Photo of Autoire

Visit Autoire

Autoire is in the Lot department, close to the border with the Dordogne and is one of the 'most beautiful villages of France'. The village is set with a backdrop of the dramatic cliffs of the edge of the Causse. These form the Cirque d'Autoire.

Autoire is to the east of Sarlat and Souillac.

Explore Autoire

Despite being a small village it was once home to the bourgoise of nearby Saint Ceré and so has some very attractive 16 and 17th century houses built in the local honey coloured stone.

The main square in the centre of the village is magnificent with a lovely fountain beautifully decked out in flowers during the summer. The fountain is also decorated with four bronze dolphins from whose mouths the water falls. Around the edges of the square the lovely stone houses are simply charming.


Steep roofs in a brown tile, turrets, colombage houses, mullioned windows - there are lots of attractive features to look out for.

There are several castles and a manor house to see, including the Chateau de Limargue.

Well protected by the Vicomptes of Turenne during the Hundred Years War the village has changed remarkably little during the last 800 years or so.


The 12th century church of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul has a particularly simple and harmonious interior.

The church was reconstructed in the 11 and 12th centuries with donations from the Lords of Banze and their coat of arms can be seen above the main entrance. The church was fortified towards the end of the Hundred Years War.

The village boasts several restaurants, one of which has a terrace looking out on to the superb views from the village.

If you are in Autoire at the end of July check out the date of the 'Embrasement des Falaises' which is a huge firework display lighting up the cliffs behind the village. This takes place every year.

Autoire is part of the 'Grand Site Midi-Pyrénées', the "Rocamadour- Vallée de la Dordogne".


Places to visit near Autoire

Once you have explored Autoire head for the nearby path (a short drive away) which winds up above a 30 meter waterfall and offers splendid views both of the waterfall and the Cirque d'Autoire with the village of Autoire nestled into the cliffs. The Cirque d'Autoire can be reached from the road between Padirac and Autoire.

There is also the ruins of a chateau - the Chateau des Anglais to see. This is a ruin set right into the cliff on the edge of the river.  For a long time the chateau was used by a band of  robbers.

The chateaux of Montal near Saint Ceré and Castelnau near Bretenoux are worth a visit.

Autoire is one of the most beautiful villages of France and this area is particularly rich in these classified beautiful villages. See also Loubressac and Carennac and Lacapelle Marival.

The fabulous Gouffre de Padirac is just down the road. These splendid caves are reached via a punt-style boat and then you walk through the enormous cavern to admire the beauty of the caves. The Gouffre de Padirac is very busy so give yourself plenty of time for a visit. You may have to queue!

See also: 

Photos of Autoire

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • ancient-houses
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  • chateau-limargue
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Map of Autoire and places to visit


Autoire places to visit



Loubressac is one of the most beautiful villages of France.

Loubressac guide
Gouffre de Padirac

Gouffre de Padirac

The Padirac caves are entered by boat! They are extremely popular.

Gouffre de Padirac guide


Bretenoux is a pleasant bastide town east of the Dordogne.

Bretenoux guide


Carennac is one of the most beautiful villages of France

Carennac guide


Rocamadour is an important pilgrim destination and one of France's most visited sites.

Rocamadour guide
Sanctuary of Rocamadour

Sanctuary of Rocamadour

The Sanctuary at Rocamadour is one of the most important pilgrim sites of France.

Sanctuary of Rocamadour guide