At the heart of the National Park of Causses du Quercy, the lightful Valley of the Cele that runs along the GR 65, Route de Saint Jacques de Compostella, is known since the Middle Ages as "The Valley of Paradise." The Cele slides capriciously among wooded grasslands with grazing sheep, and forces its way between tall limestone cliffs riddled with caves, troglodytic houses and Roman churches. The region, with its famous Pech-Merle cave paintings, and many standing stones, keeps track of prehistoric civilizations.
Villages like Corn, Marcilhac, St. Eulalie, Cabrerets, to name only a few, hemmed with stone walls, punctuated by fountains, washing places for laundry, chapels, show the splendor of the past.
Figeac, City of Art and History, must be seen with its carved facades, its secret courtyards
and lavish stairways, its colorful market fragrant and warm, its open attics"solelhos", and its museum of Champollion, the Egyptologist's native place.
A few km away, the neighboring valley of the Lot, where you can practice river tourism (35 km), displays extensive landscapes, dominated by former grand Gallic sites, villages, medieval towns perched on hillsides:
Capdenac le-Haut, Faycelles, Saint Cirq-Lapopie, Gourdon, Cahors…
Other neighboring renowned places: Rocamadour, le Gouffre de Padirac.
You can go swimming in some sites of the Cele River, canoeing-kayaking, or do boat trips on the Lot. Fresh waters of the rivers is a paradise for fishermen.
For hiking on foot, horseback or mountain bike, there are many paths that can get you to the heart of Nature. If you choose to do a walk starting from the Domain, you can leave your car there safely. If you want to hike without carrying bags and luggage, we will help you to find partners, to provide transportation from point to point.
Hang gliding or free flight: more information available during check-in.
Speleology and diving: more information available during check-in.
French southwest cooking
The “cuisine” of the region is great, generous and luxurious: truffles, saffron, foie gras and duck confit, cabécou (small round goat cheese), lamb from the farm. Many other great local products are available. We have a list of good restaurants nearby. It is also possible to take cooking lessons.
The traditional architecture of the Quercy
One of the advantages of our region is its original architecture, remarkably preserved over the centuries, lovingly restored and well integrated into the landscape. It shows a wide variety of styles, each reflecting local particularities. Within a few kilometers, you can go from a fortified Roman church (St Pierre Toirac) to a Renaissance style monument, (Church and Castle of Assier) and from there to the medieval shopping streets of Figeac, lined with the houses of the merchants of the Middle Ages. Figeac has beautiful churches decorated with altars in a style influenced by Spain.
The Lot is also about rural architecture: large farms, barns, gariottes (Caselle), bread ovens, shelters for shepherds etc... It is not uncommon to discover, based on the layout of old houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, that expansions were undertaken before the end of the 18th, when there was an abundance of trade across the region.
The buildings are of good size, always in stone, often "dry stone" with warm colors and brightness. The cylindrical shape with pointed roofs of the stone houses used for pigeon nests gives its characteristic elegance to the farms. Those high, pointed roofs, were originally designed to withstand, by mean of dry stone walls, heavy stone cover slates.
The Domain Villedieu is a good example of this style.