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©Avec Roc n' Roule|Cyril Novello

Autoire

A village at the foot of the cliff

In the Happy Family « Most beautiful Villages in France », I'd like the most Renaissance one !

Imagine a deep gorge with impressive white cliffs splashed with the green of trees, and you’ll have an idea of Autoire. A haven of greenery, this village of character nestled at the foot of the cliffs, gives off a very special atmosphere due to its historic castrum and its small hidden streets. Here, the charm reigns. The viewpoint overlooking the village from the top of the cliffs offers a breathtaking panorama on the Dordogne valley !

A cascade of brown roofs

Here, between Gramat and St. Céré, on the sun-warmed causse, Autoire’s houses form a cascade of brown roofs and light-coloured façades down the hillside. In this harmonious blend of colors, you will find a fountain, half-timbered houses, and elegant gentlemen’s residences flanked by small towers. The original medieval castrum was a holiday resort for the notables of Saint-Céré and was enriched in the 17th and 18th centuries with sumptuous manors.  

Little Versailles

Under the protection of the Viscounts of Turenne for centuries, Autoire has a serene atmosphere firmly implanted over its eight hundred years of existence. Because manor houses and small castles were built here, the village was nicknamed « Petit Versailles » and has been awarded the status of « the Most Beautiful Villages in France ». In the heart of the village, the houses form a circular rampart around the Romanesque church. Nearby, the castle of the local lords who controlled the village from the 11th to the 17th century, now houses the town hall.

The English castle and Autoire waterfall

The charm of Autoire is also due to its exceptional environment: a cirque of limestone cliffs from which the Toire stream rises in an impressive 30 meter waterfall.

The walk along the GR is very popular: the ridge path reveals exceptional views. The change of scenery would not be complete without a visit of the English fortress, close to the cliff. This castle was used by the English companies during the Hundred Years’ War and by the local brigands. Since then, serenity has returned to the cirque where only the tumult of the waters breaks the surrounding calm.

Do not miss !

The perfectly-restored square pigeon-towers

The 30 meters high cascade, the highest in the area

Its point of view on the majestic circus