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Photo of Cahors Gardens

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Visit Cahors Gardens

Cahors is an attractive town in the Lot in south-west France. It has a number of historic and interesting sites which are spread out around the town and many are quite hidden. Cahors has created a number of attractive gardens around these sites and linked them with a garden trail through the town. The trail takes a half a day at a leisurely pace and is a great way to enjoy some diverse gardens and see all the main sights at the same time.

Explore the secret gardens of Cahors

To start the garden trail head to the tourist office which is on the Place Francois Mitterand just off the main street of Cahors, the Boulevard Léon Gambetta. The leaflet for the secret gardens route is called the "listen to the story of the gardens of Cahors" or in French "laissez vous conter les jardins de Cahors".

The first garden of the walk is at the iconic Valentré bridge. This is the most spectacular monument in Cahors and the foot of the bridge has been planted with vines to celebrate the famous wines of Cahors. A path along the river has also been planted with flower beds making this a very nice spot.

Garden trail of Cahors

From here the trail leads across town to some narrow streets near the other side of the river bend - the town of Cahors is almost totally enclosed within a deep loop of the Lot river. Along near the Rue Saint Eurcisse and up the Rue du Chateau du Roi there are a number of the secret gardens.

The lovely Moorish garden has three patios planted in colourful scented flowers and with an Arabian flavour. Next to the cathedral are the 'Monks kitchen garden' and planted with vegetables from the middle ages, and the 'Cloister gardens' with colour themed borders representing the virgin Mary, the suffrance of Christ and the resurrection.

Near to here is a perfumed garden with eight metal containers planted with plants from each of the eight different families of perfume; hesperides, herbal, flowery, ferny, fruity, spicy, woody and ornamental.

On the Rue du Chateau du Roi the 'garden of the witch and the dragon' has a decoration of a black amoeba, an ancient symbol of evil' outlined in white stones on the floor and the plants are all associated with witchcraft.

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Next to the Saint Barthelemey church the 'Santiago garden' is a tribute to the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela one of which passes through Cahors.

Continuing up to the ancient fortifications of the Saint Jean tower and the Barbican the garden here represents the Crusades and contains plants brought back by the Crusades in the Middle Ages. These include agapanthus, myrtle and damask roses.

The garden trail then leads to the Place Lafayette and the 'garden of passage' which links the upper and lower town of Cahors. This contemporary garden has four terraces and leads from the upper town to the banks of the Lot. 

A pleasant walk along the edge of the Lot river and across to the opposite bank and down to the tip of the loop of the Lot river enclosing Cahors. Here are the last two gardens on either side of the Louis-Phillipe bridge.

The Promenade de Coty includes plants mentioned in the bible for the garden of Creation. These include fig trees, pear trees, palm trees and medicinal plants. Crossing the river back to Cahors the final garden is the 'fairy Melusine's garden' representing the legend of the fairy Melusine, always dressed in white, who turned into a snake when angry. The garden contains ornamental grasses and white flowers such as roses. It also has a pond and fountain.

secret gardens of Cahors

Gardens to visit nearby

The Jardins de la Butte are a series of themed gardens in the medieval quarter of Gourdon.

The Jardin Medieval de Barry at Salviac has been planted in a style reminiscent of medieval times and there is another medieval garden at Cardaillac.

You can find more local travel ideas in the South West France guide,

See also: 

Photos of Cahors Gardens

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • acanthus
  • bridge-garden
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  • cathedral-garden
  • cathedral-garden1
  • courtyard-garden
  • formal-pond
  • fountain
  • mixed-plants
  • pond
  • rose-arch
  • statue

Map of Cahors Gardens and places to visit

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Cahors Gardens places to visit

Jardins de l'Albarede

Jardins de l'Albarede

The Jardins de l'Albarede is a charming garden on the edge of the beautiful town of Domme.

Jardins de l'Albarede guide
Les Jardins du Chateau du Caudon

Les Jardins du Chateau du Caudon

The Jardins du Chateau du Caudon have impressive views over Domme and a labyrinth.

Les Jardins du Chateau du Caudon guide
Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac

Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac

The Jardins d'Eau de Carsac is a water garden full of water lilies and lotus flowers.

Les Jardins d'eau de Carsac guide
Le Clos des Sources

Le Clos des Sources

Sadly the Clos des Sources garden has now closed.

Le Clos des Sources guide
The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie is a lovely colourful garden in the Dordogne valley.

The Jardin de la Ferme Fleurie guide
Les Jardins suspendus de Marqueyssac

Les Jardins suspendus de Marqueyssac

The Jardins Suspendus de Marqueyssac have the most amazing swirling box hedges and wonderful views over the Dordogne river.

Les Jardins suspendus de Marqueyssac guide
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