This blog is mainly a photo essay of what has been identified as some of the most beautiful villages in France. Not keeping up with the travel blogs and travel diary, so I missed Bordeaux and might write about it later.

St Emilion

When we left Bordeaux we headed for St Emilion and did a wonderful tour of the catacombs..underground tombs and quarries of St Emilion. We also learnt some of the legend of the Saint. Unfortunately, when we went into the catacombs and the underground church, we weren’t allowed to take photos.

We followed the little roads along the Dordogne river among limestone ranges and cliffs to visit a number of beautiful little villages.

Here are just a few we walked around or more correctly huffed up and down! Hopefully we have the right photos matched to the villages. They are all beautiful.

Beynac et Cazenac

The main attraction was the 12 th century fortressed castle of Beynac perched 150 m against a cliff of rock with a magnificent view over the valley of 5 castles.

Had a picnic on the banks of the river for lunch.

La Roque-Gageac

This village is perched above the Dordogne River. The golden yellow have traditional ‘perigord’ rooves, line the river and spread up the cliffs behind. There were lots of caves that were carved out of the cliff face.

It was interesting that all the canoes were always going with the current – never up stream.

We wanted to stay at Sarlat but there was no accomodation so we went onto Soulliac and went into the Lot district.

Loubressac and Autoire

Local artist and local scene…

Ate lunch at a great local restaurant.

Rocamadour

And of course Rocamadour well known for its pilgrimage. We walked the path of the cross and admired the 14 stations of the cross, walked around the ramparts of the castle, watched a group of modern day pilgrims kneel and pray along the great steps.

Cabrerets

We drove onto Cabrerets following the gps shortest route which takes you through some farms and back paddocks. Nice countryside but a few hairy roads! We went to visit the Grotte de Pêche, known worldwide for its ancient cave paintings. Unfortunately we didn’t book and couldn’t get in… oh well, we did a hike up the mountain on a little goat track and enjoyed the views and the museum at the entrance to the grotte.

Saint Cirq Lapopie

After overnighting we drove to another identified ‘most beautiful village’ called Saint Cirq Lapopie. Another lovely place perched at the top of a cliff. We wandered the tiny cobbled streets and admired the old houses with half wood facades dating from the 13 to 16th century. The village was made up of leather workers, coppersmiths and wood turners. Had lunch and tried to cool down as it was very hot and then carefully made our way down the hill onto Toulouse.

We eventually left the tiny roads and got back onto the motorway on to Toulouse. Spent a whole day catching up on washing, booking airfares to Amsterdam and Reykjavik onto London and finalising accomodation in Barcelona and Madrid. All takes time! Off to explore Toulouse this afternoon.