Outdoor activities around Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
Families, sports enthusiasts who want to test their capacities, or nature lovers, our area offers you a multitude of activities.
Before doing any other walks, go along the towpath beside the river from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie to Bouziès,10 kms there and back, and see the Ganil lock as well as a bas-relief carved into the cliffs by an artist from Toulouse. 3 kms return between the lock and Bouziès if you only want to see the part hewn from the cliff base.
For longer or more demanding rambles, follow the signposted paths for walking, biking and horse riding. You'll see "cazelles" (dry stone huts), dry stone walls, beautiful views, pilgrims on the Santiago de Compostela ways, and the landscapes of the Causse..
Here, Nature takes forms that lend themselves to rock climbing, canoeing, via ferrata, canyoning, caving…. The KALAPCA Leisure base 5 kms from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie in the commune of Bouziès provides professional guides, equipment, etc.
The markets of the Lot provide true local flavour
- Limogne en Quercy : traditional market, place Jean-Louis Belvezet, Sunday mornings all year round. Truffle market on Fridays starting 10.30, December to early March.
- Cajarc : Saturdays in the centre 13-18.00 - 1st January to 31st December.
- Figeac : Saturday mornings under the Market Hall 1st January to 31st December.
- Cahors : voted the finest market in Occitanie in 2018, it is held on the Place Chapou outside the cathedral, Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
- Lalbenque and its truffle market : Saturday mornings all year round there's a traditional market held in the Rue du Marché aux Truffes. However, every Tuesday from 3rd December 2019 and until the end of February, it's Truffle Market time (14.00 : retail market - 14.30 : wholesale)
Two visits you really shouldn't miss just 15 mins. from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
The Château de Cénevières
Just 9 minutes by car from the hôtel, this luxurious Renaissance château, a listed monument, provides a lovely view over the Lot valley from its terraces.
From April to November, the owners will take you on a guided tour around this château, their family's home for more than 200 years. You'll visit the keep, the former kitchens, the dungeons, guard room, the alchemist's room and see an amazing painted Renaissance ceiling illustrating Oriental Istanbul.
Don't miss the costumed visits on Wednesday evenings in summer!
The Pech Merle Cave
16 minutes by car from the hôtel, plunge into prehistory as you walk through 1 km of galleries decorated with wall paintings dating back over 25 000 years. 7 caverns in which you'll learn about the origins of the stalagmites and stalactites and the representations of animals.
The site is open from February to November. To conserve the paintings, the number of visitors per day is limited in July/August, do think to reserve your tickets in advance.
Useful to know : the ticket includes the guided visit of the cave and entrance to the Quercy Museum of Prehistory (on site). Pech Merle cave
Top 4 visits less than an hour's drive from the Hôtel-Spa Le Saint Cirq
1- Villefranche de Rouergue
44 minutes by car from the hôtel, this perfect example of a bastide is designated “Grand Site Occitanie” and “Town of Art and History”. Founded in 1252, as you wander around the streets you'll see the Griffoul fountain, the baroque chapel of the Pénitents Noirs, Notre-Dame square and the collegiate church…
You'll love the good local food and the Thursday morning market.
2 - Figeac
48 minutes by car from the hôtel, Unesco World Heritage listed in relation to the Santiago de Compostela PIlgrim Ways, Figeac plays host to many pilgrims who walk across the Causse and then through the town's mediaeval streets. This is also the birthplace of the famous Egyptologist Champollion, who deciphered the hieroglyphs carved on the Rosetta Stone.
To visit : the Champollion Museum - the writing systems of the world to explore, in a fun and fascinating way, the place and rôle of writing over the past 5 300 years.
3 - Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
50 minutes by car from the hôtel, on the banks of the Aveyron, you'll fall under the spell of this valley where Nature abounds. Stroll around the village's narrow paved streets lined with old buildings. A mediaeval place which favours the good life, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val is also the gateway to the gorges of the Aveyron.
To see : the Maison Romane, the former Génovéfains' Convent, the Maison du Roy, the Maison de l’Amour, the Tanneries...
4 - Najac
55 minutes by car from the hôtel, one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France is strung out along the crest of a hill, watched over by a Royal castle of the 12th and 13th C. A listed HIstoric Monument, the keep possesses the tallest arrow-slits in the world and an incredible panorama over the valley and the village.
Worth knowing : festive night market every Wednesday evening in summer
Ideas for day excursions from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie
To show you a variety of landscapes, and to find out some more about the history and traditions of South-West France, let us point you to des some noteworthy places between one and two hours' drive from the Hôtel-Spa le Saint-Cirq.
The Dordogne Valley
1 hr.10 mins. from the hôtel, visit the unmissable UNESCO listed mediaeval village of Rocamadour with its sanctuary and the deep Padirac Chasm. On the banks of the Dordogne, the valley possesses several of the "Most Beautiful Villages in France" : Autoire with its waterfall, Carennac and its cloister, Martel, with its 7 towers and steam train, mediaeval Loubressac and its superb panorama.
1 hr 13 mins south of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, Cordes-sur-Ciel, perched on a rocky spur, has managed to preserve its rich architectural heritage since the 13th C., thus meriting the description “Gem of Gothic Art”. Spectacular !
1 hr 14 mins from the hôtel, Lauzerte was once a Gaulish hill-fort. One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, it is also a Grand Site Occitanie. The fortified settlement is a great example of a 12th C "bastide" (new town), with its paved streets and half-timbered houses.
1 hr 20 mins from the hôtel, visit Rodez with its old quarters whose origins go back 2 000 years, and its pink sandstone cathedral. Art lovers can choose to make a détour via the Soulages Museum, dedicated to this painter and engraver born in Rodez.
1 hr 30 mins and more from Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, why not adventure further ?
To Conques, to stroll through the aisles of the Abbatiale Sainte-FOY, with its contemporary stained glass windows by Soulages, the carved tympanum and its Treasury with its objects in gold and silver. Time appears to have stood still in this mediaeval village, a major mediaeval halt on the Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim Ways.
On the banks of the Tarn, the Episcopal city of Albi, UNESCO World Heritage Listed, provides a surprise with its imposing Cathedral of Sainte-Cécile, the Palais de la Berbie, the Pont-vieux (Old Bridge)… Don't miss out on a visit to the Museum devoted to Toulouse-Lautrec, who came from Albi.
In the vineyards and along the banks of the Tarn, Gaillac is entirely clad in pink brick. Here you'll find the Abbaye Saint-Michel where for the last 3 years a lantern festival has been held, bringing colour to December and January. You'll also fall for the mediaeval charm of ite neighbour Puycelsi and the wild Grésigne forest (the largest oak forest in the South of France).
Between the Tarn and the Canal Latéral à la Garonne, Moissac is a "Town of Art and History" and a Site of Remarkable Taste. Take time out in the 12th C.Abbey church and cloister, UNESCO World Heritage listed in the context of the Santiago Pilgrim Ways and taste the Chasselas grape, grown locally and with an AOC.
To Toulouse, the pink city so dear to Nougaro. Stop off for a bit of shopping, visit the Aeroscopia museum or the Cité de l'espace, the Natural History Museum… have a drink on the Place du Capitole and walk around the UNESCO World Heritage listed Basilica of Saint-Sernin. Stroll along by the Canal du Midi or the banks of the Garonne. Programme your stay to coincide with the matches at the Stade Toulousain.
Less than one hour away, head for Perigord
Sarlat : an unmissable place to visit in Perigord Noir. This Town of Art and History boasts no fewer than 66 listed monuments. You can't say no to a guided tour of the town so as not to miss anything, or resist trying a few delicious treats on the impressive market on the Place de la Liberté on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
The Château de Bonaguil, located where Perigord meets Quercy, is open all year round, but only during school holidays from November to February. A defensive castle larger than any other in Europe, its keep, cave and drawbridge are all included in the visit. There are visits including activities such as dressing up, being creative, feasting…