Discover Montaigu de Quercy

Montaigu de Quercy sneaks in to the Tarn Et Garonne district of Southern France and lies just short of the Lot et Garonne départements, both part of the larger Aquitaine region. We were lucky enough to spend an extended bank holiday exploring this region thanks to team at Halycon Leisure, a specialist holiday letting agency in the area.

Montaigu de Quercy

The Friend familia stayed at Le Farguiel, a rural French gite about 6km from Montaigu de Quercy and run by the extremely friendly, Suzie. The house itself has that distinctive Quercy look with thick stone walls and ancient beans. Tucked away in a small hamlet down a dirt track surrounded by wild meadow gardens, it made quite the idyllic picture!

Montaigu de Quercy

In this area the Garonne river meanders across the Agenais until it joins the Dordogne which eventually ends up in the Gironde estuary. It’s the river that has carved the region’s distinctive green valleys and whose alluvial deposits continually enrich the soil – making this one of France’s most productive agricultural regions. In fact 83 per cent of land in this area is given over to farming including the famous vineyards.

Montaigu de Quercy

This is one of France’s least densely populated regions, with many living in small towns and isolated villages – just like Montaigu de Quercy. Yet over 6 million visitors flock to the wider Gironde region every year, 1 million from abroad. So it was with particular delight that we landed in Bordeaux airport just smidge out of season, beating the crowds.

A bastide town – a short history!

In 1137, Eleanor of Aquitaine, daughter and heiress of William X, Duc’ Aquitaine, married Louis VII, King of France. However, Eleanor didn’t have much luck bearing Louis any sons and their marriage was dissolved in 1154.

Eleanor, never one to be held back by circumstance, hot footed into bed with Henry Plantagenet, who would later become Henry II of England (how handy!). This meant that the ducy of Aquitaine would eventually end up under the rule of the English crown and this would trigger the 100 years war between the French and the English.

Montaigu de Quercy Montaigu de Quercy, a bastide town, was founded against this back drop, in the 12th century. You can still see the remanent walls of the Chateau of Montaigu built by Raymond, Count of Toulouse, to defend the region against attack by Richard the Lionheart.

Also known as Richard I and Eleanor’s third son, he spent most of his adult life in Aquitaine despite being king of England. It’s thought that he only spent six months in the crown state, really using his English lands to fund his army in France, defending his hold on Aquitaine.

Disclaimer – Tom and I enjoyed our week’s stay organised by Halycon Leisure, who really do know their stuff on the area. Otherwise, all other nerdy-based history facts and opinions are purely our own!   

We stayed at Le Farguiel, a great family size base, which you can find on the Halycon Leisure website right here!

Sleeping 4, this would be a good option for a family with children. However it’s a bit short on general lounging space (with just a two seater sofa) but if like us you’re out most of the time then it’s not really an issue. We flew in to Bordeaux which is about a 2 hour drive to Le Farguiel.  

 

Tucking in before a Scrabble game… A photo posted by Jessica Friend (@jessicafriend1) on

18 Comments

  1. May 11, 2016 / 12:00 pm

    When I saw the look of the house you rented I immediately wondered if it was in or near Dordogne. Such a distinct look.

    This looks like the perfect weekend spot and the breakfast spread makes me want to pack up and go back to France right now.

    • May 11, 2016 / 4:02 pm

      Yep it’s just on the edge of the Dordogne region, I also love all the half timber houses you see in the bastides. Have you been? They remind me of the Tudor houses in Stratford Upon Avon.

  2. May 11, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I LOVE France and that is why I live in SW France for part of the year! This is a fabulous post and I am now adding Montaigu de Quercy in the list of where to travel next time I have a few days off! Karen

    • May 11, 2016 / 4:01 pm

      You’re so lucky to be able to stay in France on a longer term basis – that’s so cool. I’d definitely recommend Montaigu De Quercy and it would be easy to slip it in to a visit of some other local bastides – I’m going to do another post on those, so stay tuned! Where about’s in France do you live?

  3. May 11, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    This is so informative, not only is the post great but the history incorporated within it is great! Love that giant bottle of wine!

    • May 11, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      Glad you liked the short history lesson, I’m never sure if people find that interesting or a bit boring. I don’t want people to feel like they are reading Wikipedia!

  4. May 12, 2016 / 5:27 am

    This looks like a lovely place to have a calm, relaxing weekend…No TV, No internet, maybe just a bottle of wine, a pen and a pad, or a good book.

  5. May 12, 2016 / 6:10 am

    The house looks absolutely amazing, and you are right, you know you’re up for a great holiday when you are greeted by a huge wine bottle 🙂 The landscape looks so peaceful!

  6. May 12, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Wow this tiny house looks soon cute! I can imagine it must be super relaxing in this area! What else have you been up to over there?

  7. May 12, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    A well written blog i enjoyed reading this blog i hope you had great weekend

  8. May 13, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    I loved the idea of staying in that stone walled hamlet surrounded by colorful flowers and meadows so authentic. Montaigu de Quercy for sure looks like a great weekend getaway

  9. May 14, 2016 / 10:46 am

    What an idyllic weekend break! I love nature, wine and a bit of the odd history thrown in – great post!

  10. May 14, 2016 / 4:40 pm

    OMG! This is such an awesome getaway sitting at the porch in the wild sipping wine!

  11. May 14, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    What a perfect post for a rainy day! The flowers in front of that house make it look like something out of a fairy tale! I’d love to make it there to enjoy the wine 🙂

  12. May 14, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Love the history of this little town! And it definitely looks like an idyllic weekend getaway location. It’s always hard to find accommodations for our family of five (with three little ones), but I think this would fit us perfectly!

  13. May 15, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Such a charming place and I can see that it is maintained with so much love and care! Looks like you had a great time, the views from there are so beautiful and peaceful too.
    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  14. May 15, 2016 / 1:45 pm

    What a calm, peaceful place , I love the serene beauty this place holds absolutely incredible and worth visiting.

  15. May 15, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Great pot. I love the fact to have no digital media around for a couple of days but only your company and a bottle of wine. And the sorroundings of course! 🙂

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