Visit Les Arques and its museum
In the pretty village of Les Arques, you can discover the Museum of Ossip Zadkine. Russian artist and sculptor, he fell in love with the village and enchanting area and bought a house in 1934. You can discover several of his works in the village, little church and Museum - don't miss the little black and white video on him. He also discovered some old frescos in a nearby chapel that you can visit too - ask for the keys at the museum.
Sports and activities
There is a long list of things to do near Champ Vieil: you can wander the lanes surrounding the house, go horse riding, fishing or play a round of golf at the 9-hole golf course near Saint-Martin-le-Redon. For the more adventurous there is paragliding at Douelle, tree climbing at Cap-Nature Cahors, canoeing on the Dordogne or the Lot, and hot air balloon flights at Carnac-Rouffiac.
Markets and evening markets
Almost every weekday you will find a morning produce market - the closest is at Cazals on Sundays. Quality seasonal fruit and vegetables can be found at these local markets as well as cheese, wine, bread, poultry, honey etc. In July and August there are also evening Gourmand markets where local producers cook their own produce. Just pick what you fancy and sit along with the locals, at tables set up on the square. There is a lovely one in Loubéjac on Thursdays.
The famous town of Sarlat,
jewel of the Dordogne, is less than an hour away. Why not visit this town on market day, Saturday, and then visit the Lascaux II caves a little further north to see the famous paintings?
The Secret Gardens of Cahors
The secret gardens were first created in 2002 and consist of 29 separate gardens around the city, each with a different theme. Spend half a day following the trail linking the gardens.
Spend the day exploring Cahors,
built in a tight meander of the River Lot, surrounded by a ring of hills. Its warren of little streets, the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the lovely cathedral, and the bridge spanning the River Lot combine to create a wonderful town to wander around.
Enjoy a delicious meal
in Les Arques, in the much-acclaimed 'La Recreation' restaurant, which is in the converted old school house.
Within easy reach of the 1001 chateaux of the Dordogne
As Champ Vieil is near the border with the Dordogne, it is within easy reach for example of the Chateau de Beynac, the Fortress of Castelnau and its medieval war museum, the garden of the Chateau de Marqueyssac that overlooks Laroque-Gageac and the Dordogne valley, Josephine Baker's Chateau des Milandes and the nearby Chateau de Biron, set in a beautiful village.
Cinema festival in Gindou
Every year, near the end of August, a Cinema Festival takes place with open air projections and various other activities alongside.
Some of the best Cahors vines are only about 30 minutes from the house, around Vire-sur-Lot and further. Go for a wine tasting ('dégustation') and visit the hillside village of Puy l'Evêque which is particularly pretty when viewed from down by the river Lot.
Medieval bastide towns
In the Lot area, you are only a few kilometres from the "Lot-et-Garonne 40 Medieval Bastides", many of them built by the English. Some, such as Monflanquin and Penne d'Agenais are hill built, some flat with little gardens, such as Villeréal. All have at their heart a main square bordered by arcades and archways, most shelter cafés and restaurants, and markets take place on the squares. In July and August, you will usually find a Medieval Festival, when the whole village seems to return to the past.
Just over an hour's drive,
passing Cahors, will take you to St Cirq Lapopie, a hilltop village with the accolade of 'Un des Plus Beaux Villages de France'. A very impressive place with a view to match. Best visited late afternoon/early evening when the tour buses have left.
Visit the fantastic medieval village of Rocamadour,
built on the side of a cliff. In the 13th century pilgrims would flock here in their thousands to seek cures for their illnesses. The children will enjoy seeing the eagles fly off the Roc or watch the 130 monkeys who live completely free in the Foret des Singes. It's famous for its goat's cheese so make sure to take some home with you.
Visit the caves on a rainy or very hot day
Nearby, the Grottes de Cougnac and its prehistorical paintings, near Gourdon. Further afield, the Gouffre de Padirac and its underground river, or a 1.6km trip on a little train through the Grottes de Lacave.
Visit the Périgord from the sky
If you go to the beautiful village of La Roque Gageac to visit the chateaux around, you can also book (in advance at www.montgolfiere-du-perigord.com) a ride in a hot air balloon and make this holiday an unforgettable one!
If you like live music
you might like to try the Jazz Festival in Souillac end of July, the Blues Festival in Cahors mid July, the Saint-Cré Music and Theatre Festival from mid July to mid August or the Bonaguil Music and Theatre Festival in the chateau, first week of August.
Museum of the Automaton
The biggest museum of the Automaton in Europe can be found in Souillac. The collection dates from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Take the children
to the Parc-en-Ciel in Lacapelle-Biron (40km) - 14 hectares of trees and fields where you'll find mini golf, a farm of baby animals, a snail museum, and an adventure playground through the trees with different courses suited to the age of the children.
Golfers can play a round at one of two courses in Siorac (25km).
Why run around the country when you can just stay and relax in this delightful, peaceful countryside? Stock up on refreshments, pick up a book, and unwind at Champ Vieil.
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