Relaxing and medieval
Under one hour maximum from the big cities nearby, Figeac is a classic example of a traditional small country town. This is because it’s a direct heir to the medieval world, being rural at its heart. That said, it is an elegant town. Its solid walls make for fine architecture and its grey stones are always clean and crisp, just like life here. The houses and medieval urban palaces look like something out of a storybook, and you could imagine them being home to the likes of fairies, enchanted princesses and handsome princes.
Nestled in the Célé Valley, the town houses the museum dedicated to the great Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion, a native of the town and decoder of hieroglyphs, and to the world’s writing systems. Meanwhile, the churches of Notre-Dame-du-Puy and Saint-Sauveur cover the architectural eras from Romanesque to Baroque. Here you’ll also find the old marketplaces where you can almost still hear the music of old fairs, and the Place des Ecritures, a masterpiece of contemporary urban design. Figeac perhaps owes its eclectic yet unique identity, all the while typically Occitan, to inspirations from all directions. Located at the crossroads of four regions, this has fed its spirit of openness and guided it towards commerce since the Middle Ages, in the luxury goods trade in particular, first in the immediate region, then onto the rest of France, Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. The richness of the houses in Figeac are a testimony to the opulence of the town’s merchants. You can explore this whole world from several angles, since there are so many tourist offerings available, whether independent or guided, historic or more accessible, or with applications for the very latest smartphones. And you don’t just have to stay in town – Greater Figeac and the Lot and Célé Valleys welcome you with its vast natural environment. You can enjoy a great range of ways to get around, whether by horse, by canoe or along the many hiking trails that criss-cross the surrounding countryside. Your efforts will be rewarded with beautiful silence, only disrupted by the sound of the flight of a hawk or kingfisher. Let yourself be enchanted!