We are delighted by the variety of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and wild flowers that can be found in our garden and the surrounding areas.
This is a wonderful area for nature lovers – so bring your binoculars, and/or a good pair of walking shoes. Situated on the GR65 pilgrim’s route of St Jaques de Compostelle, this is a great area for walking, hiking or cycling. Berty actually gets a mention in the guide book.
The chapel in the church at Rouillac has frescoes dating back to the 12th century. As you go through the village, you get the impression that not much has changed in all the intervening years.
Astronomy and Astrophotography
Come and enjoy observing the stars and imaging deep space, right here in the garden at Berty. Read more about our facilities on our Astro page.
This region of Quercy Blanc is known for its buildings and pigeonniers made from the local white limestone, and for growing melons, sunflowers, lavender, tree fruits and of course grapes.
The tourist offices of Montcuq and Castelnau-Montratier have joined forces with those of Cahors to create an informative new web site which gives lots of information about local events in the Lot, whilst Lauzerte and Montaigu-de-Quercy events can be found on the Quercy Sud-Ouest website
Berty is 5km from the lively medieval town of MONTCUQ, which has a splendid Sunday market all through the year, classified as one of the 100 best markets in France. During July and August, there is also a producers’ market on Thursday mornings. The town has all local shops and services and a choice of bars and restaurants. Enjoy a stroll through the streets of the old town on your way up to the Tower for a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, where you can learn about the history of Montcuq in the middle ages, plus exhibitions about the culture and heritage of the Lot and about Nino Ferrer, a singer-songwriter who lived in Montcuq.
There is a swimming lake just north of the town at the gloriously turquoise coloured Lac du St Sernin with a beach and children’s play area and picnic area, with lifeguards on duty in summer – plus an Aquazone, with inflatable structures on the lake, for lots of fun (high season only). It’s a lovely spot for some wild swimming or fishing at any time of the year (you can fish in various lakes and rivers – get a permit from the Tabac).
Also nearby is the imposing medieval bastide town of LAUZERTE with its beautiful arched merchant’s houses facing on to the town square, Place des Cornieres with its curious upturned corner. There are Ingres panels in the church. There is a weekly market on Saturdays throughout the year and on Wednesdays at the lower level Place de Forail. There are some interesting arts and crafts to be seen, on the streets and in small shops, with exhibitions at the Mediatheque and at the Points de Vue gallery. The pilgrim’s garden is attractive to wander through.
Local Annual Events
In April, Lauzerte is filled with plants and flowers for La place aux fleurs (Flower Festival).
In June, the Journée de Patrimoine encourages people to discover local heritage – the tower in Montcuq is free to visit, and there are usually events such as working windmills to see and interesting places open to the public.
On July 14th, National Day, there is always something special going on in Montcuq, usually with a feast in the evening, followed by a firework display using the tower as backdrop.
In mid-August there are several days of Montcuq-en-fête with fairground rides, music and dancing.
Throughout the summer, there are exhibitions by local artists and photographers, also most weekends you can find a Vide Grenier or Brocante sale in one of the local towns – a monthly schedule of these are produced by the Tourist Office.
On a summer evening, you might enjoy going to a Marché Gourmand – stalls selling food and drink, which you can choose from and enjoy consuming whilst listening to music.
In September, the streets of Montcuq are filled with children, performers and surprises, as the town and the tower are overtaken by La Rue des Enfants
In late October every year there is a two day endurance horse race, Les Deux Jours de Montcuq. On the first day the riders come right past Berty.
Our nearest vineyard is La Pech d’Auzonne, which produces organic red and rosé Vins du Pays du Lot wines. Locally you will also find Coteaux du Quercy wines. To the north of Montcuq is the region of the delicious dark red Cahors wines, made from a gutsy blend of Malbec (also known as Auxerrois or Cot), Merlot and Tannat. Most of the local producers are very happy to offer you a tasting of their vintages. You can have a guided tour around Chateau Chambert at Floressas.
There are many regional delicacies and specialities on sale in the markets, shops and direct from the producers. These include duck confit and foie gras, saucisse and jambon cru, prunes, cheeses, honey, fruits and vegetables, nuts, meringues and biscuits. The friendly local people will delight in sharing their expertise with you. Make sure to enjoy the fabulous Melon du Quercy and look out for tree fruits, such as cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, apples, pears and kiwi, which are grown in abundance locally. Look out also for cabecou, a fresh goat’s cheese, on sale in the markets and supermarkets.
Nearby places to visit
The heated open air swimming pool in Castelnau Montratier is open from early June to mid September. Not far from the pool you will find a trio of old windmills. The 9 hole golf course at nearby Roucous will rent clubs to use on the course or driving range.
The leisure lake at Montaigu-du-Quercy has supervised swimming, canoe-kayaks, pedalos and other activities, from mid May to mid September. The weekly market is on Saturday.
In Montpezat-de-Quercy you can see superb Flemish tapestries and other artworks from 14th – 16th centuries at the Collegiale St-Martin.
Cahors, the departmental capital of Lot, has plenty of shops and restaurants and there are a variety of entertainments and special events throughout the summer. Visit the most beautiful bridge in France, Pont du Valentré, and explore the well-preserved medieval town and ruins of the old Roman wall. Here and on the Tarn are opportunities to go canoeing, fishing or boating. There is a water park with lots of fun for children. Youpi Parc in Cahors is an indoor play space for children up to 12 years old, which can make a fun outing on a wet day. During mid July to mid August, a beach is created on the bank of the river Lot, by the Louis Philippe bridge, with supervised swimming, games and inflatables, together with a picnic area.
Cahors has an excellent Wednesday market and a covered market all days, as well as hypermarkets Leclerc and Carrefour. Mid July is the time for the Cahors Blues Festival which sees local and international musicians performing in a range of venues, some of which are free.
It is worth while taking a trip to visit the Grotte du Pech-Merle, with its spectacular limestone formations and 25000 year old original cave paintings (prior reservation essential) and St Cirq Lapopie village, which perched on a clifftop some 300-400 feet above the Lot river, is quaint with good shops and restaurants.
Also visit the Lot’s second largest town, Figeac. Within its charming twisting medieval streets you will find the Musée Champollion, dedicated to the man who cracked the heiroglyphic code.
A must do with our grandchildren is a visit to the Aquarium du Perigord Noir, where you can see, feed and touch huge freshwater fish, alligators, turtles, lizards and snakes.
The Parc Animalier de Gramat has wide range of different animals to see in large open enclosures and the opportunity to feed monkeys.
Situated to the south western edge of the department of Lot, we are also close to the departments of Lot-et-Garonne and Tarn-et-Garonne. Good day trips would include visiting some of the Bastide towns such as Cordes-sur-Ciel, Montpazier and Domme. Combined with exploration of chateaux, vineyards and the Dordogne or Lot rivers, you are really spoilt for choice.
In MONTAUBAN, capital of Tarn-et-Garonne, you can visit the Musée Ingres, which houses paintings by the locally born artist to whom it is dedicated. Montauban also hosts a Jazz festival.
In MOISSAC, visit the Romanesque Abbey of St Pierre which is said to be one of the finest examples of medieval French sculpture, with wonderful decoration both inside and out and impressive cloisters. With a huge market square and covered market, this lively town straddles the river Garonne and the Canal Entre deux Mers, so it is lovely for a day out.
The nearby viewpoint at Boudou gives a wonderful view over the confluence of the Garonne and Tarn rivers and the lake at St Nicolas-de-la-Grave, where you can hire boats, kayaks or pedalos, go swimming or fishing, or enjoy bird-watching.
The region of Midi Pyrenees has many splendid places to visit. Toulouse, home of Airbus industries, has a superb undercover market – the Victor Hugo, good streetscapes and quality shops and restaurants.
Longer day trips that we recommend include: a visit to Rocamadour (one of the 3 most visited places in France) – combined with a visit to Chateau Montal near St Cere or the soaring eagles and other birds of prey at Rocher des Aigles; Millau Viaduct, the stunning modern design by Norman Foster; Dune du Pyla; Bordeaux.
This is just a sample of the attractions you can visit when staying at Berty. It is always worth visiting the local Tourist Offices to find out about local events and places of interest, which are far too numerous to mention here.