Nestled at the bottom of a wide gorge surrounded by high limestone cliffs lies the medieval village of Autoire.
First settled in Roman times, Autoire was devastated during the Hundred Years War with the English during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. All that remains from those earliest days is the eleventh-century church dedicated to Saint-Pierre—an imposing structure, around which a new town was built after the war.
Not a lot has changed during the last five hundred years and the elegant stone-and-timber cottages with their subdued brown shutters and tiled roofs look much the same today as they did then.
Take your time to wander through the narrow streets and admire the beautifully preserved buildings which have earned Autoire its classification among France’s most beautiful villages—and then stop for lunch, of course!
(Published January 2016, last updated May 2023)
Which long-distance walk in France visits Autoire?
Martel to Rocamadour
Where is Autoire, France? Find it on Google maps
Autoire is located 78.8 kilometres (49.3 miles) from the starting point of Martel.
The village is one of nine of France’s ‘most beautiful villages’ visited on this walk. The others are Martel, Turenne, Collonges-la-Rouge, Curemonte, Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, Loubressac, Carennac and Rocamadour.
If you are following my suggested itinerary for this eight-day walk, you’ll arrive in Autoire in time for lunch on the sixth day of walking—a relaxed pace which allows plenty of time to visit the fresh food markets before leaving Bretenoux (held on Tuesday and Saturday mornings) and to stop and explore Château de Castelnau-Bretenoux.
If you prefer to set your own agenda, I share the steps I take to plan my itinerary on any long-distance walk (using the Chemin de Stevenson as a case study).
Tourist Office in Autoire
There is no official Tourist Office in Autoire but you’ll find helpful staff at the mairie (council), located in the middle of the village. Opening hours are listed on the mairie website.
Accommodation in Autoire
Auberge de la Fontaine
How to book accommodation in French
Where to eat in Autoire
You’ll find several cafés, a bakery (boulangèrie) and supermarket in the village where you can stop for lunch or dinner, buy picnic supplies or stock up on trail mix.
For something light, I can recommend Crêperie de la Cascade (pictured above) where the food is delicious and the view enchanting.
Practical tips for long-distance walking—preparation, packing and avoiding blisters
Purchase the 2023 edition of the Martel to Rocamadour (PDF) guidebook
We are mature age Australian couple planning a walk in October from carennac via Loubressac to Autoire.
How difficult is it coming down the GR652 cliff to AUTOIRE I have looked at your Martel to Rocamadour wonderful walk.
THANKS FOR HELP
Melinda Lusmore says
Hi Ann and Ross,
Nothing about it sticks out in my mind as being particularly difficult. Mostly this section is fairly flat and it’s always less tiring going down than up. I don’t think you’ll have any problems.
Good luck! Melinda