Is Rocamadour the Most Sought-After Village to Visit in France?

Is Rocamadour the Most Sought-After Village to Visit in France?

The village of Rocamadour, perched atop an impressive rocky outcrop in the Dordogne Valley is the most searched-for French village on the Internet, according to a study by holiday rentals comparison website Likibu.  

The study looked at the number of Google search requests placed by travellers looking to visit France by analysing the terms “what to do”, “what to see” and “what to visit”. The results drew up a list of the 30 most searched-for villages in France to explore and Rocamadour is, for the third year running and by far, the number one sought-after destination with 110,000 search requests in the space of a month, including 12,870 tourism-based requests. 

The study was completed between March 29th and April 3rd 2023 and included all villages in France with less than 2,000 inhabitants – a total of 30,037 locations! 

Rocamadour by nightfall © Vallée de la Dordogne

Located in the heart of the Dordogne Valley, in the Causses du Quercy Regional Natural Park, Rocamadour is best known as a pilgrimage site and its role as a stopover village on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Built on the side of a cliff, more than 120 metres above a canyon, the medieval town is dramatically picturesque and listed as one of France’s Plus Beaux Villages. Travellers flock to the Lot village to gaze upon the many churches and chapels, climb the hundreds of steps to reach the castle at the top and amble along the boutique-lined cobbled streets before tasting the local cheese of the same name. 

Read More: Touring the Dordogne Valley in a 2CV Classic Car

Giverny in Normandy is second in the list © Veronica Reverse on Unsplash

Giverny, mostly known as the location of Claude Monet’s house, came in second with 8,170 tourism requests. The little Normandy village, dotted with art galleries, and lovely tea shops and restaurants attracts no fewer than 500,000 to 700,000 tourists a year, drawn to the mesmerising gardens of the Impressionist artist.  

Another artistically inclined village came third with 4,630 tourism requests. Les Baux de Provence, in the Bouches-du-Rhône, is best knocwn for its Carrières de Lumières – a former quarry which hosts multi-media art shows, projecting images onto the white stone walls. Set in the heart of the Alpilles massif, the charming village boasts boutique hotels, craft shops, museums, restaurants and plenty of heritage sites to enjoy year-round. 

The following destinations were – in this order – Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the French Basque country, Provencal Gordes, Saint-Florent in Corsica, vineyard-surrounded Sancerre in the Loire valleyYvoire, on the banks of Lac Léman in Haute-Savoie, Piana, also in Corsica and finally Vézelay, with its UNESCO-listed basilica in Burgundy. 

You can see the full study results on Likibu’s website (in French). 

Have your say! What is your favourite French village in the list? Vote below! And if you have a short story to tell about visiting one of them, why not write for us.

Lead photo credit : Rocamadour is the most searched-for village in France on Google © Vallée de la Dordogne

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Sophie is Digital Editor for France Today. Raised in Burgundy to British parents, she grew up bilingual in a small village where summers were about forest walks and lazy swims in the river. A Franco-British citizen, she studied literature, then journalism in Paris and Cardiff before quickly dipping her toes (and quill) into travel writing. She’s been specialised and writing about France since 2016 and now works from her home office in north-east France.

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    2023-05-27 04:30:57
    I have recently returned from a lovely river cruise with Uniworld in France. I am almost 83 yrs and thought this would be my last trip to France, but what I did not get to do was just stay in a quiet place, maybe near the river, and just enjoy the countryside. No shopping trips to Paris, just soaking up the beauty of that area. I love reading the news on several French websites, and since I do not speak much French I enjoy the English written columns. Merci, Bonnie Sullivan


  •  Sally Bostley
    2023-04-19 10:58:14
    Sally Bostley
    Nobody can have a "favorite" village in France. There are too many absolutely beautiful ones. If I were to chose a village to live in, it would be Montrichard on the river Cher. It is attractive enough, in beautiful countryside with lots of nearby Chateaux to visit and the people are incredibly friendly. It has a train station and is an easy drive to Paris or Tours. They have a market and also any stores you might need. We've visited several times and love it. That said, all the villages you mentioned are wonderful. You did make it sound like Rocamadour is in the Dordogne Region and it may be in the Dordogne Valley but it is in the Region of Lot, the Department of Occitanie whereas the Dordogne is a region in the Novelle-Aquitaine Department. Rocamadour is much nearer the Dordogne River than to the Lot but is far enough east to be in Occitanie (formerly Languedoc-Roussillon).