Friday 31 July 2015

Autoire, The Lot, France

The distinguished and picturesque village of Autoire is home to several fine stone chateau, the legacy of a lucrative wine industry in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sitting just above a stream, Autoire's jumble of sturdy stone and wood-beamed houses, many with intricate, steep roofs, are virtually untarnished by the twentieth century. The village is overlooked by some dramatic limestone cliffs, which constitute a natural amphitheatre, known as the Cirque d'Autoire, and a towering waterfall.  Unsurprisingly, the setting and the harmonious and handsome architecture attracts scores of tourists. But Autoire has only a couple of places to eat or drink, and it can be hard to get sustenance in the afternoon. Still, the nooks and crannies of this well-preserved and prosperous village are well worth exploring.