If you’re planning a trip to southern France with your family, the Lot region has a lot to offer for both adults and kids alike.
It’s a magical part of the country featuring beautiful landscapes, enchanting forests, ancient caves and historic castles set amongst picturesque towns and villages. There are a broad range of activities on offer across the region that will appeal to families with children of all ages. This includes:
Château de Bonaguil
Built on a high rocky spur between two rivers, this spectacular looking castle dates back to the 13th century and is guaranteed to spark the imagination of your children. The last of the great fortified castles to be constructed in France, Château de Bonaguil is best enjoyed in July when night-time fireworks displays illuminate the castle and its surroundings.
Just a 35 minute drive away from Cahors is the Pech Merle pre-history centre, offering a fascinating insight into the life of prehistoric cavemen and women and the famous wall paintings they created.
The centre provides educational workshops for both children and adults.
Les Croisières Fénelon
To really enjoy the beauty of the Lot region, a scenic ride by river boat is highly recommended. Cruises are available from Les Croisières Fénelon up to Saint Cirq Lapopie or past the Cahors vineyards. Full day cruises are available with meals and drinks available on board.
For the budding horticulturalists and botanists in the family, Latour-Marliac is an ideal spot to enjoy nature and horticulture at its best. Featuring 6 acres of beautifully managed gardens, this is the perfect place to lose yourself on a sunny mid-week afternoon. Children are well catered for on-site and the entry price of €3.50 per child includes a kid’s activity book.
Cap Nature Parc de Loisirs
This nature park offers a broad array of fun, outdoor activities for children aged 3 and upwards. The site includes aerial acrobatic courses and an enormous 6000m2 area for playing paintball.
Grotte de Lastournelle
For a journey into the ancient underworld of Lot, a visit to Grotte de Lastournelle is highly recommended. These ancient, natural caves feature seven “rooms” created by the flow of a river dating back 25 million years. The site surrounding the entrance to the caves is very family friendly with picnic area and children’s facilities.
La Foret des Singes
If your children love animals they will love meeting the free living monkeys at La Foret des Singes. The monkeys freely roam a large park near Rocamadour. You’ll be surprised at how close you can get to meeting them and observing how they live. This isn’t like a typical zoo; the monkeys have complete freedom to roam and spaces to hide if they do not want to be seen by the public.
Les Bains de Casteljaloux
This spa and swimming complex offers great relaxation for adults and fun, waterside activities for the kids. Facilities include sauna, steam rooms, Jacuzzi and Japanese bath. There’s also a heated indoor pool if you are unlucky enough to pay a visit on a less sunny day, however, sunshine here is pretty consistent throughout the summer months.
Happy Forest, Pont-du-Casse
A great day out for all the family, the Happy Forest does what it says on the tin, providing a fun, woodland environment with aerial rides and activities above the treetops. If your kids have boundless energy, a trip to the Happy Forest will almost certainly wear them out!
Holidaymakers looking for an intrepid adventure holiday within mainland Europe will not be disappointed by the Lot region in France. With history, sightseeing, sports, relaxation and beautiful scenery, there is something for everyone.
About the author
Mark Bishop is the founder of Pagel Holidays. His company provides unique child centred holidays for families with young children. The Pagel sites are based in Lot and you can read more at: www.pagel-france.com.