Why the Lot should be top of your house-hunting list in France

Why the Lot should be top of your house-hunting list in France 1

The enchanting Lot has many luxury properties for sale that are usually better value for money than those in neighbouring departments, such as the popular Dordogne

Pont Valentré in Cahors, capital of the Lot department

Recently tipped as one of the “safest spaces in Europe” to buy property in The Times, the Lot, which neighbours the Dordogne department, is just as enthralling – if not more so.

“While the Dordogne famously has towns such as Eymet, where almost half of the population is British, the neighbouring Lot is less well known, despite being equally beautiful,” Tim Swannie, Director of Home Hunts, told The Times. “It’s a peaceful region with stunning scenery and rolling countryside.”

Cahors – a captivating capital city

Once capital of Quercy and now of the Lot department, the city of Cahors a delightful place to wile away the hours. Here the streets bustle all year round, but you also feel as though you’re slightly off the beaten track. A twice-weekly market in the church square, which offers everything from herbs to fresh fish and endless cheese choices, makes this a place that visitors and locals flock to from miles around.

Falling in love with this area is easy. Hundreds of quaint villages are scattered around the countryside, which is extremely diverse. Wild valleys peppered with “garrigue” merge into shady woods and then row upon row of Malbec vines. Many people think these grapes originated in Argentina – the country’s flagship grape – but they are in fact originally from Cahors and why the area is renowned for its black wine.

So proud are the locals of their Malbec grape there are even vineyards in the heart of the city, set around the impressive Pont Valentré. Also known as the Pont du Diable (the “devil’s bridge”) due to an ancient legend, which tells how the architect sold his soul to the devil to speed up its construction in the 14th century, a glimpse of this bridge and its ancient beauty truly transports you back in time.

Why the Lot should be top of your house-hunting list in France 2

 A good quality of life in peaceful surroundings

In this department, buyers have many choices surrounding the type of place they want to live. Small, traditional villages of just a few hundred people, are fairly common, making tranquility and solitude easy to come by. Yet there are bigger towns and villages for those who wish to integrate into larger communities.

Figeac, an hour east of Cahors is highly popular with tourists and buyers looking for second homes. Set on the Célé river, it is a medieval town with cobblestone streets and a charming historic centre.

“Some may have heard of the larger towns, such as Cahors and Figeac, but among the many beautiful places that are tucked away is Puy-l’Evêque,” adds Tim. “It’s absolutely the kind of place where people come to escape the storm back home — and it’s only an hour from Bergerac airport.”

Tranquil it might be, but there are always plenty of events going on – especially in the summer.

What many people don’t know is that Puy-l’Evêque and some of the other local towns, such as Montcuq, become open-air stages for Antic Disposition’s summer evening Shakespeare plays that are held in August each year. The award-winning theatre company’s show in Puy-l’Evêque is held by the side of the River Lot. With the bright stars and moon reflecting onto the black rippling waters in the background, it’s a magical location that even the most talented production designer couldn’t beat.

Usually sold out weeks in advance, shows are also held in various towns in Périgord, such as Eymet in the Dordogne and Montflanquin in Lot-et-Garonne.

Properties for sale in the Lot

There are some simply stunning properties in this area with spacious interiors and vast grounds, which offer better value for money than the Dordogne or the Lot-et-Garonne. This sensational seven-bedroom estate in Gramat (HH-1213274) is just 35 minutes from Cahors in the Causses du Lot regional park. With original features like the old bread oven and modern additions like the home cinema it’s a pleasant mixture of old and new – add in the glorious swimming pool and this is an irresistible opportunity for the right buyer at €1,055,000.

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For €699,600 this three-bedroom Quercy-stone property (HH-12097678) has been styled inside to offer tasteful décor and spacious, light-filled rooms. With solar panels and a rain water collection system, it would suit an eco-conscious buyer. Private gardens, sweeping lawns and a swimming pool make this the perfect place to spend family holidays during the hot and heady summer months.

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To find out more about these properties and to discover others on sale in the Lot, visit www.home-hunts.com. To speak to a consultant directly about the area and your specific requirements, call +33 (0)970 44 66 43.

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