Marcilhac-sur-Célé et les falaises de la vallée du CéléMARCILHAC SUR CELE
©MARCILHAC SUR CELE|Christophe Bouthé - Agence Vent d'Autan
A collectionexceptional sites

The Great Sites of Occitanie Sud de France

There are places, atmospheres and landscapes we always remember. Towns, villages, sites you’re surprised to discover and happy to return to. The Dordogne valley, the Lot valley or the Aveyron, incredible places to marvel at the beauty of their heritage and landscapes. The Occitanie region boasts 41 major sites that are a must-see, because they reflect the region’s history, beauty and hospitality. While you’re in Figeac, take the opportunity to discover the other Grands Sites Occitanie nearby.

Figeac, valleys

du Lot et du Célé

Nestled between the Lot and Célé valleys, Grand-Figeac is a destination full of character. Strolling through our towns and villages, steeped in the history of our ancestors, is like stepping into a time machine. Numerous monuments such as castles, medieval houses, abbeys and priories illustrate the great wealth of our destination. As you travel through the countryside, from cliffs to valleys, you’ll discover picturesque towns and villages where the architecture of the Middle Ages has left its mark. A feast for the eyes and a thrill for the senses. Discover Paul Couderc‘s tips for the Grand Site Occitanie, Figeac, Vallées du Lot et du Célé, as a professional slopestyle mountain biker and free rider.

Des bons plans pour Figeac, Vallées du Lot et du Célé
Des bons plans pour Figeac, Vallées du Lot et du Célé
Des bons plans pour Figeac, Vallées du Lot et du Célé

Lot Valley

By boat or gabare, on foot along the route to Santiago de Compostela, or by bike through thevineyards, the Lot valley promises some surprising discoveries. Perched high on a cliff, Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, paradise of the poet André Breton, is a true masterpiece of the Middle Ages. Listed as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages, with its picturesque cobbled streets and half-timbered houses, the village boasts 13 historic monuments. Downstream from the bends in the river lies Cahors, listed as a Ville d’art et d’histoire. From Pont Valentré to Saint-Étienne Cathedral, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Cahors combines southern ambience, historical riches and gourmet delights. On either side of the river, the vineyards of Cahors stretch along the slopes of Quercy, with a grape variety of international renown: Malbec, the famous black wine with a strong character.


Dordogne Valley

The villages of the Dordogne Valley rival each other in charm! Eight of them are listed among Les Plus Beaux Villages de France: Collonges-la-Rouge, Curemonte, Carennac, Autoire, Loubressac, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne and Rocamadour. Built in successive tiers, Rocamadour clings to theAlzou canyon. This thousand-year-old sanctuary will transport you to another time, when people came from far and wide to venerate the Black Madonna, a 12th-century wooden statue to whom many miracles are attributed. Rocamadour also recounts the legend of Saint Amadour and the Durandal sword. At nightfall, the village offers a breathtaking view, a magical postcard to be experienced from the belvedere. Just 10 minutes from Rocamadour, get closer to the center of the earth at the Gouffre de Padirac. Further north, the fortified castle of Castelnau-Bretenoux proudly dominates the valleys. At Château de Montal, you enter the elegance of the Renaissance. Last but not least, you’ll be delighted by the delicious products, such as the famous Rocamadour PDO cheese and the PDOPérigord walnut.


Romanesque art treasures

Suspended in the steep gorges of the Ouche, Conques, a treasure trove ofRomanesque art, will take you back to the time of the great builders of the Middle Ages. A religious sanctuary housing the relics of Saint Foy, the village is an essential stopover on the Chemin du Puy, the most famous of the roads leading to Santiago de Compostela . Classified as one of France’s most beautiful villages, this“Grand site de France” is full of charm, with its town gates, Romanesque fountains and half-timbered houses, while theabbey church of Sainte-Foy impresses with its famous tympanum, capitals and stained-glass windows by artist Pierre Soulages. Like the pilgrims’ bridge over the Dourdou river, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The treasure of Conques is one of the 5 great European treasures ofmedieval goldsmith’s art.

Country houses

and Gorges de l'Aveyron

In the heart of the lush greenAveyron gorges, in the Rouergue region, medieval towns and landscapes put on a show! With their common origins, colors and atmospheres, experience the great adventure of the bastides of the Aveyron gorges, where originality is the law. At the gateway to the Causse, the bastide town of Villeneuve d’Aveyron is a choice stopover for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. Dive into the heart of the 1960s with photographs from the Galerie Jean-Marie Périer. On the outskirts of the Aveyron valley, Villefranche-de-Rouergue reveals a remarkable heritage in a gentle environment dominated by the red tiles of the Midi. Further south, the river begins its course through spectacular gorges. Here, at the entrance to the wild Aveyron gorges, Najac stands on a promontory overlooking the river. The village offers the calm and beauty of a landscape where water, trees and rock meet. In Saint-Antonin Noble-Val, stroll along the cobbled streets. The vast Sunday morning market is a veritable institution.


Art and gastronomy

With its medieval and Renaissanceheritage, archaeological collections and contemporary art, Rodez invites you on a journey! The impressive Notre-Dame Cathedral, with its remarkable Gothic architecture, is the city’s dominant landmark, offering an incredible panorama of the city of Rodez. Its flat bell tower, gargoyles, contemporary stained glass and pink sandstone make it unique. Two artistic curiosities are a must: the Musée Fenaille, with its exceptional collection of statue-menhirs, and the Musée Soulages, an unusual venue displaying almost 500 works by contemporary artist Pierre Soulages.Take advantage of your visit to lunch at Café Bras, or opt for a gastronomic detour to Laguiole’s Suquet for dinner at Restaurant Bras. Since 2009, Sébastien Bras, with the same passion and sensibility as his father Michel Bras , has been offering intuitive, precise cuisine, in tune with theAubrac countryside.