The Secret of Saint-Cirq-LaPopie: A Spotted Chicken Adventure
The secret of Saint-Cirq-LaPopie? Shhh. Let’s keep this to ourselves, and not let anyone else in on it, shall we? It’s one our most successful Spotted Chicken Adventures.
Saint-Cirq-LaPopie is not one of those destination spots that everybody is clamoring to visit. In fact, outside of France, I dare say that it is completely unknown.Is Saint-Cirq-LaPopie the Most Beautiful Village in France? Click To Tweet
That leads to the obvious question. “So, if it’s so unknown, how did you, a couple of Americans, come to know it?”
The answer? Shearly by luck and happenstance. A classic Spotted Chicken Adventure.
Jo and I were returning to Cahors from Grotto Pech Merle. We’ll talk about Grotto Pech Merle at another time as it is a great story on its own. And, as we were driving along a river canyon marveling at the scenery we saw a cute little town on the other side and decided to stop in. And, so began another of our Spotted Chicken Adventures.
It would be natural for you to think that the lovely village seen from across the river was Saint-Cirq-LaPopie. But, that would be too easy, and it certainly wouldn’t be a Spotted Chicken Adventure. Nope, it would not.
No, that little town was called Bouziés. A village that likes to challenge drivers to a narrow one lane bridge as the right of passage. Did it scare the willies out of us? Not ashamed to admit that we were a bit nervous, but the setting and the cliff dwellings in the walls along the river bank were worth the trauma.
The Spotted Chicken Adventure was actually just beginning. Chance is a strange and wonderful thing. As we were leaving Bouziés, Jo saw a sign that read “St. Cirq Lapopie, 4.5km”.
It was one of those,”What the hell, why not moments…” Hmmm…. How can 4.5 kilometers seem so far? When the road is so narrow that even a tiny Fiat brushes the weeds on the side of the road. When the switchbacks have their own switchbacks. When… Oh, alright, I’m embellishing, but you get the picture.
Finally, we found ourselves trapped between a tour bus and a hard place, and decided to hoof it. Though, in truth, we had no idea where we were hoofing it to.
We were just a couple of lemmings following others off the cliff, or in this case down some rather steep tarmac. Soon, the aggravation, forgotten. What lay at our feet, delightful!
And, even though we had said just the day before that we were moving to the village of Carennac, Jodi was falling in love all over again. With good reason.
Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
Wha…? Having never heard “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France“, which is an official title by the way simply meaning,”The most beautiful villages of France”, we were understandably perplexed. We had inadvertently stumbled upon one of the villages recognized for their incomparable beauty and charm.
Saint-Cirq-LaPopie has that all wrapped up.
Saint-Cirq-LaPopie is perched on 100 meters above the Lot River on a steep cliff. The town is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the department of Lot. Who knew? The entire town might be described as a museum, or one big art gallery.
However you want to describe it, it is undeniably pretty.
Stroll… Well, stroll might be a little inaccurate as the village clings to the side of the cliff…. and, meander the cobbled lanes narrowly dividing the centuries old stone buildings. Enjoy art, and craft work from local artisans. Take in the natural beauty.
Stop and tarry awhile over a delicious lunch with a lovely rosé, or beer. Your visit will truly be delightful.
If you prefer more active pursuits as well, you will find many, many trails in the woods surrounding the area. They are perfect for hiking and mountain biking.
The River Lot is also very popular. Boating is a big pass time here.
Places to Stay in Saint-Cirq-LaPopie
The village is very small, and we only noticed one place to stay. As it happens we had decided to stop in for lunch at L’Auberge du Sombral, and found that it is a charming old house that has been nicely refurbished, and nestled right in the heart of this medieval village. Another that we saw was Chateau de Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. But, we can’t really speak about them other than to say they looked comfortable, clean, and hospitable.
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