Rocamadour’s stunning castle was built to defend the village’s Sanctuary in the Middle Ages and sits proudly at the top of the village in an extraordinary balancing act.
Only the castle’s ramparts are open to visitors but the viewpoints over the Alzou Valley are simply breathtaking. Remember to keep an eye out for the birds flying to and from the ‘Rocher des Aigles’ falconry display nearby.
Visitors that have still got energy to burn and who are looking for a glimpse of the village as a whole should take the shady path towards L’Hospitalet. Inhabitated as early as the Upper Palaeolithic era, this hamlet offres a picture-postcard view of the golden stone village cascading into the canyon.
Nearby, the prehistoric Grotte des Merveilles boasts an underground world of stalactites, lakes and original Paleolithic drawings of horses and deer that date back to 20,000 B.C. The pre-historic artists created the paintings by airbrushing red and black pigment onto the rocks using animal bones and a variety of different stencils like hands. The cave is easily accessible with only a short walk down some steps.
The monkey park “La Forêt des Singes” is also a must while visiting Rocamadour, particularly with children. A chance to get up close and personal with 150 barbary macaques roaming free in a large shady park.
Keep in mind that the village continues to be an active place of worship so it’s advised to dress accordingly. With a million visitors flocking to Rocamadour every year, try and plan a visit to the sacred marvel early in the morning as it can often get quite busy during the day.