The scenic delights of the Lot valley are equal to those of the nearby and more famous Dordogne. The character of this stretch of the river alternates between picturesque charm and the wildness of nature. The river bank is dotted with enchanting villages and towns. The Lot rises in the Cevennes on the 4911ft Montagne du Goulet. It then flows westwards along the edge of the Massif Central, across the Quercy region and into the Garonne some 300 miles from its source. The canyons downstream of Estaing are the highlight. Some are 1000ft deep and are comparable to the Gorges du Tarn in the Cevennes. In bygone days the Lot was an important transport artery, linking the Auvergne and the wine trading centre of Cahors with Bordeaux. Nowadays, kayakers and climbers seek adventure between Espalion und Conques. From St Cirq-Lapopie it is possible to navigate a houseboat as far as Luzech. The red wines of AC Cahors are famous. They are mainly made from Malbec grapes, an old variety.