Beautiful side streets housing vintage shops and historical landmarks with views that will leave you breathless – literally with the hills that you need to climb – this is the village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot Region of France.
Perched on a steep cliff 100m above the Lot River a day here will seem like a trip back in time to a place where the main form of transport was a donkey and villagers felt a true sense of community.
This medieval village was once home to several feudal dynasties throughout the Middle Ages, including the Lapopies, the Gourdons and the Cardaillacs and you only need to look out across the valley to see why families wanted to settle here.
Old houses whose facades of stone or wood were built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries still stand today alongside the many craft shops, helping to preserve the trades that use to be prevalent in this area. There is now an abundance of pottery shops and art studios for the arty among us; the boutique clothes shops further cement the characteristics of this delightful village.
Several Painters including the Post-Impressionist Henri Martin loved this area so much that Saint-Cirq-Lapopie became home; this trend later spread to writers like the poet André Breton.
After exploring the village on foot, you must take time to see it from the river. You can either hire a boat and float along in your own time or take the opportunity to relax on one of the many tours. If you would prefer you can explore the Lot River at a more leisurely pace, renting a larger boat for days at a time. From this angle you will see the old trading routes that would have utilised the river, horses pulling their cargo, from village to village.
If you only have a limited time in the Dordogne make sure this is on the list – I promise you won’t regret it!
Have you visited Cirq Lapopie? What other quaint towns or villages have you been to?