The Lot is without doubt among France’s most scenic river valleys. The river begins high in the Cévennes and carves out a dramatic, looping course through steep-sided gorges in its slow descent to the Garonne.
The V86 bike route offers you the chance to tour the lower part of the valley, from Cahors to Aiguillon. It begins at the 14th century Valentré Bridge in Cahors – said to have been built in a deal with the devil!
The valley may be wider here than in the mountains, but the sharp valley sides are no less pronounced. You’ll circuit meanders full of vines and cross the river countless times on the long, languid 170km route. It’s almost entirely on-road, but traffic levels are very low, making it a suitable route for a less experienced cyclist.
For now, the route only extends as far upstream as Cahors. However, the disused railway to Capdenac has been proposed for conversion to a greenway, and local campaigners have organised “militant rides” to press the case. The adventurous tourer could plan their own route from the source of the Lot, though this will inevitably include a few sections on busier roads.