Wikipedia however comes to the rescue - The word came into modern French from the Occitan language, (an ancient language of eastern France, northern Italy and parts of Switzerland). Causse defines an area of level limestone landscape, so a Causse will sit comfortably with the Karst landscapes of the Balkan countries, the Burren in Co Claire, Ireland and parts of the UK such as the Mendip Hills of north Somerset.
Limestone landscapes by definition include number of features:
Firstly, deep river gorges - The impressive Aveyron Gorge runs through the area, as well as parts of the Lot to the east of Cahors being very steep sided
Secondly Caves - particularly to the north of the river Lot there are many caves, the most noted being Pech Merle, and a little further to the north the world renowned Caves of Lascaux, inhabited since prehistoric times.
Thirdly, a specific ecosystem adapted to the alkaline limestone soil conditions and the lack of depth to the soul. Cliffs, crags and caves also offer secure nesting for a wide variety of bird and mammal species, but less suitable conditions for human habitation which is usually sparse in such regions, so natural history is often a great feature.
The Causse de Quercy marks the south west point of a group of Causses that make up the Massif Central,and for Halcyon Leisure guests this map shows where the Causses de Quercy Natural Park lies
The main road along the eastern edge of the park is the A20 /E9 from Toulouse and Montauban northwards, and most Halcyon Leisure properties will be within the area covered by this map.
The Causse de Quercy is subdivided into four - from the south northwards - Le Causse de Limogne, then Le Causse de Gramat, and it is these two that make up the Natural Park. The steep sided valley of the river Lot divides the two, and the picturesque town of St Cirq Lapopie is the gateway between them.
Further north in the Lot is Le Causse de Martel, and finally into Corrèze is Le Causse de Corrèze.
|Dolmen near Limogne-en-Quercy|
It is also an area rich in history, with Roman roads crossing it, and numerous prehistoric dolmens throughout.
As the websites say, wonderful areas to explore by bicycle, on foot and by car or canoe.
|Contesou Fleur (for 3/4 people)|
For details of these properties, please see the Halcyon Leisure website
More information on the Causse de Quercy and what you are likely to find can be found on good pages at:
St Cirq La Popie Website
Causses de Quercy website