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Figeac - an unspoiled mediaeval town

The town of Figeac, which is located in the south-west of France in the department known as the Lot, is a beautiful mediaeval town which has been largely unspoiled by heavy tourism. With its magically atmospheric town centre and glorious countryside, Figeac encapsulates the joy of France for many discerning property seekers.

On the pilgrim road

Figeac is a pretty and historic river town that lies on the pilgrim road that leads to Santiago de Compostela. Dating back to the 9th century, it does attract a certain amount of tourists, but is spared the ravening hordes that often seem to engulf many other, better known mediaeval towns in France. Figeac is known to its devotees as the "finest small town in France".

The Rosetta stone - home town of Jean Francois Champollion

As well as being on the pilgrim route, Figeac is famed as being the home town of the man who deciphered the Rosetta stone, Jean François Champollion. The town honours his memory with a museum which is dedicated to Champollion, and also traces the history of language.

Sites to visit in Figeac

Sites worth visiting in Figeac include the magnificent Hotel de la Monnaie in the town centre, which was originally built in the 13th century; the Church of St Sauveur, with its 17th century gilded wooden panels depicting the life of Christ; and the Church of Notre Dame du Puy, from where you can admire the views over the town. Then there are the narrow streets to explore, with their half-timbered houses and delightful squares. Figeac was once the centre of tanning, which explains why many of the houses have balconies on their upper floors, which were used to dry skins and other materials.

Markets and shops

Figeac hosts not just one, but two weekly markets, which bring colour and vitality to the town's main square and streets, as local traders and farmers come to set up their stalls and tempt you to buy. Like any good French market, it's always chock full of enticing aromas and sounds, so take a large shopping basket because resistance is futile! Figeac has a good selection of small shops selling local specialities such as cheeses and wine, and a central supermarket for everyday needs. Other usual facilities are on hand too, with cash points, hairdressers, doctors and pharmacies among the services provided.

A full complement of restaurants with excellent wine

Figeac is incredibly well supplied with cafés and restaurants, especially in respect of its small size! There are around 40 such establishments open at the time of writing, giving not only an extensive choice of cuisine, but almost universally including a possibility to sample the excellent wines of the region. Figeac wines are created within the region that comes under the appellation of St Emilion, a great guarantee of quality.

Out and about

Figeac is situated in beautiful countryside, and there are numerous places worth visiting. Certainly it is interesting to spend some time in the vineyards and taste the wines, learning about the ways in which they are created. It is also definitely a good idea to beg, steal or borrow a bicycle and leisurely explore the area yourself, making the most of the wonderful fresh air. Outdoor pursuits are popular altogether here, as you would imagine, and this is made all the more appealing by the warm, sunny southern climate that prevails for most to the time. Horse-ride, cycle, walk, play tennis, go swimming or fishing... just make the most of this lovely town and its glorious setting.

How to get there

Figeac has a TGV stop that makes it easily accessible by rail. The nearest airports offering direct flights from the UK are Rodez (Ryanair) and Bergerac (Ryanair and flybe).

Property prices and availability in and around Figeac

Property in Figeac is likely to be sought after, although prices can still be reasonable, especially when compared with British property. It is a good place to seek a renovation property and there are some good bargains currently on the market.

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Figeac AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Figeac?

Figeac is located in south-west France. It lies in the east of the Lot department, close to the border with Aveyron.

Figeac Property Map

IN THE REGION OF MIDI-PYRÉNÉES

Midi-Pyrénées Guide

Midi-Pyrénées Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF LOT

Lot Guide

  Lot Map


Population: 9,606


Access: By air: Fly to Rodez or Bergerac. By rail: The TGV stops at Figeac making train travel an excellent choice.


Economy: The economy is mainly concerned with the production of wine.


Interesting fact: The wine region into which Figeac falls is the famous and highly respected St Emilion appellation.

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