Top 5 things to do in Cardaillac

cardaillac

Here’s a selection of must-sees when you visit this hilltop village! Visiting Cardaillac is full of surprises.

Recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Cardaillac is a medieval site with a spectacular view over the Drauzou valley from the top of its rocky spur. A paradise for history buffs, it owes its name to a powerful family who ruled the Quercy region for many years. From its 12th-century fort district to its typical red-tiled roofs and picturesque alleyways, fall under the spell of this small town with a Mediterranean flavour. As you explore, you’ll come across several medieval relics with a myriad of stories to tell. Visiting Cardaillac is full of surprises, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide.

1. The towers

Cardaillac TOURS

Photo Credit: Facebook – Grand Figeac Tourisme – Vallées du Lot et du Célé

Majestically dominating the fort district, the towers bear witness to a powerful military past. Originally designed to defend a highly coveted strategic location, they are now part of the magnificent historical tableau that is Cardaillac for visitors. Explore the Sagnes and Horloge towers on a guided or self-guided tour.

The Sagnes tower

It would be a mistake to visit Cardaillac without seeing the village’s magnificent fortified towers. Listed as a Monument Historique, this ancient defensive tower – built in the 13th century – houses two superimposed rooms linked by a beautiful spiral staircase. On the top floor, the 21-metre-high terrace offers a unique view of the village.

The Clock Tower

Also listed as a historic monument, the Tour de l’Horloge belonged to the Cardaillac family until the French Revolution. Formerly known as the « Tour des Barons » (Barons’ Tower), its current name derives from the municipal clock installed in the tower in the 20th century. This clock is still in use today.

2. The Medieval Garden

Jardin Médiéval

Photo Credit: Facebook – Grand Figeac Tourisme – Vallées du Lot et du Célé

Take a bucolic break among a hundred or so varieties of medicinal and tinctorial plants. Each plant is described in detail, making it easy to learn about its origins and how it was used in the Middle Ages.

After enjoying the garden’s slightly rustic setting, which instantly immerses you in the world of the period, you can relax with your family in the surrounding park. Have lunch in the pleasant picnic area and let the kids have fun in the playground.

3. Le Musée Éclaté

musée éclaté

Photo credit: Vallées Lot & Dordogne Occitanie

If you’d like to find out more about life in this small village in days gone by, the Musée Éclaté is a must-see in Cardaillac. Rather atypical, it is housed not in a single building, but in different buildings spread throughout the village.

Accompanied by a guide, you’ll go from the semalier’s house to the bread oven, not forgetting the mills and the chestnut dryer. In each of these places, you’ll discover hundreds of everyday objects collected by volunteers.

4. La Savonnerie de Cardaillac

Savonnerie de Cardaillac

Photo Credit: Facebook – Savonnerie De Cardaillac

Visiting Cardaillac and missing out on its soap factory is unthinkable! Can you feel the sweet scent caressing your nose? The Cardaillac soap factory is where it all happens. Book in advance to see how soap made from vegetable and essential oils is produced using the « cold process ». Discover a range of fragrances from ancient times to the present day.

In the end, you might just be able to make your own homemade soaps. Are you tempted?

5. Saint-Julien de Cardaillac church

 L'Église Saint-Julien de Cardaillac L'Église Saint-Julien de Cardaillac

Photo credit: Wikipedia – Dr Brains

A must-see for history buffs, Saint-Julien de Cardaillac church has stood the test of time! Initially built by secular monks, it was rebuilt in the 17th century after being damaged by Protestants during the Wars of Religion.

How do I get to Cardaillac?

By train

Served by train from Paris, Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand, Figeac station is one of the best ways to get to Cardaillac if you don’t want to drive.

Once you’ve arrived in Figeac, the easiest way to get to Cardaillac seems to be by cab. The journey takes 12 minutes and costs around €30.

By car

Driving to Cardaillac is also an option, whether you have your own vehicle or prefer to rent one.

  • From Figeac: take the D840 for less than 20 minutes .
  • From Toulouse: take the A20 freeway (paying road toll) towards Paris-Limoges-Montauban.

Where to stay in Cardaillac?

In this splendid medieval setting, there’s not much in the way of accommodation, but there are a few nuggets hidden here and there. Don’t hesitate to use a hotel comparator to facilitate your search.

In the very heart of the village or in the neighboring communes, from Airbnb to villa to gîte, choose the place that suits you best in enchanting surroundings.

So what are you waiting for to visit Cardaillac?

Map of hotels and accommodation – Occitanie