Driving from La Roque Gageac to Toulouse

Old Apr 16th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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Driving from La Roque Gageac to Toulouse

I would like to take a very scenic route from La Roque back to Toulouse. Does anyone have any suggestions? We will have already seen the areas around Rocamadour, St Cirq,Cordes, Albi...so maybe a route including Monpazier??? Thanks
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Get an early start and try this:

Take one of the many pretty routes to Belves* – one of my “under-rated” villages in the Dordogne. Then take the D53 to Monpazier and visit this Bastide town. Then take the D660 east to Villefranche du Perigord – visit if you like. Continue on the D660 and then the D911 southeast towards Cahors. When the D911 hits the small D9, take it southwest to Luzech.

Stop in Luzech & explore a little. It’s a very small town with the ruins of a very impressive tower perched on an overlook. Richard the Lionhearted had actually used the tower. Stop & explore again at Puy l’Eveque. We spent a lot of time there. It’s a wonderful town, which boasted many restored buildings & even had a town walking route posted along the narrow back roads/paths. Drive through Duravel, and then on to Boneguil** and get the camera out as you approach. Look up Bonaguil in the Green Guide & notice the picture. You can tour this interesting medieval military fortress. There is also a guided tour, but we found it to be very long & tedious (it’s in French too). You can wander on your own.

From Bonaguil, leave on the D158 south and then the D673 southwest towards Fumel. At Condat, cross the Lot River and connect with the D911 again heading west. Take the short side trip off the D911 & drive through Lustrac, and then back on the D911 heading west. At St Sylvestre, cross the Lot, and go to Penne*. There is an upper “Centre Ville” – make sure you go there & not the lower less interesting part of the city. Penne is a fabulously restored medieval town with an attractive “place” (square) dotted with cafes. My wife believes that this historical town had a “master plan”, as the restorations had a rather “ordered” appearance & there were no structures in dilapidated condition.

Now head back east for a drive through the beautiful Quercy Blanc*+. From Penne, head east on the D661 to the bastide town of Tournan. At Tournan, take the D18 south to Montaigu, and then the D2 to Lauzert+ (another The Most Beautiful Villages of France). This is one of our favorite Bastide towns. Get out & explore. Lauzerte has the typical configuration of a bastide town – large/huge central square, flanked on all four sides by relatively tall buildings, all with vaulted arcades at the ground level. Sit in the central square, or under the arcade (if it’s too hot) & have a refreshment. As you leave Lauzerte and drive through the lower town, you will pass a pizza store. You can get a pizza with toppings such as crevettes, foie gras, Roquefort, magrets (duck breast), and artichokes – only in France!!!

Here is a very pretty drive to take you through the heart of Quercy Blanc. Leave Lauzerte heading east on the D34. Take the D34 through Cazes-Mondenard, Vazerac, and when the D34 hits the D20, take the D20 northeast to Molieres. At Molieres, take the D29 northwest, and when it hits the D68, take the D68/D26 (road number change when it crosses a department boundary) northeast and connect to the D695 to Castelnau-Montratier+, another nice bastide town worth exploring. Leave Castelnau heading southeast on the D4/D38 (another road re-numbering) and on to another of our favorite bastide towns – Montpezat de Quercy*. See Montpezat in the Dordogne Green Guide and explore this town. If you want to shorten this drive a bit, when you go through Molieres, stay on the D20 to Montpezat & skip Castelnau – the D20 is actually a slightly prettier drive.

Take the N20 to Caussade, and then the D926 towards Caylus. Just past Septfonds, take the D5 towards St Antonin Noble Var.

Look up “St Antonin Noble Val” in the Languedoc Michelin Green Guide. Follow the driving itinerary # 1 to explore the Gorges de l’Aveyron*+. Take the route exactly as described in the Guide – from St Antonin, through Penne, and then Bruniquel – in the clockwise direction. This direction will give you the best views. Make sure that you cross the Aveyron River when they tell you to – you’ll have to pay attention. There is a fantastic view of Penne+ as you approach this village with large chateau ruins sticking up in the sky. You can get a great view from the road next to the tourist office and across from a restaurant with outside tables (lunch?). This restaurant was very crowded when we were there on a Sunday afternoon (when the French take their main meal of the day). Penne is another of TMBVoF. Read about it in the GG under “Penne” and explore the town. Continue on the drive and shortly you will come to Bruniquel*, another TMBVoF. Explore this town quite thoroughly. See “Bruniquel” in the GG & visit the chateau. This is a real pleasant town.

At Bruniquel, take the pretty D964 south to Castelnau de Montmiral. Along the way you will pass the town of Larroque. We have driven this route several times & always wanted to stop here, but we never did – it seemed like such a cute spot. Stop & visit Castelnau de Montmiral+ (another TMBVoF). This is one of our three favorite bastide towns. Read the description in the GG under “Gaillac”.

If you want to visit another nice bastide town, continue towards Gaillac (not worth a stop), and then just before Gaillac turn southwest on the D988 and proceed to Lisle sur Tarn and visit (see description also under “Gaillac”)

Take the freeway into Toulouse.


Stu Dudley
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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Hey stu,

That advice was worth $100.

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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Your right Ira. Now I have to plot it out on my map. Only 1 1/2 weeks till we leave. Yeah.
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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>>Hey stu,

That advice was worth $100<<

Do you have my address so you can send the check???

Stu Dudley
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