Conques, France: A Journey to the Middle Ages

The road from Marcilhac sur Cele to Conques (pronounced conk) is bursting with towering trees, abundant green foliage, and a stunning view of the Dourdou River. If I had visited the Lot Valley in the summer, it would have been mandatory that I make a stop to leap off a few rocks and lounge on the shore — soaking in the quiet and serenity of this place. The river is where I truly feel at home.

After hearing so much about the beauty of Conques, I felt my anticipation growing. Was the village covered in this lush greenery too?

As the GPS directed, I turned left off the small highway and began climbing up a steep hill. I left the river behind, but noticed just as many trees, leading the way to Conques.

Once you reach the parking lot, you can either walk from there or continue to the other side of the village — to a larger parking lot. Either way, it’s just a short five-minute walk to the heart of Conques.

The history of Conques began in the eighth-century, when a holy man by the name of Dado abandoned his material things and settled here in the wilderness. He was later joined by a few companions and a small monastic community was formed.

The Abbey Church of St Foy — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — still stands today, with much of the construction originating from the eleventh-century.

I arrived to this small village late in the day, so I wasn’t able to explore every inch of it like I had hoped. Just walking along the small cobble streets and viewing the ancient houses made me yearn for a longer visit. There is so much history here; I didn’t even come close to scratching the surface.

Where to Stay

I stayed at the charming Le Moulin de Cambelong in Conques. The hotel is located on the D901, right along the Dourdou River. This four star contemporary hotel starts at 180 Euros per night. You can dine at the restaurant on the premises for a truly unique French experience.

Thanks to the Entente Vallée du Lot and the Comité Départemental du Tourisme de l’Aveyron for hosting my trip to Conques, France.

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .

  • Hogga

    love the pics

  • LifeLeaps

    Looks like the Hobbit! How gorgeous! Thanks for the tour!

  • I love little towns like this, feels like you’re discovering something brand new… and what a gorgeous hotel too.

  • Inspired Travel Journeys

    This is off the beaten track traveling at it’s finest…thanks for sharing.

  • Not only does the town look stunning, so does the surrounding scenery.

  • Travelbllgr

    Wow, this certainly looks like the middle ages – thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Christoffer Moen

    Whoa. The place is gorgeous!

  • These are amazing shots and such classical place. You feel so wonderful looking at the pictures not sure what I will do or may be even go mad if I am personally able to visit this place. Thankyou for sharing.

  • Now this is a place I can’t wait to visit!