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Introduction

Cahors is a city in the French region of Midi-Pyrenees. Almost entirely surrounded by water, Cahors, France is a lovely medieval town in the heart of the French wine country. It is the business and cultural centre of the region. Cahors was a major town during the Middle Ages and saw a good deal of conflict during the Hundred Years' War. Pope John XXII was born in Cahors in 1249. Most of its key structures were built in the 20th century.

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Sights and Activities

  • Boulevard Gambetta. As the main thoroughfare, the boulevard is a popular area. A market is held there twice a week. It is named after the popular French leader Léon Gambetta (1838–1882) who was born in Cahors.
  • Cathedrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors (Cahors Cathedral). Consecrated in 1119, the Roman Catholic cathedral is a Périgord style church. It is a great example of Gothic architecture.
  • Museum Henri-Martin. A collection of local artifacts.
  • Pont Valentré. The reason most people visit Cahors is to see the Valentré Bridge. Built during the 14th century, it took seventy years to complete. There is a legend that the builder of the bridge made a deal with the devil to help complete it. During its restoration in the 1800s, a sculpture of the devil was added to the top of one of the three towers. The bridge is in the northwest corner of the city and known as the finest medieval fortified bridge in France. It is one of the most photographed monuments in the country and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest major airports are in Toulouse and Rodez.

By Train

If flying into Paris, tourists are able to take the train to Cahors (approximately 5 hours). Trains also connect Cahors south to Toulouse.

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Getting Around

Most of Cahors can easily be explored on foot.

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Eat

The food in Cahors is typical of Southwestern France. It is hearty and uses local produce.

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Drink

Cahors is a major producer of wine. It is mostly known for its red wine. 70% of the vineyards in France are along a narrow strip of land on each side of the Lot River between Cahors and Puy L'Eveque. Local soils are conducive to grape growing. There are 4,200 hectares (10,000 acres) of Cahors vineyards. The area produces 30 million bottles a year.

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Keep Connected

Internet

France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.

Post

La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

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Cahors Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 14:56 on Sep 6, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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