This place is unique in Europe: a fully preserved, ruined village that was the site of the worst Nazi massacre of civilians carried out on French soil. Six hundred and forty two people, including two hundred and forty seven children, were shot or burnt alive on 10 June 1944 in an unexplained act of barbarity.
Unlike other Nazi village massacre sites, which were razed or rebuilt and marked by monuments or fields of roses, the charred remains of Oradour-sur-Glane are the only ones to have been left untouched and still standing after Charles de Gaulle ordered they should forever bear witness. This is a fascinating and gruesome reminder of the some of the worst that human beings are capable of.
Gouffre de Padirac
The Gouffre de Padirac is one of the largest chasms in Europe. More than 24 million visitors (and counting) have come to marvel at this natural wonder and it continues to enthrall those who see it.
In times gone by it was often referred to by the local population as the devil’s hole and it’s a sight to behold as you and other awestruck visitors gaze down into the enormous 75 metre chasm into the earth, 33 metres wide. This enormous sink hole then leads into a cave system, created by millennia of subterranean underground water erosion which has carved out spectacular caverns in the limestone, full of enormous stalactites and stalagmites deep under the ground.
Your visit entails a descent by lift or an impressive metal staircase, the design of which was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. You will board small flat bottomed boats as your tour guide punts along a subterranean river of pristine turquoise water. From here you discover the full grandeur of the cave system 103 metres under the surface, with small passageways in the rock giving way to mind bogglingly large caves. Full of rock formations, underground pools and gigantic stalactites and stalagmites a plenty. Impressively lit in order to highlight the cave’s features, you really do feel like you have plunged into another space and time.
Please note that this excursion may not be suitable for customers with particular health conditions. The tour takes place between 75 & 103 metres underground and is a 2km round trip, the majority of which is on foot. The walk is flat but there will be around 200 steps to negotiate, even if you take the lifts.
Lot Valley & St Cirq Lapopie
This is a fascinating excursion into the Lot Valley. We start in the beautiful town of Cahors, famous for its art and history. Founded in the Roman times, Cahors has many sights worth exploring and the centre of Cahors has beautiful medieval streets and charming little squares which you can explore.
Later we head to the beautiful village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. Standing high above the River Lot on a rocky outcrop, the village was once the site of a fortress which guarded the valley. Today, the village is known as one of the most beautiful in France, so bring your cameras!
Sarlat, Beynac at Cazenac
This excursion takes us first to the bustling market town of Sarlat, home to some of the best-preserved medieval buildings in France. You'll enjoy some free time to explore the town including the beautiful gothic and Romanesque style Cathedral, St Sacerdos. We then continue to Beynac et Cazenac, with its impressive medieval castle overlooking the Dordogne River. There will be free time here for you to explore this beautiful village and, of course, more time for photos and maybe a quick aperitif?
Martel is a gorgeous little town lying a little north of the Dordogne, so convenient for our return journey home. It was the former capital of the Viscount of Turenne and much remains of its medieval past. It is listed as a 'town of art and history'.
One if its more remarkable features is its seven towers giving it a distinctive silhouette. It is known locally as the town of the seven towers. Wandering round Martel every street offers something different. Lots of imposing doorways, beautiful arches, half-timber houses, wooden shutters and, of course, towers.