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The Causses du Quercy, Régional Natural park

An extraordinary scenic, natural and cultural area...

Remarkable for its architecture ans its stony landscapes

 

The territory of the Causses du Quercy recognized nationwide for the quality and the great variety offered by its natural and cultural heritage, offers a unique experience to travellers seeking getaways. In 1999, it obtained the label "natural regional park".

The Lot department has three main causses, limestone plateaux, bordered by the Lot and Célé Valleys and by the Limargue region to the north :

  • Causse de Gramat

  • Causse de Saint-Chels

  • Causse de Limogne/Lalbenque

 

Their unique appearance comes from the unceasing movement of the water, that has created cliffs, sinkholes, coombs, grykes and a multitude of caves and chasms, the best-known of which is Padirac. The strangest aspect is the paradox between the arid expanses on the surface of the plateaux and the incredibly tumultuous resurgences and seepage of water, occurring out of sight, underground...

Although nature has drawn its own patterns on this inhospitable land, the work of humans is most associated with its identity:

  • Decorated caves

  • Dolmens

  • Oppida and Gallo-Roman roads

  • “Castles of the English”

  • Phosphate mines

  • Dry stone walls, one of the loveliest examples running along the D802 secondary road between Figeac and the A20 motorway

  • Cazelles and gariottes: dry stone huts used alternatingly as granaries and shepherds’ shelters

Flora and fauna

The abondant flora and fauna thrive on the wide variety of natural dry and wets environments :

  • Dry grasslands: the result of woods cleared long ago, shaped by sheep grazing

  • Orchids...

  • Ocellated lizards and stone-curlews, rubbing shoulders with tawny pipits and Orphean warblers

  • Peregrine falcons, eagle owls, crag martins and more...

Head in the Stars

Keep your eyes peeled during the day, but even more so at night! 

The "dark sky triangle" is a most originla feature of the causses du Quercy. Indeed the Park is one of the best areas in France where the nights are still preserved from light pollution. An opportunity to rediscover the sky beauties

So be sure bring out your telescopes... Happy star-gazing!