cheese producer’s farm and the famous farm of Jacky Carles, an ambassador of Aveyron, who for over twenty years has produced a wonderful duck foie gras.
Later that afternoon we head north for the residence of the Count-Bishops of Cahors for seven centuries, Château de Mercuès. Famous for their vineyards, caves and wines, this magnificent, 13th century castle on the hill overlooking Cahors, now a Relais & Chateau hotel, will be our resting stop for the next two evenings. Dinner will be served in the elegant formal dining salon at the heart of the chateau.
Cahors – Château de Mercuès – Dinner, Night and Breakfast
Continuing on this morning, we follow the river to visit a XV century walnut oil mill, the Moulin à Huile de Noix run by the family Castagné for generations. There we will discover the process of making sublime walnut oils, a walnut aperitif – le vin de noix quercynois and possibly the gavage of their ducks. We will lunch at the farm
Martel – le Moulin de Huile de Noix – Lunch
After lunch we will towards the centre of production for the famous of goat cheese, Cabécou de Rocamadour. We will stop at le Borie d’Imbert, the farm and museum dedicated to the making of this cheese where we will have a chance to learn how this cheese is made and participate in a tasting. Then it’s on to our hotel and for a taste of what’s to follow later, we will pass underneath the stunning XIIth century village of Rocamadour, which is suspended from the rock outcroppings; layered up the hill and dominates the Azlou river valley.
We end the day at the Château de la Treyne, a Relais & Châteaux property, where you will change for a luxurious apéro, formal dinner and finish with a snifter of Vieille Prune and cigars before you head off to a luxurious sleep.
Lacave – Château de la Treyne – Formal Dinner, Night and Breakfast
Rocamadour – La Vieilles Tours – Dinner, Night and Breakfast
We begin our day heading to Sarlat, the centre of the Perigord Noir (Black). With over 1,000 years of history, the medieval town we see today developed around a Benedictine abbey of Carolingian origin. It became a city in the 8th century and then bounced between Kings de France and England during the Hundred Year War. We will arrive to catch the local food market in the town square, take a guided tour of the town and lunch in one of the cafes on local specialities.
Sarlat – Lunch
In the afternoon, we will visit the most unusual gardens of Marqueyssac high above the Dordogne River and then on to our hotel overlooking the valley and river.
Domme – Hôtel de l’Esplanade – Dinner, Night and Breakfast
The morning finds you on your way back to Rocamadour for a tour of this wonderful medieval village and its gathering of houses, churches, and castles. You will be take a guided tour of the village, visiting the Black Virgin Chapel, the castel and other sites to fill your imagination with the history of the millions of pilgrims on their way to Santiago and are free to lunch in the village.
Rocamadour – Lunch at your leisure
That afternoon we will follow the river to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, and yes, this is another member of the club and a well deserved one at that! Suspended high above the river on top of a cliff, this town was shared between four feudal dynasties, the Lapopies, Gourdons, Cardaillacs and Castelnaus. We will spend the morning following in the footsteps of the viscounts of Quercy, walking the streets of this medieval village to discover its numerous art galleries, its typical houses and the fortress which overlooks the Lot River. For dinner, you will no doubt appreciate the symphony of foie gras we have requested from the chef of our restaurant in the village.
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie – Le Gourmet Quercynois – dinner
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie – Hotel Saint-Cirque, Night and Breakfast
This morning we will visit the pre-historic site of Pech Merl and take the tour deep into these caves to see the ancient hand paintings and then have a picnic lunch on the grounds.
Pech Merle – Picnic Lunch
In the afternoon we will then head over to the beautiful town of Cahors to wander the streets of the old city. Then on to the Château de Haut-Serre for a degustation of their wines and then dinner at their fabulous restaurant.
Dinner – Château de Haute-Serre
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie – Hotel Saint-Cirque, Night and Breakfast
The morning of your last day, we continue on to Figeac where you will have the opportunity to visit at your leisure.the “Le Musée Champollion : Les Ecritures du Monde” (the Champollion Museum: Writing of the World) and this beautifully preserved medieval old town, which allows you to observe the evolution of civil architecture between the 12th and 14th centuries before departing.
Rodez / Marcillac – Here we will smooth your way back to the Rodez airport for Paris or London or possibly for the next leg of your holiday, making sure the images, flavours and memories that – we are certain – will remain with you forever, are firmly stowed for future reference and enjoyment. We bid you adieu and hope to see you again on another DOMAINES & TERROIRS Journey.
Périgord & Quercy - the land of the Lot & Dordogne, cradle of European civilization and now home to the world famous Rocamadour and its foie gras, truffles, walnuts, chataigne and the wonderful wines of Cahors and Bergerac. All are hereto be discovered in a fabulously beautiful yet little known region.
|€/pers 7 days||Guided 8 per||Guided 4 per||Self Guided|
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