Rocamadour, a medieval town perched on its cliffs, a splendor of stone, the best of Midi-Pyrénées indeed. I’m sure that your first thought will be “Am I in Gondor?” What genius could have imagined and built Rocamadour? Perhaps a visit to Rocamadour will reveal it to you.
Head towards the Lot, and more specifically towards the Regional Nature Park of the Causses du Quercy. You will be very close to the Dordogne valley and the famous Sima de Padirac. Around a bend, the surprise effect: Rocamadour suddenly appears.
The town was built in superimposed levels on the hillside. It is suspended over a canyon through which the river Alzou flows. Its houses, roofs and churches seem to be part of the rock that falls from the Causse de Gramat (causse: in south-west France, a limestone plateau stretching between two valleys).
The village is surrounded by car parking, there are 3 in the valley (6€ per day) and 2 upper château, in any case you have to walk and make few steps. There is an elevator which connects the upper car parking with the city center, the cost of the elevator is not included in the car parking.
Full of shops and restaurants and some hotels to stay check the Lion D’or.
WHAT TO DO
This extraordinary village will take you back to another time when people came from far and wide to venerate their Black Virgin. In the 12th century, pilgrims traveled all over Europe to come and pray here. In fact, the village kept the relics of Saint-Amadour and was also the venerated sanctuary of the Black Virgin.
We enter the town through the Porte du Figuier, before continuing along the Rue de la Couronnerie, the only street in Rocamadour, lively, full of colorful shops and beautiful residences.
Then you come to a monumental staircase – 233 steps – which leads up to the heart of Rocamadour: an esplanade where 8 ancient churches and chapels are grouped together, protected under the rock. Not to be missed: the chapel of Notre-Dame.
Don’t miss a stroll around the upper château either. Its romantic silhouette crowns Rocamadour. The view from this belvedere offers a breathtaking panorama of the sacred city, a mixture of audacity and serenity. Check Najac castle.
The surrounding area is home to the Causses du Quercy Regional Nature Park. A vast area ideal for hiking, with paths surrounded by walls, small oak trees, chasms, small villages of the Quercy, and delightful encounters with its inhabitants.
With around 300 castles to visit, Occitania opens the doors to a kingdom full of heroic figures, warlike architecture, corridors you will love to lose yourself in, and towers you will lose count of.
In the Lot (the former province of Quercy), your appetite for history will also be satisfied with the sumptuous castles of Castelnau-Bretenoux and Montal in the Dordogne Valley, and the castles of Larroque-Toirac and Cénevières in the Lot Valley, for example.
In Gascony, the region of D’Artagnan’s birthplace, the castles stand majestically in the famous gorges of the Gers. The castles of Flamarens, Plieux, Lavardens… are proof of this.