The Marian city Of Rocamadour is worth a visit but please not without a good guide. The wealth of this cultural heritage is often underestimated because of a 30 mn car park research, the complete misunderstanding about the functioning of the elevators and in the end what makes this site so famous all over the world.
The best time to discover Rocamadour it's early in the morning before it starts getting too crowdy and because at that time the light illuminates the cliff in which the churches are nested.
If it's too difficult in the morning for you, the Marian City is wonderful at night thanks to a good lighting. In order to enjoy it fully, you should take the tourist train at night which will show you all the city from the opposite cliff (Departure at the foot of the city).
My tip to visit Rocamadour is to park your car (for free) at the top of the city, follow "parking du château, ascenseurs" directions. That way you'll go down the shady way of the Cross (accessible for visitors in wheelchairs and baby buggies) recently restored . If you have difficulties to walk an elevator (paid service) is available from the car park to the churches and there is another one (paid service also) lower to reach without any troubles the village in order to avoid the famous great staircase of Rocamadour which was formely climbed up by the pilgrims on their knees with a prayer on each step (more than 220 in the Middle-Ages !).
To tell you here the incredible story of this city of pilgrimage is simply impossible, do not forget : more than one thousand years of history ! There are many ways to deal with it according to your time commitment (allow at least two hours to visit) , who you are, your requirements... From the classical guided tour of Rocamadour to an interactive and playful visit or a hike in the Alzou canyon, there is no shortage of ideas for me to astonish you and to discover or rediscover this exceptional site.
Did you know that about Rocamadour ? what was added recently to enrich the heritage of the Marian city has been completely funded by private donations (340 000 €, wow !) ? What's the common feature between the medieval fresco of the Annonciation (and the Visitation) and the new reliquary of Saint Amadour ? Do you know that in fact there are two black madonas in Rocamadour ? What is the oldest object in the churches of Rocamadour ?
Here some things that are going to astonishe you in Rocamadour, especially without any explanation.
For the good hikers in April, come and try to follow the sheep transhumance from Rocamadour to Luzech.
A 70 km hike of 5 days through the Causse (limestone plateau) of Gramat classified as a Natural park. The departure takes place at the bottom of Rocamadour city with the blessing of the flock.
In may it's the cheese festival in Rocamadour to honor our local goat cheese the famous "Cabécou". In the local language "cabécou" means little goat cheese, easy no ?
Do you know that in the past, this little goat cheese was used as money and even to pay taxes ?
It is classified since 1996 thanks to an AOC, easy to recognize it, Rocamadour is represented on his label. You have to taste it during your stay in the Lot. It's not strong and really tasty with a good wine.
You can buy them in the farms or on local markets (only in the morning). The farmers use the label as a directional sign to find their farms. Eat them during your stay in the Lot, our cheese is not made for a long trip.
The hot-air balloon meeting in Rocamadour takes place each year in September (the third week-end). With the first autumn delicate color variations, the take off of so many balloons from down the Canyon will be a magical and memorable moment of your holiday in Rocamadour.
There are two flights each day, but the best for me it's the first morning one (good light and less people). Now there are flights even in other sites of the Dordogne valley. For more information : see here. Be aware that this event attracts many visitors, remember to get organised. Free admission.