Holidays in South France – Discover Agen a City Steeped in History

Holidays in South France – Discover Agen a City Steeped in History

If you are looking at spending your holidays in South France next year, the beautiful city of Agen has a long history and can trace its roots as far back Neolithic times. Based on the banks of the River Garonne, it made the perfect place for an ancient settlement and the population now stands at 70,000.

Agen is a perfect tourist destination and has plenty to discover including winding medieval streets, ancient buildings, the daily covered market, a fascinating cathedral and church and a fine arts’ museum.

As the capital of Lot-et-Garonne department, Agen is a great starting point to explore the region and, whether you are spending your holidays in South France as a couple, with friends or with family, the city has plenty to offer in the way of attractions.

Based half way between Toulouse and Bordeaux, Agen is famous for its delicious prunes which are eaten in both sweet and savoury dishes. The history of these prunes stems from centuries ago when the third crusaders brought back seeds from Syria and these were grown and nurtured by monks.

If you are taking your holidays in South France in the late summer, the annual Prune Show, which is dedicated to the Prune d’Agen, draws thousands of visitors to the city every year. The festival takes place at the end of August and celebrations include street performances, live music, prune tasting and circus shows.

However, there is more to this mesmerising city than its prunes; so if you missed the festivities you won’t be disappointed. Whether you are interested in art museums, ancient buildings, or finding out more about the Prune’s of Agen, holidays in South France offers something for all ages.

See below for our at a glance guide to holidays in South France where we have included some of the villas and farmhouses to let near Agen, information on the city and our top pick of places to visit.

Kingfisher Holidays offers stunning farmhouses, villas and cottages for memorable holidays in South France. All our holiday accommodation is based right in the heart of the French countryside – the best place to be to immerse yourself in the culture and discover more about the French way of life.

Holidays South France – click here to search our cottages, gites and farmhouses.

Discover Some of Our Farmhouses, Gites and Cottages in Historic Agen

If you are thinking of booking your holidays in South France for next year, Agen is a great base and Kingfisher have some stunning holiday lettings to suit couples and small or large groups. All have use of a swimming pool.

One of the smallest of our cottages is Moulineres, which is about half an hour’s drive away from Agen. This pretty two bedroom cottage sleeps four people and benefits from a large garden, terrace and beautiful country views.

For families or groups of up to six Bellefleur or Annebelle. Sarda  is a 19th century farmhouse set amidst 13 acres of land just outside the village of La Sauvtat de Saverers, between Agen and Villeneuve. The farmhouse is made up of two properties which can either be let independently from one another, or together for groups of friends or two families holidaying together as Sarda.  If you are taking your holidays in South France as a larger party (ten or more people) you can rent out both properties or the larger or the two properties, which has six bedrooms.

Attractions to Head for In and Around Agen

Whether you are interested in food, art, culture, ancient buildings and theme parks, here are some of the best attractions in the area.

Food Lovers

If you enjoy fine wine and good food, you will certainly find it here. For starters, there is the daily market (closed Mondays) which is close to the tourist office and sells a plethora of fresh local produce.

For wine tasting, head to one of the following vineyards: Les Vignerons de Buzet at 47160 Buzet-sur-Baise, Les Vignerons du Brulhois, 47390 Layrac or Domaine du Boiron 47220 Astaffort.

And to sample the French speciality Foie Gras, visit the Foie Gras Museum, 47140 Frespech, to discover more about the history of this delicacy to the present day.

Art and Culture

Agen’s Fine Arts’ Museum is a haven for arts lovers and houses an extensive collection which includes furniture, sculptures and paintings, as well as works by Goya and Seurat.

If you like classical concerts, these are occasionally staged at the theatre. Just visit Agen’s tourist information centre to find out more.

Ancient Structures and Buildings

If you are spending your holidays in South France, Agen is a fantastic destination and not to be missed is the Cathedral of Agen which has become a national monument of France and is one of the few of its kind with a double nave.

Another draw is the famous canal bridge which is the second longest bridge in France. It was completed in the mid-19th century and took more than 15 years to build.

If you enjoy exploring ancient castles, there are plenty of these to discover. Just 13 miles from the city is the Châteaux de Madaillan which is open Friday’s Saturday’s, Sunday’s and Mondays April to October. The Castle of Henry IV, which is about 25 km from Agen, is open all week from April to September.

And just 60 km from the city, near Fumel, is the famous Castle of Bonaguil which is thought to be one of the most beautiful castles in France.

Caves

For those of you fascinated by caves and enthralled by magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, a visit to the caves of Fontirou or Lastournelles which are not too far from Agen are a must.

Lastournelles at Sainte Colombe de Villeneuve was discovered by farmers digging for water in the late 1800’s and is 25 million years old. Fontirou in Castella is thought to be even older – an incredible 30 million years old.

Family Fun

If your children enjoy all the thrills of a theme park, Walibi Aquitaine, in Roquefort, offers a fantastic day out. The 75 acre site has a whole host of adrenalin fuelled attractions including roller coasters, log flumes and more.

Holidays South France – click here to search our cottages, gites and farmhouses.

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