In the surroundings of the Hotel Restaurant Le Petit Relais : the Lot region and all its marvels!
We, like so many tourists, discovered this region on our own holiday and soon fell under the spell of the charm and beauty of the Lot et Quercy, justly famed for its culinary heritage as well as its landscape, and ever since, we have been determined to share this with our guests.
Calès, an ancient ‘Bastide’ village in the Quercy Natural Park is quietly situated close to the Ouysse Valley, a tributary of the Dordogne. We are within easy reach of Rocamadour and Gourdon and the many famous tourist hotspots of the Dordogne, yet retain a welcome air of peace and tranquillity.
The Lot region
Its draws its rugged character from the limestone plateaux cut through by the valleys of the Lot, Dordogne, Célé and Ouysse rivers. It is liberally sprinkled with unique sites and spectacular towns and villages such as Rocamadour, Cahors, Figeac and Saint-Cirq-Lapopie……Prehistoric man has left his mark in the caves of Pech Merle and Merveilles and nature has mysteriously created the spectacular cave formations at Lacave and the unique Gouffre de Padirac.
We have many family attractions to visit such as the Eagle Rock Ecopark, Monkey Forest, La Maison des Abeilles which celebrates our wonderful honey bees, the Champollion museum and also Gromadou – a medieval theme park complete with exciting jousting events.
Rocamadour, the Sacred City
While staying at Le Petit Relais you should not miss a visit to Rocamadour; a tiny village with a world-wide reputation. It is a truly incredible sight, built into the rock; layer upon layer, the village appears to be suspended 120 meters above the Alzou canyon. The houses, rooftops, churches and towers built as if on top of each other into the rock face, appear to be part of the cliff itself. Since the 12th century this tiny ‘city’ with its monastery has been one of the most important staging posts along the route of Saint Jacques de Compostelle and has received pilgrims from around the world who come to pray here. Indeed, the village still holds the relics of Saint-Amadour and is also the sanctuary of the venerated ‘Black Virgin’.
On foot, by bike or on horseback
You can discover the delights of our countryside through well waymarked paths and tracks; you’ll see the numerous ‘gariottes’ our local name for the traditional stone shelters for shepherds which are dotted around the countryside and in pastures bordered by ancient dry stone walls. Here you are in the heart of the Quercy National Park – truly a walker’s paradise.
There are also plenty of opportunities to swim and canoe in the Dordogne and the Lot and the Ouysse is a famous river for those who love fishing.
Impossible to be bored
With so many things to discover – visits to caves and natural wonders, museums and medieval castles or wander through a peaceful ‘secret’ garden, you’ll be amazed at the wealth of our local heritage and will already be planning your next visit to uncover more.
All this and our mouth-watering local gastronomy and excellent produce – truffles, foie gras, lamb, melons and not forgetting of course our renowned Cahors wine… so many reasons to spend time here…
We look forward to welcoming you very soon!