The 14 must-do things in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

In this village perched high on the cliffs of the Lot, so much splendor leaves no one indifferent. What are you waiting for to visit Saint-Cirq-Lapopie?

Describing Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is no easy task, such is the beauty of this village of Gothic houses! Set in the heart of nature and on the water’s edge, this medieval village is one of the most intimate in France. In addition to having been voted France’s favorite village in 2012, it’s packed with sumptuous historic monuments. When you arrive in this village, you’ll quickly feel at home. Rock-cut castles, cobblestone streets and rocky cliffs… Saint-Cirq-Lapopie definitely has a lot to offer. Here, anything can happen: the beginning of a love story, a family holiday or a first solo trip. Whatever your intentions, a visit to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie should be made at least once in a lifetime.

1. Saint-Cirq-Lapopie Castle

Château de Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – beboy

The best way to visit Saint-Cirq-Lapopie is to start with its castle! If you’ve never experienced life in a castle, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie’s castle is sure to amaze you. Situated on the village’s main street, this beautiful château boasts a number of remains that can be visited, as well as guest rooms. Inside, you’ll find sumptuous period paintings and decor from another era. If you stay a few nights, you’ll appreciate the breathtaking view over the Lot.

Its little plus? A rock-side swimming pool. What better way to relax after a long day of sightseeing?

2. Rignault Museum

Musée Rignault

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Kamilalala

The Musée Rignault is a traditional Saint-Cirquoise house. A visit here will instantly immerse you in the intimacy of the village.

You can also enjoy a country stroll through its flower-filled gardens. From there, you’ll have a breathtaking view of the green Lot valley. A haven of peace not to be missed!

3. Church of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Eglise de Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Kamilalala

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie’s imposing Gothic church was built in 1522. Its 12th-century acanthus-leaf carving and 13th-century murals are sure to catch your eye.

To visit the church and admire the Gothic style of yesteryear, simply step inside. Visits, like many other places in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, are free all year round. It’s a must-see when visiting Saint-Cirq-Lapopie!

4. Breton House

La Maison Breton

Photo Credit: Shutterstock – COULANGES

This house bears the name of the famous author and poet André Breton, its former owner. It belonged to him from 1951 until his death. Every summer, he would return to this very special home. And for the record, he invited all his friends to stay with him. Man Ray, Miró, Max Ernst and Henri Cartier-Bresson all stayed here. A visit to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie takes you back to French art and literature!

What’s more, this magnetic, timeless place is now open to all. Come and discover this place where surrealist art, poetry and freedom of thought were once on the boil. Perhaps this house, or the nature that surrounds it, will help you find inspiration. Buy some water-based paint and a blank canvas to transform yourself into a budding artist. It’s a great opportunity to let your imagination run wild.

5. Bancourel viewpoint

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie pt de vue

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Anibal Trejo

A visit to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie means a visit to theThis splendid vantage point overlooking the green valley is equipped with benches and tables. So you can picnic or even dine here. Away from it all, there’s only one thing to do: relax and listen to the birds sing.

Getting there couldn’t be easier. Just a five-minute walk up the hill from the village, you’ll find parking lot no. 5 le Bancourel.

6. Medieval houses

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Anibal Trejo

Take a stroll through the cobbled streets of this medieval village, and pass through time in the most beautiful way. Stroll and create your own itinerary, or opt for a guided tour of the historic center. This tour, offered by the tourist office, traces the rich history of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie.

For two hours, you’ll be able to contemplate the remains of the seigniorial castle, as well as the merchant and medieval houses. An experienced guide will reveal all the secrets of this uniquely charming town. But hush! That’s between you and your guide.

7. Daura homes

Maisons Daura

Flickr credit – Caroline Vincelet

At the beginning of March 2005, a center for artistic research and innovation emerged in the Daura houses. Since then, artists and researchers from all over the world have come to collaborate on various projects. During the summer, visitors can discover works created in the spring.

You’ll also have the chance to chat with the locals. Take a stroll down the village’s main street. Here, all the artists and craftsmen know each other. Thanks to them, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie has retained its authentic appearance year after year. Maybe you’ll even spot a man on horseback on a street corner… Who knows?

8. Moulin D’Aulanac

 Moulin D’Aulanac

Photo Credit: Facebook – La Grange de Jaillac – Bed and Breakfast

You’ll soon feel like you’re in a fairy tale as you stand in front of this half-timbered mill with its exposed stonework.

If you’d like to discover the interior and its two pairs of millstones, book a tour directly with the tourist office. Alternatively, admire the beautiful stonework reflected in the Lot river.

9. Cirque de Vènes

Cirque de Vènes

Photo credit: Shutterstock – AWP76

This 14-kilometre loop is an absolutely divine towpath. You’ll see wildflowers in a multitude of colors. You’ll also enjoy lovely views of the Tour-de-Faure cliffs and the Lot valley. A perfect spot for unforgettable photos.

For hikers and Sunday walkers: this path is well worth the effort!

10. Lapopie rock

Rocher de Lapopie

Photo Credit: Shutterstock – Spirit Stock

Shaped like a teat, this rock once supported the site’s first castle. A belvedere was later built below.

Today, the top of the rock offers an incredible view of the limestone cliffs and rooftops of the village.

11. Holy Cross Chapel

Modernized in the early 1980s, this chapel overlooks the beautiful cliffs of the Coudoulous. You can also follow the river downstream.

To reach this pretty Chapelle Sainte-Croix, take the GR 36 towards Concots. You’ll need 20 minutes to reach it on foot. Don’t forget good sneakers and a bottle of water!

12. La Fourdonne

This late-Renaissance residence is surrounded by greenery. It’s also a meeting place for art and heritage. Activities, fun tours, musical siestas and events of all kinds are organized here.

If you’d like to focus on art and opt for a specialized course, La Fourdonne also offers accommodation. A cosy gîte where art and music will punctuate your stay from start to finish. Visiting Saint-Cirq-Lapopie also means taking your time.

13. The Wine Museum

Le Musée du Vin

Photo Credit: Facebook – Musée du Vin Saint-Cirq Lapopie

Two winegrowers welcome you to discover local products. Whether you’re a little gourmand or a big one, this museum offers tastings of gourmet products from the Quercy region (foie gras, truffles, saffron, etc.). And of course, the inevitable Cahors wine!

What’s more, the entire team knows the region’s producers inside out. Come and awaken your senses and sharpen your palate at the Musée du Vin.

14. Bread Pilgrims

Pilgrims Au Pain

Photo Credit: Facebook – Pilgrims Au Pain

Put on your baker’s hat and take a few baking lessons with Pat Hains.

Using a wood-fired oven, you’ll create your own bread and take it home with you. Pat Hains has studied bread baking in France, Italy and Germany. She’s particularly interested in European breads. She’ll be able to tell you all about this French tradition that makes us so special all over the world.

How do I get to Saint-Cirq-Lapopie?

  • By train: from Paris Austerlitz or Lyon Perrache, take an inter-cité train to Cahors. Then change from the train to the 889 bus, stopping at Tour-de-Faure.
  • By road: from Bordeaux, take the A62 and then the D953. You’ll reach Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in just 3h11. From Montpellier, you won’t have much longer to travel. If you take the A75, you’ll reach this village of yesteryear in just 3 hours 22 minutes.

Where to stay in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie?

  • For lovers of barbecues and pétanque, La Truffière campsite is ideal. It’s located in the heart of the Causses du Quercy regional park and has its own heated swimming pool.
  • Nearby, you can also opt for a nature break by trying out a fun concept: modern yurts. Here too, you’ll have access to an outdoor swimming pool and heated indoor pools. Les Hauts d’Albas is open all year round, so you can discover this unusual accommodation straight from Mongolia.
  • Finally, for those who love comfort, you can choose to sleep in the pleasant auberge du Sombral or in one of the rooms at the Spa le Saint-Cirq hotel. Both of these establishments are located right in the middle of the village. They’ll keep you immersed in the medieval atmosphere.

And there you have it! If your friends ask you tomorrow: « What to do in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie? » you’ll be spoilt for choice. It’s simple, enchantment is everywhere. Don’t hesitate to visit the tourist office at the start of your stay for even more great ideas for visiting Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Finally, let us know what your favorite place was in the comments at the end of your stay.

Map of hotels and accommodation – Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, France