Explore Château de Bonaguil
"It's so perfect that it seems ridiculous to describe it as a ruin" was how Lawrence of Arabia described the Château de Bonaguil. Hugely reinforced to defend a hunchback tyrant called Brengon from an enemy that no longer existed, the castle fell into disrepair and by the 18th century was sold for 100 francs and a sack of walnuts. Today it is a simply stunning castle with much to explore, including the novelty of seeing medieval graffiti. The outside is illuminated during the summer evenings and once a year, at the beginning of August, Chateau Bonaguil plays host to a music and theatre festival with a spectacular firework display.
Thursday morning is the time to visit Monflanquin
as this is when the market takes place - stalls are set out in the main square with its arcades, laden with local produce. Have lunch on the terrace at one of the restaurants on the square. Set on a hilltop, it is a very well preserved town, and is generally agreed to be one the most historically intact examples of a medieval bastide town.
Canoeing in Casseneuil
Just 15 minutes drive from Le Clos de Redon will bring you to Casseneuil. From here you can enjoy a selection of canoe trips along the river.
For a fun day out for the children
take them to the Walibi Fun Park in Roquefort near Agen, around 1 hour away - water rides, tropical forest, corkscrew and pirate boat rides, and an 18th Century Castle, there is something to keep all children amused.
Wander the 'brocante' markets
which take place once a month between April to September in Monflanquin, as well as an antique market on the 14th July. The village of Issigeac, to the west, holds an antique market at the beginning of August and there are flea markets most weekends in the area. See if you can pick up a bargain!
The village of Gavaudun
to the east (30 minutes drive) has much to offer - from archery and climbing to mountain bike trips and speleology, as well as a beautiful 'donjon' ruin from a XIIth century chateau perched over the village and an excellent restaurant 'Le Café'
For those who would like to know more about foie gras,
the famous dish of the south west of France, head south and visit the Foie Gras Museum in Frespech. 4500 years of history from the Egyptians to today and they also have a great restaurant (40km).
Explore the Caves
Spend a couple of hours on a guided tour in one of the many caves found in the area. In the Lot-et-Garonne, there are the 'Grottes de Fontirou'; in the Lot, there is the 'Gouffre de Padirac'; and in the Dordogne 'Gouffre de Proumeyssac', to name but a few.
Water park for the children
Take the children to Aqua Park Junior Land, approximately 40 minutes drive in the direction of Bordeaux. There are four pools, with a water slide and direct access to the river for canoeing. Mountain biking, quad bikes, beach volleyball and table tennis are always on offer. The park is open daily from May to September from 10:00 to 01:00 the following morning – floodlit at night!
will enjoy the fabulous collection of waterlilies at La Tour-Marliac in Le Temple-sur-Lot (30 minute drive).
The famous golf course of Château des Vigiers (18 hole) is just under 1 hour away and there are also spa facilities on site for those who prefer some pampering! In the other direction, just 5 minutes drive from Clos de Redon there is an 18 hole golf course near Castelnaud-de-Gratecambe. Enjoy a round of golf and then come back and relax by the pool.
Château of Monbazillac
Don't miss the château of Monbazillac (40km) with its fine collection of XVIIth century furniture, it's vineyards and wine museum. Then visit the Wine Cooperatives shop, just 3km from the chateau where you will have the opportunity to discover and taste the wonderful wines from the area.
A 45 minute drive and you will arrive in the old centre with it's beautiful jumble of cobbled streets, timbered houses, little shops and cafés overlooking the squares. Visit the museums, sit on the riverbank and watch the boats go by or, even better, go for a 50 minute trip on one of the gabarres (flat-bottomed wooden boat).
A spa day
If you wish to relax even more, visit Les Bains de Casteljaloux (approx 1hr drive) where you will find thermal spas, massages, Japanese baths, and both indoor & outdoor pools.
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