FRANCE MIDI LOT promontoir de Saint-Cirq-LapopieSt-Cirq Lapopie (pop 50) is a tiny village that stands at one of the top spots in the ‘most beautiful villages of France’ list. In fact, this village is one of the most frequented sites in the Lot valley. Many visit St-Cirq for the sheer ambience of the village that stands high on a cliff overlooking the River Lot, comprising of a cluster of terracotta-roofed buildings stacked up on steep slopes. Having been active throughout the Middle Ages, St-Cirq is home to many medieval buildings- half-timbered and stone houses, old mills and towers that provide sweeping views of the valleys from their terraces. As such, St-Cirq’s old-school setting has charmed many artists (like Andre Breton). Hence, many of the village houses have now morphed into artist studios.

You can trace the history of the village in the local museum- Maison de la Fourdonne [+33 565312151 ad/ch €1.50/Free], which stands in a 17th century house, displaying archaeological artefacts, old postcards and pots. Just nearby is the another museum, Musée Rignault [+33 565312333 ad/ch €1.50]- a former art collector’s houses that still preserves his collection of French furniture as well as African and Chinese art and crafts.

If you start your stroll from the village hall (where the tourist office lies), you will find more medieval architectural examples such as the 16th century Gothic church that leads your way up to the ruins of an old château (it is said that St-Cirq Lapopie was once the home of four feudal dynasties) that sits on the village summit.