Last week I returned from a trip to Loubressac, a French village that looked like it had been lifted directly from the pages of a fairytale. As I wandered through its winding streets, admiring the houses with their terracotta roofs, window shutters and grape vines, I felt like I’d been transported into the movie Beauty and the Beast. (Actually, come to think of it, the character Belle and I do have a number of things in common. We both have brown hair, love reading, have a longing for adventure and have ended up with big hairy guys (sorry, Paul)).
My trip to Loubressac, which is located in the Lot region in the South West of France, happened because a friend of mine has a house there and offered it as a place to stay. Prior to this, Lot was an area I knew absolutely nothing about. In fact, when I Googled it, the top article to come up was titled “Lot: the corner of south-west France the British haven’t discovered.” Loubressac and the Lot region may be undiscovered but it is absolutely worth visiting: it is stunning.
Let’s start with Loubressac. Loubressac is a tiny village with a population of approximately 500 which is perched on top of the Dordogne valley, the Bave valley and the Cère valley. There’s a sign as you go in which names it one of the most beautiful villages in France and I completely believe this to be true; it is one of the most picturesque places I have ever visited. Not only are the houses gorgeous, Loubressac has several views of the surrounding valleys which are spectacular. I visited a few villages in the nearby region during my stay there but Loubressac was my favourite.
I loved dipping my toe into French countryside life. Each morning I would go to the shop and stock up on baguettes, cheese and wine, all from the local region and all delicious. These would be consumed on the balcony of the house I was staying in which had grape vines on the roof and an amazing view of the valley opposite. There are two restaurants in Loubressac but I didn’t end up eating in those; true to provincial French tradition, they seemed to have erratic opening hours.
I did a few day trips during my stay; I walked to nearby village Autoire, which was also very beautiful, and to the Padirac cave which I did a boat trip through. I also bicycled to Rocamadour which is described as a “vertical village.” It is a village and pilgrimage site built on very steep cliffs surrounded by lush, green countryside and is hugely impressive.
Perhaps the reason the Lot region and Loubressac doesn’t receive many tourists is because you definitely need a car to explore the area, or at least a bicycle (and if you were travelling through the area by bicycle you would need to be very fit – there’s a lot of steep hills and rough terrain). I got to and from Brive airport via a lift from a local resident.
For that reason, if I didn’t know someone who had a house there I probably wouldn’t have visited the area but I am so glad I got the opportunity to explore this very beautiful part of France. And it has so got me in the mood for my June trip to the Loire Valley.