After a rainy Thursday morning which we spent at our gite, we left Auvillar after lunch to head northeast in the direction of Cahors to visit a couple of hilltop villages. Our first stop was Lauzerte, a village founded over 1,000 years ago which is another of the Plus Beaux Villages. It has a beautiful arcaded square, lots of well-preserved interesting old buildings, and a great view of the surrounding countryside.
After leaving Lauzerte we drove the short distance to Montcuq, another ancient village which is more of a commercial town than Lauzerte. There are several attractive church towers in Montcuq, but the dominating feature is the massive 12th century donjon that towers above the surrounding countryside.
On our way back from Montcuq we passed a number of chateaus, but in most cases the views were obstructed by trees or fences. However, one chateau high up a hillside was visible from the road, and we managed to get some good photos.
Before returning to Auvillar we stopped at the tiny village of Montjoi, which had been recommended to us by the woman at the Auvillar tourist bureau the other day. We probably would never have gone there otherwise, and we were definitely glad we stopped. We entered the village through an old stone gate, and saw that the buildings stretched out along the road that ran through the center. The village was perched high above the valley and there were great views from several spots, although the hazy conditions made it difficult to get any good photos of the countryside below. There also was a friendly cat in a flower pot.