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Beautiful Medieval House in St. Cirq Lapopie, Lot, Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées

Weekly Rental:From GBP to GBP

Property

Houses

Sleeps

10

Single/Double

3 / 4

Bathrooms

3

Pets

Not Allowed

Pool

No

The French voted this village "the most beautiful village in France."* And yes, this is one of the least discovered of the many extraordinary regions of southern France. 
But there is much more that makes this an especially distinctive vacation.Take a glance through these pages and you'll see why so many visitors --Europeans, Americans, Australians, Japanese, Scots, folks from all parts of the world-- speak glowingly about spending their holidays at our house in Saint Cirq Lapopie.

The village is spectacular the entire season-- from Spring rain through Summer heat into Autumn chill-- so our rates don't change much based on the dates of your visit. There are five-bedrooms, comfortably accommodating up to eight or nine adults (or two families of four or five each). 

THE VILLAGE: First of all, this is a living-in-a-unique-french-village holiday. The usual houses in the countryside with swimming pools can be wonderful, but let's not compare des pommes et une pêche! There is nothing like living in the beauty, culture, and history of a lively, friendly French village (with its own river beach, to boot).​

The village is small but widely renown for its beauty. In fact it is visitors (mainly French, but from as far away as Australia and Japan) that help keep the village vibrant. But with no village hotels, most visitors just stay long enough to walk through the village, take in the spectacular vistas, and lunch or dine.  Actually living in the village is a rich and uncommon pleasure. And because the village is far off the beaten track, even in the middle of August, mornings and evenings offer plenty of quiet and solitude. And with its narrow streets, the village has almost no automobile traffic.

Our 'little' village is unique in other ways-- ten fine restaurants, a dozen fascinating shops, artist studios, an historic museum, ancient ruins, walking, biking, canoeing adventures, all from a perch on a huge limestone cliff, once a fortress against English invaders, with views across the beautiful Lot River valley.

THE HOUSE: With lots of light and wonderful views from its many windows, this historically-'listed' stone house, with its red terra cotta roof, was built in the 13th Century, but fully renovated in the 21st Century. This is a village house, not a castle-- just the skilled conversion of beautiful 12th to 15th Century stones and wood into one large, comfortable, modern living space. A tall glass arch offers day-long southern exposure, and its entry door, fashioned from an oak wine vat found in the cellar, delivers you into the loft-style main floor, with its gourmet kitchen, dining area, fireplace, and living room. The layout makes it a very comfortable stay for just two or three people, and with warm light from its many windows, it is an especially romantic venue for two. But with bedrooms on the top and bottom floors (five in all), there is also plenty of room for four couples or two families, or a reunion of friends.

The main floor is an open design: the roomy kitchen has excellent amenities, including a six-burner stove and an island counter for preparing meals or just enjoying a coffee and croissant. 
The dining area, with beautiful views from the adjacent arched window, has a solid oak table with enough chairs for a good-size crowd. 
The living area, with its cozy chesterfields and chairs, is a great place for hanging out after a day of wandering or bicycling or market shopping. Cognac glasses are there to be used. 

Oak stairways take you up and down between floors, including up to the attic bedrooms. One large room has three twin beds. The other room has a king-size bed. All the bedrooms have bureaus, all the beds have thick, cozy comforters, and each room has windows that bring in good sunlight and offer excellent views. There is also a full bathroom between the rooms. On the floor below, one flight up from the kitchen, is the 'master' bedroom (see photos just below) with its king-size bed and vintage tub and windows that look out to the hills.You'll also find a study on this level, for relaxing with a book or watching a dvd or just finding a quiet space away from the main living area. And between the bedroom and the lounge is a full-size bathroom. 

On the lower level are two fair-sized bedrooms, one with a king-size bed, the other with a full-size bed, and each with an armoire and mirror.  Both have plenty of sunlight, and one has a door that opens on the alleyway that leads to the public garden out back.

On this same floor is the large bathroom with shower and vintage tub, the ironing board and iron, a clothes rack, and the washer and dryer.

Each of the floors has plenty of windows and ceilings about 9 or 10 feet high. The main floor gets good light from the huge arch window, and there's a fireplace for extra warmth on cool fall evenings. Bedroom windows also bring in excellent light. There are three and half bathrooms, and excellent water pressure in the showers.   

Additionally, there are books, a television (for dvd movies--we have a collection and/or you can bring your own-- the dvd player is 'multi-zone'), a telephone, and internet service. 

YOUR DAYS: This is the life-- becoming a temporary citizen in one of the most beautiful villages in France, in one of the most gorgeous regions of the world, in a comfortable house, among friendly French (and some lovely ex-patriate) neighbors, bakers, artists, restaurateurs, and shopkeepers, and with adventures each day from your doorstep. ​​

The village is very welcoming of families-- you'll find parents and grandparents walking with toddlers,  pushing strollers, carrying babies, together wandering the village.There have been birthdays, multi-generational family reunions, cooking groups, hikers, birders, and many assorted gatherings at the house. ​ 

Children will love the castle ruins, the fresh croissants and caramel ice cream, the winding cobblestone streets, the sandy beach. And their parents will love the fact that the village is not only friendly and welcoming, it is almost impossible to get lost. Even better, the streets are too narrow for traffic except for an occasional service vehicle or lost traveler. 

Invite your parents, bring your babies, invite your grown-up children, gather some old friends.  You'll all have an unforgettable time. 

Along a narrow alleyway beside the house and just behind it, you'll find a public garden, overlooked by most of the folks walking the main street. It has an old stone picnic table, views across the valley, and there is even a hidden pathway that takes you down to the river.  Overlooking the garden in the back is the Andre Breton house-- soon to be a center for the arts.     

The cathedral can be viewed from the picnic table in the garden (there are also views of the river below). A second private garden is yours to use alone. Due to the strange vagaries of land division in France, the private garden is about 75 paces from the house, towards the ancient gate. It is slowly being transformed from a stretch of grass into a multi-terraced garden. For now, it has a table and chairs and is a great place for enjoying a meal, a glass of wine and the magnificent views. We provide the picnic basket, utensils, and wine glasses.

While the house is in the midst of this charming village, it is just a short stroll to wonderful restaurants, the galleries and shops, or down to the river beach. 

PHOTOS

Kitchenware Appliances

Cooker/Hob Fridge Freezer Washing Machine Tumble Dryer

Fixtures & Equipment

Iron TV Terrestrial DVD Player Internet Access Phone Jacuzzi

External Features

Private Garden Mountain Views Suitable for Children

Local Attractions

Markets
Get to as many markets as you can-- not only for the glorious displays and the pleasures of the French culinary culture. But to actually buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, olives, meats, jams, wines, etc. etc.
Each market is unique-- some larger, some smaller, some with goods unavailable anywhere else, and each located in its own lovely environment.
The markets most commonly visited by our guests are in Cahors (Saturday and Wednesday mornings), Limogne (Sunday morning), Villefranche de Rouergue (Thursday morning).
By the way, the cheese varieties can be a bit overwhelming-- yet even when we pick randomly, we've not been disappointed. And keep an eye out for the goat cheese seller, a very special treat.

Here are a few of the other fairly local markets:
Sarlat – Saturday
San Antonin Noble Val - Sunday
Cajarc -Saturday afternoon (a very nice, smaller market only 25 minutes away--
especially for folks staying two weeks or more who've already visited the great Cahors market)

A Bicycler's ParadisePicture
The options for great bicycling through this region are many. Cyclists wanting an easy cruise can simply ride down the hill and pedal on flat roads up and down the Lot and Cele river valleys, below limestone cliffs, looking over tobacco fields, sunflowers, medieval villages, dominating chateaus, and centuries-old mills. The road on the south (St. Cirq Lapopie) side travels close to the river in either direction.
Or you can walk your bicycles to the top of the village, to the upper lot on the right, and take the road downhill toward Bouzies, through the beautiful, peaceful countryside. Just before you cross the river, you'll find a dirt path to the right. This takes you on a beautiful ride along the river. You'll share the path with hikers, so you may be ringing that bell, and there may be a puddle or two, or a rough patch when you're biking through the limestone caves, but it's a wonderful ride.
And many of the usual day trips (to the Limogne market or Peche Merle caves or the Cenevieres castle) can be done by bicycle, with occasional inclines. (You may want to walk your bike that last 1/3 mile to Peche Merle!)
Cyclists wanting a challenge can climb out of the valleys up 8-10% grades for fabulous hillside views, beautiful black-oak woods, and quiet pastures. The village is in the Midi-Pyrenees, which accurately describes the ascents — mostly moderate grades of 500-1000 feet (175-300 metres). The road from the river to the top of the village is a 10% climb and perfect for hill repeats.
Rather than pay the high fees of some bike touring companies, you can wind you through some quaint villages and glorious terrain, to castles and vineyards, and beyond, with just a little advance planning. We're happy to help.

There are a number of neighboring towns in which one can rent bicycles. Aficionados may decide to bring their own bikes. Either way, you'll have a blast.

UPDATE: A new business has opened in town (actually just across the river from the village) that will deliver rented bikes right to your door and pick them up when you are done! Here is the link: http://www.lesptitsvelos-stcirq.com Maxime and his crew do an excellent job of providing bikes, helmets, locks, and all the help you need. The bikes are solid, very good, easily adjustable hybrids, and perfect for the region. The prices are reasonable too. They come in two sizes-- I'd recommend the extra-large for anyone 5' 10" and above. (Maxime's English is pretty good too, although email is easier for him, unless you speak French.)

For easy bicycling, you can just take off and head downhill along the river, You'll stay on mostly flat terrain, the topography is gorgeous, and there is very little traffic, even at the height of the season. Take a picnic lunch and stop along the way. It is absolutely delightful.

Boating – You may take a ride on a pleasure boat from Bouzies or from Cahors. You may also rent your own boat for a day or a few hours. The 40 miles of river between Luzech and St. Cirq Lapopie has recently been reopened to pleasure boats.
Lot Navigation in Bouziès (Tel.:0565 30 24 41)
Baboumarine in Cahors (Tel.: 0565 30 08 99)
Crown Blue Line in Douelle (Tel.: 0565 20 08 79)

Canoeing - At the village beach there are canoes for rent, but a more extensive operation, Kalapca, exists just below the village on the river. You willl be dropped off further up river for a wonderful two to three hour journey back. Bring a picnic lunch if you wish, and feel free to take a dip in the river.
There are also boat tours that can be arranged up and down the river. Wonderful full and half-day trips provide a marvelous sense of this region's expansive beauty.
Picture

Swimming - For swimmers, sunbathers, and general frolicking, the village maintains a friendly sandy beach along the river. The water is clean and refreshing, and the surrounding terrain is lovely.
On summer days there is even a lifeguard on duty. But experienced swimmers can go far beyond the buoys. Overlooking the beach, with chairs and views, is an open snack bar, serving wine and beer. And new owners have updated the kitchen, not only to provide delicious croissants and coffee in the mornings, but excellent french-style pizzas throughout the day.

Spelunking (cave diving) – The region is one of the greatest spelunking areas in the world. The local company who organizes the adventure is Kalapca, located at the bottom of the village by the river. (tel.: 0565 30 29 51).
Pech Merle - The famous caves at Pech Merle (click this link), a relatively short distance from Saint Cirq Lapopie, are well worth a visit (English-language tours are available). It is a rare opportunity to explore a remarkable cave with wall drawings dating back more than 20,000 years-- some of the first artistic/communicative endeavors of human beings. Bring a sweater, the caves are cool.

There are fantastic museums and galleries to explore on day trips out of St. Cirq Lapopie, but there are also wonderful artists right in the village itself and in the neighboring area.

Whether you spend an afternoon visiting their galleries, or give yourself some extra time to stop by a gallery on your way to lunch, you will feel much rewarded by the time spent getting to know some of these artists and their work.

Museums
Pierre Daura and the Daura House
The Spanish-born artist, Pierre Daura, studied in Barcelona and made his career in Virginia, painting landscapes. He lived in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie from 1930 to 1939 and every summer thereafter until his death in 1976. His daughter, Martha Daura, wanted the family houses to be committed to the arts as they had been in her father's lifetime.

Les Maisons Daura are now residences for artists from around the world, all dedicated to contemporary work, managed by the Georges Pompidou Maison des Artes in nearby Cajarc. It was restored in 2005 and remains a research center for artistic innovation.


The Rignault Museum
Once a typical family house on a cobbled street at the foot of the church, the Rignault Museum houses a fascinating trove of historical items, puts on a variety of artistic and historical exhibits, and offers a beautiful garden with breathtaking views for a lovely respite from the hilly hikes.

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (and Albi)

If you have time for a day trip, the lovely city of Albi, home to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, is well worth a visit. In addition to the museum, it has an astonishingly beautiful cathedral-- the interior art and decoration are unparalleled. Albi also has one of France's very first vegetarian restaurants-- delicious meals served by actual cousins of ours.

Fishing-- The River Lot is one of the finest carp and catfish rivers in France. It is famous for its record carp (approaching 30 lbs!). Anglers may fish at night all year. Note, to preserve fish populations the Lot is a ”no kill” river.

Golf-- Whether you are a seasoned golfer or have never played, golfing in the Lot is an unparalleled experience. You can rent golf clubs at some courses and at several golf shops in the area. Call ahead to reserve tee times. Nearby courses:
Roucous (link for links!) (par 71, 5535 yds) – 25 miles
Montal (par 54, 3400 yds) – 26 miles
Souillac (par 70, 5100 yds) – 31 miles
Picture

Horseback riding - This is wonderful riding country, and several stables offer a variety of riding packages, by the hour or by the day-- even overnight!

The nearest stables are about 15 minutes away in Cabrerets.
Ferme Equestre in Pech Merle near Cabrerets (Tel.: 0565 24 76 51 or 0611 93 25 23)
Pompon-Club, “Champ Grand,” (Tel. : 0565 31 78 00 or 0611 59 90 39) in Eslauzels
Chez Richard et Nanou in Belfort du Quercy, Near Lalbenque, you can hire a horse by the hour or the day, or take a “Rando-bivouac,” a guided afternoon ride followed by a night out under canvas(Tel. : 0565 24 72 48).

Climbing – those limestone cliffs attract climbers of all levels and all ages! Ask Kapalca.

Concerts – Cahors hosts the Festival of the Blues every July. If you prefer classical music, there is the famous festival in St. Céré and also one in Limogne every summer.

Tennis - There is a court in Tour de Faure which may be rented by the hour. Inquire at the village store.

Ballooning – there is a hot air balloon competition in September in Rocamador.

Birdwatching -St. Cirq Lapopie appeals to ornithologists. Since spraying is prohibited, more birds are present than you may be accustomed to hearing. A list of birds in the area is available online.

Take A Hike
There are fine walks from and near the village, many of which offer spectacular views over the Lot River and valley. Especially fun is the walk along the old river Tow Path below the village.

Wildlife Parks
Musee La Maison des Abeilles, Rocamadour. Up to half a million bees live here behind glass. The display is an astonishing living exhibition of the the life of the domestic bee and the work of the bee-keeper.

Forêt des Singes, Rocamadour. Enter the monkeys’s home and be transported into the fascinating world of 130 Barbary Macaques from the Atlas mountians in Moracco as they roam free in 50 acres of beautiful forest…

Reptiland, Martel 250 snakes, crocodiles, lizards, tortoises and spiders – 92 species in all – are on view at Reptiland, which houses the biggest collection of reptiles in France.
Picture

Parc Animalier de Gramat A 3.5 km walk in a 100 acre wildlife park where you can see 150 different species of animals indigenous to the plateau, including bears, goats, wolves, bison and wild horses. There are a bar/restaurant and picnic area.
Picture

Préhistologia, Prehistory Parc Lacave. Walk back in time 15 million years. Prehistoric flying reptiles and dinosaurs roam this woodland area. There is also a reconstruction of everyday life in a neolithic village. Accessible to all.
Picture

Insectopia next to Gouffre de Padirac – a wonderful cave to visit . Fun and educational, Insectopia houses a rich collection of live insects and butterflies in all weather exhibits.

Cap Nature, Pradines. An activity park with two fun circuits through the treetops, one for all the family, and the other for the more adventurous. Something for children of all ages. Paint ball, too! Kids love it!
Picture

Le Rocher des Aigles, Rocamadour – Open April 1 – September 30. Over 60 species and 400 birds of prey and parrots are protected in a natural environment. There are hourly demonstrations of the birds in free flight that are a spectacle to see, especially when they nose-dive back to their trainers.

Gourmet Food Delivery
If you think you'll be arriving late, or don't feel like cooking or going out to eat, our neighbor (in nearby Crégols), Penelope Horn, is a wonderful cook and will deliver a delicious meal right to the house. Give her a few days notice, then get out the silverware.
Penni prefers contact via email: penelopehorn@gmail.com

Special Rental Conditions

Weeks are rented from Saturday to Saturday. And while it is not inexpensive (unless you compare it to hotel costs), there are five bedrooms, and we do offer various discounts, for longer stays or smaller groups, as we try to balance our costs with our wish to make it possible for you to be here.

For example, if you can stay longer, we can reduce the cost of a second and/or third week by several hundred dollars. Frankly, we recommend longer stays, there is so much to do, and all our guests who have stayed two weeks or more have been very glad they did. If this might be an option for you, please let us know as soon as possible, as our weeks fill up very quickly.

Perfect for two of you. The excellent design of the house, with its loft-like living area, and its master bedroom and bath one flight up, allows for a cozy intimacy and romantic feel that's perfect for two friends, lovers, partners, or any couple or a couple of couples. And we'll discount the rate if that helps make it possible.

The pleasures of two weeks. Two weeks give you a great opportunity to get to know this very special region of France (with all the markets, historic sites, hiking and bicycling routes, restaurants, etc., even two weeks won't cover it all), and it is wonderfully relaxing to have the leisure of a longer stay and to really feel a part of village life.

The ideal stay: a month. A lengthy stay in the village is an unsurpassed pleasure, but it requires significant advance notice (since weeks can fill up quickly). If you can create the time for yourself, you’ll have an unforgettable experience—not just unique, but rich with history and community, with adventure and exploration, and perhaps just as important, you’ll feel a deep calm and revivifying sense of place.

Personal service. Unlike days of yore, there are no white-capped servants. This is a modern do-it-yourself holiday house. But we don't just leave you alone to figure things out: we provide advice on transportation, suggestions on unmissable attractions, help in choosing restaurants, lists of favorite biking and walking trails, dates and times of the local outdoor markets, and recommendations from previous guests of interesting and unusual things to do.

And if our extensive "operations manual" doesn't help with figuring out the appliances and systems of the house itself, we are always available for advice (although we're near Boston, so don't forget the 6 hour time difference). We can usually get local help for plumbing or electrical emergencies, for example-- but instant repairs are not the norm in France. So if the dishwasher goes out, you'll have to wash dishes by hand. The 'operations manual' has good details for getting the fireplace going, re-setting the wifi, and fixing an electricity outage (as long as it's not village-wide). Some problems may require a bit of do-it-yourself ingenuity, but nothing should compromise the pleasures of your holiday.

Off season, the house is available for longer-term rentals (two months minimum) at very reasonable rates. The village is very quiet off season--ideal for writing, painting, contemplating, relaxing.

The house is typically rented from Saturday to Saturday. (Check-in after 4:30 PM, check-out by 10:30 AM).

Payment information: by PayPal, bank transfer, check, or transferwise.com (better than a bank)--you are responsible for all transaction fees, which are often modest but quite variable (for instance, PayPal charges as much as 3.9%).

There is a surcharge of 0.15 Euro/KWH for electricity beyond 100KWH allowance, but average use is most typically below 100KWH.

Damage/cleaning deposit: A required deposit will be returned (via your requested payment method) shortly after your stay. Since this is our house, and not a hotel, we ask that you leave it as you would wish to find it. (The cleaners will come in to finish washing the floors, making the beds, etc.)

Refunds: If you are unable to stay in the house, we will do all we can to try and re-book it and refund your payment; otherwise, we are not able to offer refunds.

No Smoking: There is no smoking in the house, but it is an easy step outside, from the main or lower floor, to grab a puff, away from others.

Please contact us: if you have any questions, special needs, or concerns. Our goal is to help you have an absolutely wonderful vacation.

Availability Calendar

2024
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Property Exterior

Private Garden:
Yes
Near a Beach:
Yes
Mountain Views:
Yes
Safe for Children:
Yes

Local Attractions

Markets
Get to as many markets as you can-- not only for the glorious displays and the pleasures of the French culinary culture. But to actually buy fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, olives, meats, jams, wines, etc. etc.
Each market is unique-- some larger, some smaller, some with goods unavailable anywhere else, and each located in its own lovely environment.
The markets most commonly visited by our guests are in Cahors (Saturday and Wednesday mornings), Limogne (Sunday morning), Villefranche de Rouergue (Thursday morning).
By the way, the cheese varieties can be a bit overwhelming-- yet even when we pick randomly, we've not been disappointed. And keep an eye out for the goat cheese seller, a very special treat.

Here are a few of the other fairly local markets:
Sarlat – Saturday
San Antonin Noble Val - Sunday
Cajarc -Saturday afternoon (a very nice, smaller market only 25 minutes away--
especially for folks staying two weeks or more who've already visited the great Cahors market)

A Bicycler's ParadisePicture
The options for great bicycling through this region are many. Cyclists wanting an easy cruise can simply ride down the hill and pedal on flat roads up and down the Lot and Cele river valleys, below limestone cliffs, looking over tobacco fields, sunflowers, medieval villages, dominating chateaus, and centuries-old mills. The road on the south (St. Cirq Lapopie) side travels close to the river in either direction.
Or you can walk your bicycles to the top of the village, to the upper lot on the right, and take the road downhill toward Bouzies, through the beautiful, peaceful countryside. Just before you cross the river, you'll find a dirt path to the right. This takes you on a beautiful ride along the river. You'll share the path with hikers, so you may be ringing that bell, and there may be a puddle or two, or a rough patch when you're biking through the limestone caves, but it's a wonderful ride.
And many of the usual day trips (to the Limogne market or Peche Merle caves or the Cenevieres castle) can be done by bicycle, with occasional inclines. (You may want to walk your bike that last 1/3 mile to Peche Merle!)
Cyclists wanting a challenge can climb out of the valleys up 8-10% grades for fabulous hillside views, beautiful black-oak woods, and quiet pastures. The village is in the Midi-Pyrenees, which accurately describes the ascents — mostly moderate grades of 500-1000 feet (175-300 metres). The road from the river to the top of the village is a 10% climb and perfect for hill repeats.
Rather than pay the high fees of some bike touring companies, you can wind you through some quaint villages and glorious terrain, to castles and vineyards, and beyond, with just a little advance planning. We're happy to help.

There are a number of neighboring towns in which one can rent bicycles. Aficionados may decide to bring their own bikes. Either way, you'll have a blast.

UPDATE: A new business has opened in town (actually just across the river from the village) that will deliver rented bikes right to your door and pick them up when you are done! Here is the link: http://www.lesptitsvelos-stcirq.com Maxime and his crew do an excellent job of providing bikes, helmets, locks, and all the help you need. The bikes are solid, very good, easily adjustable hybrids, and perfect for the region. The prices are reasonable too. They come in two sizes-- I'd recommend the extra-large for anyone 5' 10" and above. (Maxime's English is pretty good too, although email is easier for him, unless you speak French.)

For easy bicycling, you can just take off and head downhill along the river, You'll stay on mostly flat terrain, the topography is gorgeous, and there is very little traffic, even at the height of the season. Take a picnic lunch and stop along the way. It is absolutely delightful.

Boating – You may take a ride on a pleasure boat from Bouzies or from Cahors. You may also rent your own boat for a day or a few hours. The 40 miles of river between Luzech and St. Cirq Lapopie has recently been reopened to pleasure boats.
Lot Navigation in Bouziès (Tel.:0565 30 24 41)
Baboumarine in Cahors (Tel.: 0565 30 08 99)
Crown Blue Line in Douelle (Tel.: 0565 20 08 79)

Canoeing - At the village beach there are canoes for rent, but a more extensive operation, Kalapca, exists just below the village on the river. You willl be dropped off further up river for a wonderful two to three hour journey back. Bring a picnic lunch if you wish, and feel free to take a dip in the river.
There are also boat tours that can be arranged up and down the river. Wonderful full and half-day trips provide a marvelous sense of this region's expansive beauty.
Picture

Swimming - For swimmers, sunbathers, and general frolicking, the village maintains a friendly sandy beach along the river. The water is clean and refreshing, and the surrounding terrain is lovely.
On summer days there is even a lifeguard on duty. But experienced swimmers can go far beyond the buoys. Overlooking the beach, with chairs and views, is an open snack bar, serving wine and beer. And new owners have updated the kitchen, not only to provide delicious croissants and coffee in the mornings, but excellent french-style pizzas throughout the day.

Spelunking (cave diving) – The region is one of the greatest spelunking areas in the world. The local company who organizes the adventure is Kalapca, located at the bottom of the village by the river. (tel.: 0565 30 29 51).
Pech Merle - The famous caves at Pech Merle (click this link), a relatively short distance from Saint Cirq Lapopie, are well worth a visit (English-language tours are available). It is a rare opportunity to explore a remarkable cave with wall drawings dating back more than 20,000 years-- some of the first artistic/communicative endeavors of human beings. Bring a sweater, the caves are cool.

There are fantastic museums and galleries to explore on day trips out of St. Cirq Lapopie, but there are also wonderful artists right in the village itself and in the neighboring area.

Whether you spend an afternoon visiting their galleries, or give yourself some extra time to stop by a gallery on your way to lunch, you will feel much rewarded by the time spent getting to know some of these artists and their work.

Museums
Pierre Daura and the Daura House
The Spanish-born artist, Pierre Daura, studied in Barcelona and made his career in Virginia, painting landscapes. He lived in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie from 1930 to 1939 and every summer thereafter until his death in 1976. His daughter, Martha Daura, wanted the family houses to be committed to the arts as they had been in her father's lifetime.

Les Maisons Daura are now residences for artists from around the world, all dedicated to contemporary work, managed by the Georges Pompidou Maison des Artes in nearby Cajarc. It was restored in 2005 and remains a research center for artistic innovation.


The Rignault Museum
Once a typical family house on a cobbled street at the foot of the church, the Rignault Museum houses a fascinating trove of historical items, puts on a variety of artistic and historical exhibits, and offers a beautiful garden with breathtaking views for a lovely respite from the hilly hikes.

Toulouse-Lautrec Museum (and Albi)

If you have time for a day trip, the lovely city of Albi, home to the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, is well worth a visit. In addition to the museum, it has an astonishingly beautiful cathedral-- the interior art and decoration are unparalleled. Albi also has one of France's very first vegetarian restaurants-- delicious meals served by actual cousins of ours.

Fishing-- The River Lot is one of the finest carp and catfish rivers in France. It is famous for its record carp (approaching 30 lbs!). Anglers may fish at night all year. Note, to preserve fish populations the Lot is a ”no kill” river.

Golf-- Whether you are a seasoned golfer or have never played, golfing in the Lot is an unparalleled experience. You can rent golf clubs at some courses and at several golf shops in the area. Call ahead to reserve tee times. Nearby courses:
Roucous (link for links!) (par 71, 5535 yds) – 25 miles
Montal (par 54, 3400 yds) – 26 miles
Souillac (par 70, 5100 yds) – 31 miles
Picture

Horseback riding - This is wonderful riding country, and several stables offer a variety of riding packages, by the hour or by the day-- even overnight!

The nearest stables are about 15 minutes away in Cabrerets.
Ferme Equestre in Pech Merle near Cabrerets (Tel.: 0565 24 76 51 or 0611 93 25 23)
Pompon-Club, “Champ Grand,” (Tel. : 0565 31 78 00 or 0611 59 90 39) in Eslauzels
Chez Richard et Nanou in Belfort du Quercy, Near Lalbenque, you can hire a horse by the hour or the day, or take a “Rando-bivouac,” a guided afternoon ride followed by a night out under canvas(Tel. : 0565 24 72 48).

Climbing – those limestone cliffs attract climbers of all levels and all ages! Ask Kapalca.

Concerts – Cahors hosts the Festival of the Blues every July. If you prefer classical music, there is the famous festival in St. Céré and also one in Limogne every summer.

Tennis - There is a court in Tour de Faure which may be rented by the hour. Inquire at the village store.

Ballooning – there is a hot air balloon competition in September in Rocamador.

Birdwatching -St. Cirq Lapopie appeals to ornithologists. Since spraying is prohibited, more birds are present than you may be accustomed to hearing. A list of birds in the area is available online.

Take A Hike
There are fine walks from and near the village, many of which offer spectacular views over the Lot River and valley. Especially fun is the walk along the old river Tow Path below the village.

Wildlife Parks
Musee La Maison des Abeilles, Rocamadour. Up to half a million bees live here behind glass. The display is an astonishing living exhibition of the the life of the domestic bee and the work of the bee-keeper.

Forêt des Singes, Rocamadour. Enter the monkeys’s home and be transported into the fascinating world of 130 Barbary Macaques from the Atlas mountians in Moracco as they roam free in 50 acres of beautiful forest…

Reptiland, Martel 250 snakes, crocodiles, lizards, tortoises and spiders – 92 species in all – are on view at Reptiland, which houses the biggest collection of reptiles in France.
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Parc Animalier de Gramat A 3.5 km walk in a 100 acre wildlife park where you can see 150 different species of animals indigenous to the plateau, including bears, goats, wolves, bison and wild horses. There are a bar/restaurant and picnic area.
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Préhistologia, Prehistory Parc Lacave. Walk back in time 15 million years. Prehistoric flying reptiles and dinosaurs roam this woodland area. There is also a reconstruction of everyday life in a neolithic village. Accessible to all.
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Insectopia next to Gouffre de Padirac – a wonderful cave to visit . Fun and educational, Insectopia houses a rich collection of live insects and butterflies in all weather exhibits.

Cap Nature, Pradines. An activity park with two fun circuits through the treetops, one for all the family, and the other for the more adventurous. Something for children of all ages. Paint ball, too! Kids love it!
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Le Rocher des Aigles, Rocamadour – Open April 1 – September 30. Over 60 species and 400 birds of prey and parrots are protected in a natural environment. There are hourly demonstrations of the birds in free flight that are a spectacle to see, especially when they nose-dive back to their trainers.

Gourmet Food Delivery
If you think you'll be arriving late, or don't feel like cooking or going out to eat, our neighbor (in nearby Crégols), Penelope Horn, is a wonderful cook and will deliver a delicious meal right to the house. Give her a few days notice, then get out the silverware.
Penni prefers contact via email: penelopehorn@gmail.com

In the area

This Property is situated in Lot, Midi-Pyrenees

Nearest Airport: Toulouse ( 1 hour 45 minutes)

Nearest Station: Cahors

Nearest Ferry:

Nearest Beach: St. Cirq Lapopie

Nearest Ski Resort:

Please note that the location on this map is an approximate guide, normally to the closest town or village.


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Whether you're planning your next holiday, or simply want to find out more about our properties, you can contact our Owners & Agents directly for more information

Contact Person: Charles Morgan

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