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“Lot-et-Garonne is France as most people imagine the country to be. Warm, verdant, colourful, picturesque, historic - and very peaceful. This region has one of the lowest population densities in all of France, some of the best wine, the most beautiful scenery and the loveliest and friendliest people.

“In this rolling green countryside, ancient hilltop villages look out over beautiful, secret valleys. The area is scattered with farms and orchards, fields of sunflowers in early summer and landscapes criss-crossed by quiet country lanes.” That’s the verdict of one of our holiday property owners in the area – and they should know.  Ian & Cheryl  MacDermott have been letting their house, La Croix de Loubas near Penne d'Agenais, for some ten years.

Theirs is just one of many traditional houses and gites with all mod cons among our holiday home rentals in Lot-et-Garonne. The hours of sunshine here are high, so this is a great location for spending lazy days around your own private pool interspersed with outings to enjoy the wealth of things to see and do. Activities, markets and festivals abound, from rock concerts to traditional folk groups, from sports to prunes (a local speciality), from historical reconstructions to modern theatre. There truly is an event for everyone in Lot-et-Garonne.

In addition to stunning chateaux and historic villages is one of Southwest France's best-kept secrets: Latour-Marliac, the official 19th century creator and supplier of the Impressionist painter Claude Monet's famous water lilies. Water lily and lotus production continues at the nursery today, which is now the oldest of its kind in the world, and the site has become a major tourist attraction.

The delightful market town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot is well worth exploring and in Agen, capital of the region, colourful boats can be seen on the waterways that pass through the city. With the rivers Lot and Garonne, this is an area of waterways, so a boat trip may be another holiday highlight.

Travel is easy as a number of budget airlines fly to regional airports such as Agen, Biarritz and Pau. BMI baby also fly to Bordeaux from Manchester and Birmingham. By road, Aquitaine is easily reached by main motorways or national routes. The journey from Calais to Agen is about 1000 km and should take around 9 hours.

See more in our guide to Lot-et-Garonne, with links to our holiday rentals, and full details of La Croix de Loubas. Our photo shows the port of Penne d'Agenais.