Of the 162 villages classified most beautiful in France, (Plus Beaux Villages de France) six are in the Lot department, southwest France. Magnificent castles, ancient stone houses, historical monuments, ancient wonders and gastronomic delights are among some of the many charms of this beautiful part of France.
Discover the prettiest villages in the Lot department:
Though not officially on the Plus Beaux Villages list (it has too many inhabitants to be included), we couldn’t leave this stunning town off the list.
Rocamadour seemingly defies gravity, hanging 150m above the Alzou canyon. This sacred city appears to be suspended between heaven and earth and the first sight of it really is a wow moment. And when you enter the town, it just gets better. You’ll discover a heavenly hodgepodge of houses and chapels dominated by a castle. An important pilgrimage destination, a stone staircase leads to the Sanctuary at the top. In days of old, pilgrims mounted the 216 steps on their knees. The chapel of Notre-Dame de Rocamadour is home to a 12th century statue known as the Black Virgin and carved from walnut wood, it has lured pilgrims for more than eight centuries. Rocamadour is also famous for its goats cheese which you can buy at the farm of Borie d’Imbert, ten minutes from Rocamadour. Read more about Rocamadour.
The officially prettiest villages in the Lot department
Loubressac is picturesque village famous for its dazzling views over the valleys of the Dordogne, Cère and Bave. Medieval houses are made from the characteristic ochre coloured stone and antique tiles of the region. The winding narrow streets with hilly staircases and flowering squares encourage you to wander and linger. French photographer Robert Doisneau said that Loubressac has “the most beautiful light in the world” – it’s easy to see what inspired him in this pickled-in-the-past village. Read more about Loubressac
Castles and mansions line the cobbled streets of Autoire and give it the nickname”Le Petit Versailles”. The waterfall at the top of the town, which flows from the Causse de Gramat and into the river Autoire winding its way through the village, is well worth a visit. Take a detour to the Roque d’Autoire, also known as the Castle of the English. This semi-troglodyte fortress, built on a slight shelf, backed by the limestone cliff is only 2 metres wide. Read more about Autoire
Carennac is a medieval village perched on a rocky terrace on the banks of the river Dordogne. Though occupied in the Gallo-Roman period, the town we see now was built around a priory founded in 1047. Visit the church of Saint Pierre with its 12th century Roman tympanum and 16th century Gothic tomb and day dream in the half-Romanesque/half-Gothic cloister. Stroll through the streets and admire Renaissance houses with mullioned windows. Read more about Carennac
Saint-Cirq-Lapopie was voted favourite village of the French in 2012. This village of magnificent monuments, Gothic and medieval houses, stone alleys and a castle carved into the rock is mesmerising.
Read more about Saint-Cirq-lapopie
Capdenac-le-Haut is close to the town of Figeac, a classified town of Art and History and is itself well worth a visit. Perched above the river Lot, Capdenac is famous for being the site of the last battle of Caesar in Gaul. The 100m high Gallo-Roman fortress keep is magnificent, the views are breath-taking. There’s a small museum and the cobbled streets are lined with pretty half timbered houses. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time here.
Cardaillac is also close to Figeac. A medieval town of huge charm, complete with a 12th century fort and impressive towers. Take the time travel tour and discover how people lived in the past with a sort of living museum which is spread throughout the village.
More on the Lot department
Discover an exquisite Iris farm where the views are simply breath-taking