The lovely village of Rocamadour in the Midi-Pyrenees is one of France’s most famous tourist destinations and welcomes over a million visitors every year. Makes you wonder why is a small village so popular?
If you look at some of the photos showing Rocamadour, you will probably conclude yourself that it is because of its rich history and uniquely beautiful and dramatic settlement built on a cliffside of River Alzou Canyon. This UNESCO world heritage site has just around 600 inhabitants and was voted as one of the favorite village of the French 2016.
Here are some interesting facts that will place Rocamodour on top of your travel list.
Rocamadour-Attraction for Pilgrims
Rocamadour has several highlights worth exploring, and thanks to its sanctuaries it is a great attraction for pilgrims around the world. The village was built in the Middle Ages after the discovery of what was believed to be the body of St Amator and became an attraction for Pilgrims after it was claimed that several miracles had happened at that time. The most visited pilgrimage is the church of Notre Dame containing the image of the wooden Black Madonna. It is believed that Saint Amator carved it himself.The village is an important stop on the pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.
Not to miss in and near the village
Within the village, many natural sights including intriguing caves are open for visitors. The caves at ‘Grotte Prehistorique des Merveilles’ are popular for the rock formations and the 20,000-year-old cave paintings they contain. One of the most beautiful caves in France,Gouffre de Padirac, is also located near Rocamadour. Another attraction is the ‘Maison des Abeilles’ or the “Beehouse,” where you can learn about the importance of beekeeping in the region. Foret des Singes at Rocamadour, the forest where more than 100 monkeys live in relative freedom and several nearby caves carved out of the limestone are a must see when visiting this beautiful village. For younger visitors, there are several goat farms nearby that they will love.
Tastes to try out
There are some great flavors to try out, specific for this area. For cheese lovers,the Rocamadour goats cheese is a must try. It is made from raw goat’s milk that are raised in the natural surroundings of the plateau. They take the flavors of juniper and other native flowers and herbs in the area. For those who prefer meat, Quercy lamb is a great choice. It is also farmed naturally on the plateau. Combined with with Le Croustilot bread and local Cahors wine it is the perfect meal.There’s nothing left to say except Bon appetit.
After experiencing the rich history and visiting all intriguing attractions, try going up the shady path towards the L’Hospitalet. This is the final destination for the pilgrims and a perfect place for enjoying some stunning views across the region and taking excellent photos.
Finally, take a moment to rest and enjoy the view by sitting in one of many cafes and restaurants down on the main street where great little souvenir shops can be found as well.
Manigo Team, April 2017