France South-West

Roadtrip in the South-West of France – #3: Collonge-la-Rouge

Little houses made of red stones, slate roofs, turrets at every street corners, manors and castles from the 16th century: today I’m taking you to a little village coming straight from from a fairy tale book, Collonge-la-Rouge !


The “25-tower city” as it is nicknamed was the next stop in our roadtrip in the South-West of France, and this little town in the Corrèze department totally seduced us! Entirely made of red limestone buildings, this little gem is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, and we understood why! Let’s start the visit!


It was so cold on that January morning when we arrived that Collonge-la-Rouge was still wrapped in a thick layer of morning fog that intensified its fairy tale village character.

We immediately succumbed to the charm of this city coming straight from another era! It was as if we had jumped back in times to be facing a 16th-century hamlet. Not a single TV-antena, commercial ad or electric cable: Collonge has managed to maitain its original cachet.

We started strolling around these charming little lanes and enjoyed the tranquility of the place as cars are forbidden. There was no doubt, we were travelling back in times!


And then we came face to face with this little gem! Doesn’t it look just like a fairy tale cottage? We would not have been very surprised to see Snow White pass by one of these windows…

IMGP9359 We continued to explore the village. As we were off-season, we had it just for ourselves! It was amazing!


We loved the harmony that emanates from this little village. This bright red tone was to be found everywhere around Collonge.

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La Crêperie du Pèlerin et de la Sorcière (meaning “the creperie of the pilgrim and the witch”)… we definitely were in a fairy tale!

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We then hit the road again, looking for a castle that proved to be hard to find: Belcastel.

Le château de Belcastel

We fell for Belcastel as we were flipping through the pages of our travel guide of the Aquitaine region. This lovely manor built on the edge of a cliff in the middle of a hilly landscape immediately seduced us.

But the travel guide definitely did not provide much information and finding the castle was like being on a treasure hunt! We had a picture and we knew that it was located between the towns of Lacave and Souillac… That was not very precise.

As we like challenges, we started our treasure hunt and, believe it or not, we did find it! And it was worth it! The site was wonderful! We had reached the Lot department.

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We then hopped back into the car, heading towards the amazing medieval city of Carcassonne that we reached late in the afternoon after several hours on the road. The sun was back.


We could not wait to start exploring this little gem from the Middle Ages!

– Our roadtrip in the South-West of France –


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  • Reply Diana Lincoln 24 May 2018 at 15 h 22 min

    This is exactly the kind of trip we like. We are headed to the Pyrenees in September, and will probably take your trip in reverse. We had already identified Carcasonne and Rocomadour, as well as some other towns, but will add yours to our itinerary. Thanks for your post.

    • Reply Aurélie 26 May 2018 at 16 h 09 min

      Thank you for your comment Diana, let me if I can help you with anything about your trip 🙂

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