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.
(Published January 2016, updated June 2021)
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!
Which long-distance walk in France visits Autoire?
Martel to Rocamadour
Where is Autoire, France? Find it on Google maps
Autoire is located 82.2 kilometres (51.5 miles) from the starting point of Martel.
If you are following my suggested itinerary (which you’ll find here), you’ll arrive in Autoire in time for lunch on the fifth 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 their website.
Accommodation in Autoire
Auberge de la Fontaine
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.