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14 May 2014

SET YOUR COURSE TO THE SOUTH-WEST AND THE CANAL DE GARONNE

It may not be as famous as the Canal du Midi, but the Canal de Garonne runs through peaceful countryside with a very rich cultural and architectural heritage… Check it out!

Corridors of lush greenery, medieval villages perched on cliffs, Norman abbeys, half-timbered houses... The Canal de Garonne, sometimes called the Lateral Canal because it links the Atlantic with the Canal du Midi, is a little secret jewel that goes through a whole host of stunning places. For example, to get to the city of Agen, which is famous for its prunes and its narrow backstreets of pink stone, you navigate the famous canal bridge, up above the water and the gardens. Everyone, no matter what their age, will enjoy this experience, if they’re interested in exploring this region full of castles, chateaus and museums. And in fact, while you’re at Agen you could visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts (fine arts museum), which has one room entirely devoted to the great painter, Goya. Another place worth exploring is Valence d’Agen, with its circular 17th-century wash houses, a unique style of architecture. During the Middle Ages, Moissac was a rallying point on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Today, you can stroll along in the shade of its minster, whose entrance porch is famous for its splendid Romanesque sculptures. Above all, you mustn’t forget to taste the famous Chasselas grape; the appellation originated here, in the surrounding vineyards.

In the Vallée du Lot, most of your navigation will be done on rivers. Here, too, you’ll find a wonderful juxtaposition of nature and culture. You won’t be able to help falling in love with Lustrac, with its handsome fortified windmill standing at the water’s edge, so typical of Quercy. And when you see Pujols, one of the 'most beautiful villages of France’ with its wonderful Church of Saint-Nicolas, you’ll come to fully appreciate the charm of this region that is so poetically named: the place between two seas.

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