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A town of delights

The town of Cahors, in the Lot department in south-west France is truly a town of many delights. There is so much to see and do here that you are really spoiled for choice as to where to go first, and if you have only a short time to spend in the town you are bound to miss out on something! Cahors has a mediaeval city, a Gallo Roman section, an important cathedral, an elegant Boulevard and a busy modern section equipped with superb shopping, restaurants and leisure facilities. Add to this the excellent wines and gastronomic products which hail from the town and you have a recipe for success that is hard to equal, even in France!

Towns within towns…

Cahors is made up of several different sections, dating from different periods of its history, each with its own distinctive character and style. There is so much to see that it is beyond the scope of a brief guide to mention them all, but as a taster, try the Arc de Diane in the Gallo Roman town, the Boulevard Gambetta on the edge of the modern city, the Cathedral of St Etienne, the mediaeval ramparts and the piece de resistance, the Valentré Bridge, otherwise known as the Devil's Bridge.

A pact with the Devil!

The architect who designed the Bridge of Valentré is said to have had a somewhat unusual assistant… the Devil himself! Legend has it that the bridge was proving difficult to finish so the architect, in desperation, turned to the Devil for help. He made a pact that the Devil would receive his soul on completion of the bridge, and the Devil, in return, would do everything that the architect asked of him, following his instructions to the letter, in order to complete the bridge. As completion drew near, the architect, fearing for his soul, devised a cunning plan to cheat the Devil out of his reward. He gave the Devil a sieve, and told him that the water necessary for mixing the mortar for the final stages of construction, in the north-east sector, must be collected and carried from the river in the sieve. Of course, the Devil was unable to complete this task, so the bridge remained unfinished and the architect's soul was safe.

Twist to the tale

There is a twist to the tale, however, in that the Devil then cursed the bridge, and it has proved impossible for subsequent builders to finish that particular north-east section, as it continually collapses. The bridge today is an object of beauty and fascination, and not just because of its legend. In summer, it is possible to take an atmospheric candle-lit trip to view the bridge at night, and this is highly recommended.

In the modern town

The modern town, which is bordered by the elegant Boulevard Gambetta, has much to offer. The choice of restaurants is nothing short of superb, with everything from the finest of French dining experiences through to snack bars, pizzerias, Chinese restaurants and even Spanish cuisine. The shopping is excellent too, and to add to this there is a host of other leisure activities to help to keep your interest. Cahors has libraries, theatres, cinemas… and all the usual necessary amenities such as banks, schools, supermarkets and post offices. There are also a variety of regular and special occasion markets and fairs held in the town.

Out and about

If you wish to explore a little further afield, there is plenty to do and see here too. Cahors is not too far away from the great cultural centres of Toulouse and Bordeaux, and there is enough in those two great cities to keep anybody busy for a day or two! Sporting opportunities here abound, as within easy reach of the town you can play golf, go fishing, try horse-riding, cycling, rock climbing, tennis… the list is endless. The countryside of the Lot is beautiful and unspoiled, so you may simply wish to take some time out to drive and gaze.

Wine outlets

It is also well worth going to some of the "direct vente" wine outlets, where the wine is sold from the place it is produced. Cahors wine is perhaps one of France's best kept secrets, less known and less expensive than the wines of its neighbour Bordeaux, but absolutely superb in quality. Cahors red wine is so dark it is almost inky black in appearance in the bottle, and this gives some indication of the richness of the flavour and texture.

How to get there

You can reach Cahors by air by flying to Bergerac with Ryanair or flybe, the budget airlines. The other possibilities include flying to Toulouse or to Bordeaux. Toulouse and Bordeaux are both served by British Airways, bmibaby, easyJet, flybe and bmi, while Bordeaux is also served by Aer Lingus. Rail travel involves beginning your journey with Eurostar from London to Paris, then taking a TGV from Paris to Toulouse, and finally taking a local train to Cahors itself. If you are driving, the town is located off the A20 autoroute.

Property prices and availability in and around Cahors

Property prices in Cahors reflect the popularity of the area, and do tend to be above average for France. This can be offset, however, by a strong rental market, meaning that your property can earn you money when you are not using it yourself. Cahors offers many types and sizes of property, and the lovely countryside of the Lot has some superb farmhouses available.

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Cahors AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Cahors?

Cahors lies in south-west France, in the south of the Lot department, along the River Lot.

Cahors Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF LOT

Lot Guide

  Lot Map


Population: 23,000


Access: By air: Fly to Bergerac, Toulouse or Bordeaux with a choice of airlines. By rail: The TGV will take you from Paris to Toulouse, and from here you can link to a local train to Cahors. By road: The town is accessed from the A20 autoroute.


Economy: Cahors is a large and thriving town with diverse economic interests. The principal source of revenue is the AOC Cahors wine.


Interesting fact: There is a bridge in Cahors which has an interesting and demonic legend attached!

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