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Bretenoux - a lovely bastide town

Bastide towns were built in the Middle Ages in the south-west of France to replace communities damaged by wars and to create secure centres where the most important buildings were protected by a grid design of houses and frequently also by outer walls. They are always appealing to visit, with their quaint little streets and arcaded central squares which usually play host to markets once a week. One such bastide town is Bretenoux. Typical of its genre, the town has an arcaded square, grid patterned streets and vestiges of the original ramparts that once protected it from attack. A superb castle is another feature of this pretty town, which is found amongst the picturesque countryside of this rural area.

Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days

You could spend many a happy hour exploring the streets and buildings of Bretenoux, especially if you happen to choose to visit on market days, which are Tuesdays and Saturdays. The town also has plenty of enjoyable shops, bars, cafés and restaurants to enjoy. All the usual services are available too. Sight seeing takes in all the usual features of a bastide, with the important addition of a fabulous castle, supremely well preserved and well worth a visit. It is open to the public most days throughout the year.

Glorious countryside with rivers and lakes

The Lot may not be one of the best known departments of France, but there is plenty to discover and enjoy. The countryside is glorious, with rolling fields and farmland, sunflowers and corn. Rivers and lakes make perfect outdoor playgrounds, offering chances for swimming, fishing and boating, and the quiet trails and lanes are tailor-made for hiking, biking or pony trekking.

Explore stunning Rocamadour and taste the Black Wine of Cahors

Places to add to the list of "where to go and what to see" in the area include the stunning village of Rocamadour, where the houses cling perilously to a hillside, gleaming golden in the sunlight, and where there are numerous monuments to find; the designated "most beautiful villages of France", namely Autoire, Capendac, Cardaillac, Carennac, Loubressac and Saint Cirq Lapopie; and the capital city of Cahors, where you can taste the superb local red wine, so rich and dark it is known as "the Black Wine of Cahors".

How to get there

The new airport near Souillac just south of Brive (Brive Vallée de la Dordogne Airport) is the nearest airport to Bretenouz, which currently has seasonal direct flights with Cityjet and Jet2. Rodez is the next nearest airport that can fly you direct from the UK (served by Ryanair), but Limoges, Bordeaux and Toulouse are also possibilities if you don't mind a little driving once you arrive. Toulouse is also a major hub for rail travel, with TGVs running into the city and linking to local services all over the country. Drivers will find Bretenoux from a variety of roads including the D803, with the nearest major road being the A20.

Property prices and availability in and around Bretenoux

The town and the surrounding area offer some very interesting properties, at both ends of the financial scale. Those on a budget can find some very good properties for upwards of 200,000 Euros, while the lucky few with a lot more to spend will be spoilt for choice by the range of fabulous luxury properties currently for sale. Most sought after are typical Quercy style properties, built of local stone in a very distinctive Quercy style.

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Bretenoux AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Bretenoux?

Bretenoux lies in the north-east of the Lot department, very close to its regional border with the Limousin.

Bretenoux Property Map


Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map


Lot Guide

  Lot Map

Population: 1,331

Access: By air: Fly to Brive, Rodez, Limoges, Bordeaux or Toulouse. By rail: Toulouse has a major TGV station with links all over France. By road: The town can be found from the D803. The nearest major road is the A20.

Economy: The economy is mainly agricultural, with small commerce and enterprise present. Tourism is also a factor.

Interesting fact: The bastide town was once completely encircled by ramparts, parts of which remain. The town still boasts a stunning castle.


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