Marcoles travel guide

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Visit Marcoles (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)

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Marcoles is 24 kilometres south of Aurillac in the Cantal department of France. The village is at the heart of the south-western part of Cantal in an area known as the Chataigneraie after the chestnut trees that are characteristic of this area.

Explore Marcoles

Marcoles is a beautiful medieval village which has its origins in the 10th century, and was fortified in the 13th century. The village has narrow cobbled streets, stone houses, lots of flowers, slate rooves and a number of half-timber houses, and it is a pleasure to wander around the tranquil streets.

ancient houses in Marcoles village centre

The main square in Marcoles is the Place le la Fontaine and from here you can walk through an arched stone gateway and enter the medieval village. The stone gateway dates back to the 15th century and the time when the second fortified wall was built around Marcoles.

The first fortified wall was 430 metres long and a small part of it can still be seen near to the lower gateway. The lower gateway dates from the 15th century and the building above the gateway is emblazoned with the town's coat of arms: this building once served as the lookout tower for Marcolès.

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The church of Saint-Martin was built in the 15th century in a gothic style and contains an important collection of polychrome (multi-coloured) statues.

At the lower end of the village you will notice another stone gateway called "La fausse porte" or the false door: the name is because enemies entered Marcolès through this gateway.

During the last but one weekend of July every year there is a festival with musicians and story tellers. The festival takes place Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

House with tower in Marcolés

Attractions nearby

This is a quiet region of France, ideal for relaxing, walking and cycling. You will find several other small historic villages nearby such as Maurs and Mourjou, and the lovely village at Conques a little further south.

For larger towns you can visit Aurillac to the north, which is a very traditional Auvergne town, and the lovely historic centre at Figeac to the south-west of Marcoles.

Explore elsewhere in the Massif Central. You can find more travel ideas in the Cantal guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also: 

Photos of Marcoles

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Map of Marcoles and places nearby


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Mourjou is historically a very important chestnut producing region in France, and it is still this and the surrounding chestnut forests that are of interest to visitors

Mourjou guide


In Maurs you can see the Abbey Church of Saint-Cesaire and half-timbered houses in the medieval town centre

Maurs guide


On the banks of the Lot river the small village of Vieillevie is very pretty and also in a very attractive region of France

Vieillevie guide


Close to the scenic Route des Cretes', Aurillac lacks major monuments but is a very pleasant town to explore

Aurillac guide
Le Don du Fel

Le Don du Fel

Le Don du Fel is an impressive exhibition of artworks and pottery

Le Don du Fel guide


Best known for its abbey and a s a pilgrimage destination, the beautiful village of Conques is a highlight of any visit to Aveyron

Conques guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Cantal

Address: Marcolès, Saint-Mamet-la-Salvetat, Aurillac, Auvergne, 15220, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 44.783056, longitude 2.353611

Plan your visit to Marcoles, Cantal

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Marcoles (Francais)


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