Les Plus Beaux Villages de France – The Most Beautiful Villages in France
Tuesday and Wednesday the 25th& 26th of April 2017 and ‘Days 7 & 8′ of our travels.
A bit of background on Rocamadour:
‘Rocamadour is a village in the Lot department of the Occitanie region, near the eastern border of the Dordogne department. Situated in the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park, Rocamadour receives more than a million visitors – tourists and pilgrims – each year.
Although the history of the village dates back to prehistoric times, it is as a medieval pilgrimage destination that Rocamadour is best known, with the first church here being constructed in the middle of the 12th century.’~France This Way
After our very short stop in Saint-Geniez-d’Olt, we set off to our next destination; Romamadour, which was approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive. We weren’t in a rush because check-in for our next accommodation wasn’t until mid-afternoon. We took our time, stopping for lunch and making numerous stops for photos and to take in the beautiful scenery.
I was the one driving today. After my initial fear of driving abroad, I was actually enjoying it, especially through all the beautiful French countryside. I wasn’t as keen on driving through cities so I let Amanda do that. 😀
Our first view of Rocamadour was fantastic. Hewn from the mountain itself and spilling downwards towards the slightly newer, yet still very old streets below. We were already in love with the place before we pulled into the village.
If you’re ever in this region, you MUST see this stunning village.
I’ll add information about parking and our accommodation near the bottom of the post. Everything went very smoothly and we were very pleased with our choice of accommodation.
Once we’d checked in we grabbed our rain macs and ventured out to explore. We had a lovely wander around this beautiful old village which was and still is in my top five from the dozens we saw on this trip. I do wish the weather had been a little better because the pics look dull, and this place was anything but dull.
That evening we chose to eat in the hotel’s restaurant as there wasn’t much open in the village because it was out of season (April). I can’t remember exactly what we ate for starters but I believe we were recommended to try the region’s speciality, Foie Gras. For mains, I had lamb, potatoes, and beans, and Amanda had duck. I can’t remember what exactly we ate for dessert. I do know that we went to bed tired, pleasantly full, and very happy.
Wednesday the 26th of April and Day 8 of our France adventure.
Early morning start with a huge buffet breakfast with unlimited drinks – that means lots of coffee for Amanda. 😀
We started with a wander up and down the main street in Rocamadour, this time without the rain, and then we took the lift up to the chapels and the stunning sanctuary complex above the lower town. To get to the lift you walk through a tunnel carved out of the rock, there’s a small photo of it below and I seem to remember there was a small fee for using the lift but given how much pain I was in, it was definitely worth it.
This part of Rocamadour is amazing and definitely a MUST-SEE place for anyone visiting this region. Some of the buildings are carved out of the rock face while others cling precariously to the little plateau high above the village. It’s better to see it than for me to try to describe it so I’ll add some photos and videos to help.
Below are a few videos from around Rocamadour. They’re only a few seconds long. I should really stitch them together and just post the one but the quality of them isn’t great so it’s not really worth going to any effort. I now have a Gimbal so my videos for my next trip should be better. Famous last words. 😀
After our walk around the upper section of Rocamadour, we had to check out of our hotel and get back on the road. Before leaving the area we drove up above Rocamadour to get a view of the entire village. See the last photo and the last video above. We then took off towards Corn to our next accommodation. The reason for this odd backtracking route was that we didn’t want to be in Rocamadour on a Friday as it’s supposedly mobbed at weekends and a midweek booking was cheaper than a Friday or weekend booking. I’m tight, what can I say, I’m from Yorkshire. 😀
Grand Hotel Beau Site, Rocamadour, France
We were lucky enough to have booked a hotel that had parking in the actual village of Rocamadour so we didn’t have to walk up from the main tourist car park. We pulled up and a gentleman took our keys and sorted the parking for us, which was right next to where we’d be staying in the Grand Hotel Beau Site – Rocamadour. When we visited, it was part of the Best Western chain of hotels but I think that has changed now.
We walked into the beautiful old reception which back then had heavy dark beams and a wooden staircase flanked by thick, light-coloured stone walls and a huge stone fireplace opposite a mahogany reception desk. It no longer looks this way, it’s all been lightened up and I’m not as keen.
The hotel cost us €106 for a superior room for one night, this was back in April 2017. There was no food included but parking was free back then.
The lady behind the desk checked us in and gave us the choice of two rooms. We weren’t in the main building where the reception was located, we were in a stone building across the little road to the right of the reception entrance. We decided on a room with two Juliette balconies, one that had wonderful views of the chateau, chapel, and sanctuary that all towered above us and the other that looked out to the entrance to the village, the tiny car park next to the outdoor dining area, and the pretty valley beyond.
The room itself was simple but comfortable. I’ll probably come back and add a video at a later date. I can’t add it now as my darling friend Amanda was being a mare by trying to sabotage my already dreadful video footage, so I’ll have to either remove the sound or cut out the naughty bits. 😀 I’ll add a few screenshots of the room below.
The Reception Area of the Grand Hotel Beau Site, Rocamadour, France in April 2017
Below are photos from around the hotel. The first image is of the entrance to the reception for the hotel, and the second image is where we parked but I’m not sure if you can park there anymore. The third image shows the building where we stayed, you can see our two balconies on the second floor, one at the front and one at the side. The next two photos show up and down the street from the hotel.
Below is screen grabs from the video that I daren’t play. You can see the two Juliette balconies. There’s one to the side of the beds overlooking the chapel, chateau and sanctuary and one at the foot of the beds overlooking the car park, hotel reception across the street, the entrance to the village, and over the surrounding valley. Simple but comfortable with great views.
All photos and videos are the property of myself and Amanda.
Thanks for visiting.
Touch of Cinnamon