Autoire (pop. 350) is a lovely stone village tucked between the Dordogne River and the Causse du Quercy Regional Nature Park. It is famous for its nearby cirque (natural amphitheatre) with its waterfall.
Listed as one of the most beautiful villages of France, Autoire was once a favourite country retreat of the French aristocracy. Notwithstanding its tiny size, the village has four castles and a manor on its territory.
The most impressive is the medieval Château des Anglais, built directly inside the crack of a cliff around the 12th century. The keep was surrounded by a fortified village comprising 22 square houses.
The other castles are the 15th-century Château de Limargue, the 17th-century Château de Busqueilles (now a B&B) and the Château de La Roque-Maynard. The Romanesque church dates from the 11th century.
Ask your travel questions on the France Travel Forum