Visit Les Arques, a centre of cultural life.
In the small village of Les Arques, you will find the Zadkine museum. It features the work of Ossip Zadkine, a Russian born sculptor & artist who settled there in 1934. You can view some of his prestigious works and documents that illustrate his life. Five of Zadkine's sculptures enliven the village and some of his religious works are presented in the church.
Sports and activities
There is a long list of things to do near to Lou Calvel: you can walk the signposted lanes around 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, canoing on the Dordogne and balloon flights at Carnac-Rouffiac.
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.
Don't miss the medieval paintings
in the chapel Saint-André, near the museum in Les Arques. You can also go for a lovely long walk in the woods and round off the outing with a meal at the local restaurant.
Learn to cook
Book up to spend a day in the kitchen learning French cookery skills from an expert, at Les Arques.
Open air cinema festival
In Gindou, a nearby village, a week of open air cinema takes place in August.
Markets and evening markets:
Almost every weekday you will find a morning produce market - closest is 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.
Everyone will love Le Bugue, a small and attractive market town
with little winding lanes and some lovely houses where you will find an aquarium and a model of a typical Perigourdin 19th century village. There are caves to visit here too such as the 'Gouffre de Proumeyssac'.
The pretty village of Frayssinet Le Gelat
is lovely to walk around and also boasts a lake where you can fish, swim, and hire pedalos. Tennis, boules and horse riding are also available here too. You will also find a restaurant with a take away pizzeria.
The picturesque town of Sarlat is just to the north
It's very popular with visitors so can get pretty busy at times but the old town is a pleasure to visit. Call into the Tourist Office for a walking tour to guide you round - you might get lost in the myriad of lanes if not!
Canoeing and kayaking on the River Lot or River Célé during the summer.
There are a number of companies that organise these activities in St Cirq Lapopie (River Lot), Cabrerets and Bouziès (River Célé).
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. And don't forget it is at the heart of the Cahors wine area!
Visit the nearby fortress of Bonaguil.
Elevated above the oak woods it appears to have no strategic reason for being there except for our magical pleasure. You can enjoy a tasty meal followed by a long walk in the surrounding countryside. In summer this chateau is a venue for Theatre festivals and classical music concerts.
40 Medieval Bastides
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 Villereal. 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.
In the Lot, Lou Calvel is only a few kilometres from the Dordogne and its 1001 Chateaux. About 30km away, you will find a little nest of them with Chateau de Beynac above the pretty village of La Roque-Gageac, Chateau de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and its war museum, the box garden of Chateau de Marqueyssac, the Chateau des Milandes which was once owned by Josephine Baker and its museum dedicated to her. On the way, you can stop at the pretty hilltop bastide of Domme.
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. Children will enjoy seeing the eagles fly off the Roc or watching the 130 monkeys who live completely free in the Foret des Singes. It's famous for its goats' cheese so make sure to take some home with you.
From hill perched village to caves
Just over an hour's drive, passing Cahors, will take you to St Cirq Lapopie, a 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 or early evening when the tour buses have left. At the bottom of the village you may visit the cave of Pech Merles.
Animal Parc of Gramat
Discover animals and birds of Europe in the natural grounds set in the heart of the "Parc Naturel des Causses du Quercy" - between Rocamadour and Padirac. You can take your picnic with you.
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.
Visit the caves on a rainy or very hot day
nearby, the Grottes de Cougnac and its prehistorical paintings, near Gourdon. A bit further, the Gouffre de Padirac and its underground river, or a 1,6km trip on a little train through the Grottes de Lacave
If you like 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.
Have you visited Lou Calvel?
Click here to suggest a Great Thing you've done nearby ...