Villeneuve-sur-Lot is a little area in the South-West of France and is about 30 kilometres north of Agen. I’m lucky to have been invited to stay in the area a couple of times by some French friends of mine. My friends live in a small estate outside the town but I’ve spent many days and nights exploring Villeneuve and the surrounding areas. The town is pretty much untouched by the presence of tourist and is the epitome of a typical French countryside town.
The town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot is surrounded by a wall with six towers and eight gates. Two of the gates, the Port de Paris and the Porte de Pujols provide the entrance to the town and are both now considered historic monuments. The town city centre is centred mostly around fantastic boutique, independent shops, set up for locals and not catering to tourists. In the centre of the town lies the main square of Villeneuve, the Place Lafayette. It is here where a market is held most Tuesdays and Saturdays in a typically French-styled Market Hall which was established in 1864. You can purchase a variety of produce here including local breads and cheeses as well as handmade items such as scarves and jewellery.
The square comes alive at night and during the summer months where the square is filled with tables from surrounding restaurants and bars. Local cidre and vin is plentiful and the town residences will often spend their days here reading, smoking and socialising. Also, asking for a round at the bar is a great way to start learning French. The locals of Villeneuve-sur-Lot are very friendly and are always more than happy to help you with your translation instead of giving up and speaking to you in English.
A short walk from the square is Eglise Sainte Catherine, Veilleneuve-sur-Lot’s church which was built during the 19th century. This church is quite spectacular to the eye with red bricks and a tall tower. Most of the time you are able to go inside the church where you will find stunning paintings of saints across all the walls and a stained glass window which dates right back to the 13th century. The church is also home to a number of historic artefacts in the form of wooden statues.
Villeneuve-sur-Lot is the perfect destination for a weekend away in France. It is cultural, historic and far enough away from the main cities to remain eclectic and traditionally French! It is a beautiful town, come rain or shine.
Is a quiet town in the French countryside your ideal holiday destination? If not, let us know your preference!