You can find lots of places of interest near Laparade 47. For starters you can travel through a verdant landscape rich with orchards and fields of corn, sunflower and maize, woodland, deep valleys and rocky outcrops, along tree-lined avenues to the wide River Lot, riverside towns, marketplaces, hilltop villages, medieval houses and churches, all with lots of character.

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Castelmoron-sur-Lot

Nearest to Laparade (5 km) is this town on the river Lot. It has all necessary local facilities, which for France must include a doctor’s surgery, a pharmacy and a boulangerie, a flourishing market on Wednesdays, and in the square, a good café-restaurant, the Café du Commerce. There’s a very respectable new supermarket in the “U” chain, with fuel. There are some interesting streets off the square. There’s a river beach too, with a summer café.

Clairac

This village (7.1 km) like Castelmoron, has a crossing over the Lot. Its historic distinction for some is the abbey, which took part in the 16th Century French Reformation and adopted Protestant ideas, as also did most of the townsfolk. Much of the region was involved in the religious conflicts of the Wars of Religion of the later 16th century. There are quaint narrow medieval streets around the abbey, with lots of character, and a café-restaurant, the Nationale. It too has a river beach and café-restaurant in the summer.

Prayssas

To the south across the Lot valley and up over some hills (19.1km) is the medieval village of Prayssas. It’s a gem; two circles of house in traditional medieval style around a Romanesque church and a square. It has two cafés, a restaurant, a boulangerie, and a health centre and pharmacy, as you’d expect. It is well worth a visit and full of character.

Pujols

This is (23.3km) another gem, perched on top of a hill to the south of Villeneuve-sur-Lot. Again it’s medieval, a walled settlement with a church doubling as a fortress as can be seen in these hilltop places. There is a beautiful little square by the church, inside the gateway, and a splendid main street, the Rue de la Citadelle with several cafés and restaurants. There are some good views. Art exhibitions often take place, such as in a former little church. It’s not to be confused with the lower Pujols at the bottom of the hill, a modern creation. Rue de la Citadelle, Pujols 47

Montpezat d’Agenais

Montpezat (11.2 km) sits on the hill opposite Laparade on the other side of the valley. It has a windmill, some old characterful streets and a splendid school building. There is no sign now of its castle. The Lord of Montpezat helped set off the Hundred Years War with his dispute with nearby Saint-Sardos (10.6 km), also a characterful village. In fact you can look across the valley to where this, from the French point of view, infamous struggle between the French monarchy and the Duke of Aquitaine and King of England started.

Penne d’Agenais

Penne (35.5 km) was an English fortress at the start of the Hundred Years War and the scene of repeated sieges. In more peaceful times a village grew up around it, very attractive with narrow, winding streets up from a fortified gateway at the bottom of the old village to another at the top and to a Basilica, the Sanctuaire Notre-Dâme de Peyragude. The church has a figurine of the Virgin Mary of devotional interest. There is a grotto nearby which attracts worshippers. The church has a commanding view down the Lot valley. In the square below there are two café-restaurants. The village attracts a number of artists; there is a glass-blowing workshop, and leather makers.

Monflanquin

Monflanquin square north-west side near churchThis very pretty village (40.7 km) is one of the best bastides in Lot-et-Garonne (47) and well worth a trip. Like many bastides it sits atop a hill and can be seen from miles away. Streets climb up to a characteristic arcaded square with café-restaurants, bookshops, art exhibitions and antique shops. Individual buildings are of architectural interest. There are narrow back-alleys which typical of many bastides, run behind the houses on many of the old streets. At the top, by the church there is a panoramic view towards Biron.

Other places

The region is full of places of interest, splendid scenery and small but very characterful old villages which have many secrets to be revealed to the discerning Francophile traveller. You can journey up the Lot valley to the Cahors wine region and to its gorges, go over towards the Dordogne with Monpazier or Issigeac, or taste the wines of Duras or Bergerac, to mention a few.

Chateau near Laparade 47