Above the Lot Valley to La Vinzelle

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Climb gently through the lightly wooded slopes looking down on the sweeping waters of the Lot and the steep valley of the Dourdou. High on the walls of the Lot Valley a luxuriant carpet of brightly coloured heather covers the gravely soil and here and there, colourful rock outcrops lean defiantly outwards towards the river. The ridge path gives the most fantastic views into and along the valley.

Soon, the trail goes into dense woodland as a marked contrast to the infinite views from the ridgeway. Soon more magnificent views open up across the valley and you climb gently towards the ancient village of La Vinzelle. It seems hardly credible that this handful of buildings in the middle of nowhere was once an important village with a powerful castle. Above the 11th Century church, you climb the mound that supports the belfry and are amazed to find the massive 1,250kg bell is right there at eye level. Next to the belfry, along the knife-blade ridge that climbs its way up the hillside, is a trail of tall white crosses – the chemin de croix du Peyral.

Below the church the ancient cobbled lanes lead you through the village and down to the Fontaine de St Clair at the gates of the cemetery and onto a grassy track that winds its way down the hillside towards the stream. Here, alongside another small waterfall, you cross the wooden bridge and follow the zigzag path up to the top of the hill, where it rejoins the route back down to your starting point on the banks of the Lot.

France - South of France - Lot - Lot Valley


Church, Flowers, Great Views, River