Tag Archives: cycling

Love the great outdoors? There’s so much to do in Promilhanes during your French riding holiday

Holidays in France
Try kayaking or canoeing to see the great outdoors in Lot

Whether you’re a horse rider looking to make the most of your time in Lot or countryside lover holidaying with an equestrian, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors.

From getting around on bikes or on foot to enjoying drifting along the River Lot in a kayak, here are some of our suggestions:

Hiking

For an easy 4km walk which takes an hour, take a 30-minute drive to the village of Arcambal where you will discover the banks of the Rover Lot, the village, and the medieval castle. Find out more here.

You’ll find an intermediate walk 5km away from Promilhanes in Limogne-en-Quercy.

The Malecargue Fountain Circuit is a 10km walk which takes three hours and 15 minutes.

It starts outside the Maison des Associations, a large white building, and the route takes you through the hamlet of Mas de Charrou where there is a distinctive dovecote tower.

You’ll also see the Bouzou fountain, an old windmill, and the Malecargue fountain.

The route also gives you the opportunity to spot the flora and fauna of Lot. Find out more here.

For stunning views and a five-hour, 50km walk, take the path from Arcambal to Saint Cirq-Lapopie, then follow the towpath carved from the cliff face to Bouziès and back to the start.

Or, you could cut the time and length you walk by starting and ending your walk in Saint Cirq-Lapopie.

Find out more here.

Talk to us about local walks around our base in Promilhanes.

Cycling

The Lot Valley is paradise for cyclists.

The countryside is beautiful but less busy than the popular Dordogne to the north.

There are several fine cycling routes near Cahors, which is a 40-minute drive away from Promilhanes, and from Lamothe to Saint Cirq-Lapopie, where there are stunning vistas between rocky outcrops and the chance to visit the small towns of St Gery and Vers before ending the tour in one of France’s most beautiful villages.

There are options to suit all levels of cyclist – from those who prefer a sedate ride to thrill-seekers who are looking for off-road cyclins and hilly routes. We have many parents or partners of horse riders who like to explore the countryside on two wheels. Ask us for our recommendations for routes close to our base.

Kayaking or canoeing

At nearby Villefranche de Rouergue, there is a water sports centre which offers kayaking and canoeing on the Aveyron.

The site also offers boat hire and boat tours of the river which offers gorgeous scenery along its banks.

The Averyron river offers 300km of navigable white water, with sports including rafting and canyoning also on offer for the adventurous.

The Célé Valley is also a popular spot for enjoying the river – along with its attractions to potholers.

The River Célé joins the River Lot at Bouziès.

Talk to us to get the local knowledge you need to plan your river trips.

Is it time to arrange your next riding holiday in France? Book here.

Get on your bike

The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Château de Laumière, this summer
The Tour de France is coming to Rodez, near Château de Laumière, this summer

Put the words “cycling” and “France” together in a sentence – and the mind’s eye almost inevitably focuses on the Tour de France.

With good reason. The world’s best-known long-distance multi-stage cycle race is, according to organisers, the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympic Games and football’s World Cup. Whether that’s true or not – the Rugby World Cup makes a similar claim, after all – doesn’t really matter. In France, Le Tour is a big deal.

And this year, it is coming to our little corner of southwest France.

Stage 13 finishes at Rodez, the ancient capital of the Gaulish Ruteni tribe, and is not far from Château de Laumière on Friday, July 17. Stage 14 gets under way in the beautiful city the following day.

The beautiful cathedral at Rodez
The beautiful cathedral at Rodez

That weekend, the area will be packed with cycling fans basking in the unique glory of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.

Even without the added attraction of Le Tour, cycling is a wonderful way to discover our picture-perfect part of the world. And it is perfect for non-horseriders who want to make the most of a holiday at the Château.

Like horseriding guests, cyclists can escape from hustle and bustle of the 21st century into a tranquil tapestry of peaceful car-free trails, known as ‘voie verts’ and meander through shady woods where warming sunlight plays through the gentle green canopy under a cornflower-blue sky.

Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner
Breath-taking views will greet cyclists around almost every corner

Meanwhile, sports cyclists – who may be want something a little more taxing than a gentle ride out along quiet country lanes – will be delighted to learn that we have our fair share of testing stretches and hills as steep as you want them around here. If it’s good enough for Le Tour…

And, if you do take to two wheels on the roads of France, you’ll be delighted to know that cyclists are well looked-after here. Bike-riding guests at the Château have often commented on the fact that cars and lorries here will give you plenty of space – unlike the UK, where you’re always battling inconsiderate drivers for a tiny bit of space on the road.

Fans of off-road biking are well catered-for, too. All the wild terrain you could possibly wish for is within easy reach.

And it’s easy to hire everything you need. There is an excellent cycle shop in Limogne-en-Quercy, about 4.5km from Château de Laumière, which rents out new and well-serviced road bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes. We believe his rates are very reasonable.

Even better, the owner will deliver and collect your bikes from the Château, so that all you have to do is turn up with your cycling shorts and helmet. Click here for the shop’s website.

Photos: Akial, Geert Schneider, Denis