The area around Agen, the administrative capital of the Lot and Garonne, is called Agenais. It has a clay-limestone soil, hillsides and small valleys. It lies between the Périgord to the north, the lower Quercy to the east and the nearby Landes to the west. Agenais is a lovely holiday area with very little industry except for some small concerns around Fumel.
Stop south of Agen, in Astaffort, homeland of the famous French singer Francis Cabrel. Astaffort is in the heart of Brulhois and produces a lovely, affordable wine: Côte de Brulhois. Twice a year, Astaffort hosts the “Young Singers Festival”, supported, of course, by Francis Cabrel.
Further south of Agenais, visit Moirax. It has a majestic 11th century Clunisian Priory which dominates the Garonne Valley. It is one of the most remarkable priories in the region.
East of Agen, stop in Beauville. This is a bastide town built into a rocky outcrop with arcades, grid pattern streets, square, half-timbered houses, 14th century church…
Puymirol is also a village perched on a rock. Formerly a fortified site, today it is a lovely small village with beautiful old houses, private mansions, a square with cornières (angle openings) and is definitely worth a visit. Puymirol also has an important place in gastronomy with the Michelin starred restaurant of Michel Trama.
Finally, during your stay in Agenais, visit Laroque Timbaut, a living symbol of the medieval ages, there is a clock tower, narrow, picturesque streets, a unique and interesting wooden built market hall…
Agen is the regional capital of Aquitaine. Its history is long as it started in the 2nd century BC under the name of Aginnum. Agen does not have any Roman remains. The Romans did not leave any monuments, but Agen became wealthy over the centuries because of its various influences. Agen has changed hands eleven times, but it is from the Renaissance period that the town got its principal wealth. At the end of the 19th century, Agen was a large trading and agriculture centre crossed by beautiful avenues, and bordered by the splendid Garonne River.
Agen, at once gourmand, welcoming and free-spirited is located between Bordeaux and Toulouse. It is a pleasant town to live in; indeed the town is often listed as one of the most pleasant towns to live in in France. It is the prune capital of France as well as a land famous for its rugby, Agen vibrates with the exploits of its mythical club SU Agenais, many times winner of the French championship. Agen is also the fiefdom of one of our pharmaceutical jewels, the giant pharmaceutical company UPSA and is a place of entertainment with Walibi Park which is famous throughout the region.
During your visit to Agen, you will see beautiful old streets, some of which are pedestrianised, such as Rue des Augustins, Rue des Cornières, Rue Beauville. Visit Musée des Beaux Arts, Notre Dame du Bourg Chapel, Saint Caprais Cathedral, Jacobins Church… end your visit near the Garonne River, which has been furnished with a pedestrian bridge. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the old aqueduct, the second longest one in France.
The French Agen Prune, Appellation Indication geographique Protegee* (IGP), takes its name from Agen, this being the main location of export via its port to Bordeaux along the Garonne River. The 1,500 prune producers of the region represents 65% of French prune production and represent the main industry in Lot and Garonne with more than 20,000 people living directly or indirectly from this product. However the Agen prune, whose purple colour is a symbol here, is mainly produced in the Lot Valley around Villeneuve sur Lot, where the main orchards and prune processing plants are situated. The Agen prune is a star product, rich in vitamins and fibre. There are many by-products as well; these include prune cream, prune syrup, prune Armagnac…
Visit the Prune Museum in Granges sur Lot, you can learn everything about the star product of the region, its harvest, its uses, its history, and the recipes it generates.