What to see in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot Department

Written by on May 15, 2020 in Midi-Pyrénées

Village perched high on a hill, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in southern France

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the Lot department in southern France, is a cliff hanger of a village – quite literally.

Perched on a cliff top, the River Lot curls its way along the bottom of the limestone cliff. From the top, the canoeists and kayakers who paddle their way down look tiny. Here’s what to see in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie:

Ancient church on top of a hill next to ruined walls of a castle, St-Cirq-Lapopie

This town, a jewel of the Dordogne Valley, is small but perfectly formed. Once a castle crowned its heights, perfect for seeing long distances, it made Saint-Cirq-Lapopie  a defensive stronghold. Built in the 8th century by the Duke of Aquitaine, the castle became the property of the Lapopie family and did its job well.

View through a stone archway of a cobbled street lined with old houses, roses climbing up the wallsEven Richard the Lionheart couldn’t capture it. It worked too well in fact, and afraid that it would fall into enemy hands one day and never be retrieved, Louis XI of France ordered its destruction in 1471.

Where the castle once stood you can enjoy spectacular views over the countryside.

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (pronounced  Saint ‘Sear’) is a Plus Beau Village, officially one of the prettiest villages in France. And, it’s been voted Favourite Village of the French. It’s not hard to see why. This authentic little village is teeming with medieval half-timbered old houses tumbling along steep narrow streets built into the side of the cliff – it has oodles of charm. A tangle of dry stone walls, 15th century church, a windmill and an air of yesteryear enchant visitors including Surrealist poet André Breton and artist Man Ray who bought houses here.

Looking down on the village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, terracotta roofs, a tall church tower, river Lot

Once  renowned for its craftsmen wood-turners, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is still a village of artists.

Head to the bottom of the village for a 3 mile walk along the river. You’ll be glad to know it’s flat, and well worth the effort for the beautiful scenery.

What to see close by

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is in one of the most beautiful parts of France and surrounded by many beautiful villages and towns set in glorious countryside

Sarlat – a time warp town that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time…
Rocamadour – a cliff top marvel
Bergerac – medieval wine town that’s well worth a visit
Cordes-sur-Ciel – the little town with its head in the clouds
Villefranche-de-Rouergue a medieval town on the Pilgrimage route with a marvellous weekly market…

Related Articles

The officially prettiest villages in the Gers Department

The department of Gers in southwest France, a land often called by its historic name of Gascony, is small – but beautiful. It’s a land of sunflower fields, vineyards and rolling hills. Medieval towns and tranquil hamlets, ancient churches, chapels and glorious castles dot the landscape. It’s where Armagnac is made and wine, and the […]

Continue Reading

Visit to Rocamadour – the rock of miracles

Rocamadour is a world famous pilgrimage site in the Lot departments, south west France. WriterAmy McPherson find it lives up to its reputation for being one of the wonders of France… A mythical place “That’s real, right?” “Yes.” “It’s not a mirage?” “No.” Imagine, having just spent four hours hiking through wilderness. Having encountered only […]

Continue Reading

Discover Gorgeous Gers – Gascony

Take to the road in Gascony and discover some of its charms. From medieval villages, quirky museums and the most intoxicating gastronomy … The Gers –  Gascony The Gers, or Gascony some call it, is one of the most rural regions in all of France. You’ll find it in southwest France, just west of Toulouse. […]

Continue Reading

Secret Toulouse | The city’s unusual side

Discover secret Toulouse. The pink city as it’s known, thanks to the beautiful red brick buildings that fill its streets, is an absolute paradise for culture vultures… Colourful, cultural and captivating France’s 4th largest city has a multi-faceted personality. It’s famous for being home to Airbus headquarters, hosts satellite, space and aerospace industries and has […]

Continue Reading

What to see in Rocamadour

What to see in Rocamadour

Written by on April 6, 2020 in Midi-Pyrénées

Rocamadour is a small clifftop village overlooking the Alzou Valley in the Lot, south-central France. In an area that’s brimming with outstandingly beautiful sites and towns including medieval time warp town Sarlat and the extraordinary Gouffre de Padirac, an underground cave where you can take a boat ride – Rocamadour more than holds its own. […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.