Recognition in the lucrative holiday market is what most destinations dream of garnering. However, one pretty French hamlet is experiencing the pitfalls of over-exposure after its tourist figures soared when it picked up a prestigious award.
On some days during the summer, the local population of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie - just 217 people - has been dwarfed by visitors flocking to the medieval village, which lies 20 miles east of Cahors in south west France. Perched on a steep cliff 100ft above a river, the hamlet has a riveting history of battling off feudal rulers, Richard the Lionheart and religious fanatics in the Middle Ages.
But its tourist office has been almost overrun. 'The sudden increase in visitors has taken us a bit by surprise, not that I'm complaining,' said office chief Clare.
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