Visit to medieval villages in the Dordogne
The Dordogne is full of medieval villages and towns. The Dordogne’s greatest asset is that the region has escaped the industrial revolution and all that goes with it. Most of the houses are of traditional construction, the majority of them dating from at least the 17th century.
A small selection of these jewels of the Dordogne…
Sarlat-la-Canéda city of art and history
Capital of the Périgord Noir, Sarlat is the undisputed medieval jewel of the Périgord, enjoying an incredible international reputation. A must for lovers of local produce, which can be found every week on the stalls of the always well-stocked markets, the old town of Sarlat is closed to cars and offers tourists the best conditions for exploring. The Place du Peyrou, with its beautiful cathedral and presidential palace, is the most beautiful and oldest part of the town. As you wander around, you will notice a wonderful harmony in the buildings, which range from the 14th to the 18th century. During the summer season, the terraces are crowded and the old town is alive with cultural events. Every summer, the theatre festival is held in a friendly atmosphere on the Place du Marché aux Oies.
Domme acropolis of the Périgord Noir
Built in 1281 on a rock, the village of Domme is a pretty bastide surrounded by ramparts, nestled at about 250 metres above sea level. As a result, it quickly earned the name of Acropolis of the Périgord. Domme has lost none of its romanticism of yesteryear. The small houses, the narrow streets and the large squares give this city of character a very pleasant atmosphere where time seems to have stopped. For the more curious, there is the possibility of exploring the numerous caves located near the village as well as the Templar prison.
Don’t miss the beautiful Thursday market and the magnificent view over the Dordogne valley from the belvedere.
Beynac-et-Cazenac jewel of the Valley of Man
This beautiful old village, one of the jewels of the valley, is an unmissable stop in the Dordogne. Built against a steep cliff on which the impressive château of Beynac dominates the whole region, it also owes its name to the château of Cazenac which is on the other side of the hill. You can get to the old Beynac via the stairs along the castle wall. It’s a bit of an effort but well worth it! Besides the castle, there are some nice shops and terraces. A little further on, there is a magnificent view of the Dordogne valley and its many castles.
La Roque Gageac labelled as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France
The village is built between the Dordogne and the cliff and the houses seem to merge with the rock face. A real town in the Middle Ages, the bishops of Sarlat had their summer residence here. The river has allowed La Roque-Gageac to develop economically thanks to its commercial port. Take a walk through the streets of this beautiful and almost perfectly homogeneous village. Here, the stones and plants have a particular colour and smell. Facing south, the village benefits from an almost Mediterranean climate which has allowed the establishment of an exotic garden that can be visited free of charge throughout the year.
Monpazier the most beautiful bastide of the Périgord
Labelled one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, Monpazier has not aged a bit since the 13th century. Its remarkable square lined with venerable houses with characteristic arcades, its superb market hall classified as a Historic Monument, its narrow and transverse streets which mainly house workshops and antique shops, and its incredible architectural wealth make it a highly recommended stopover. It is also possible to walk around the fortified town with a guide and to discover the period trades in the village.
…and so many other villages to discover while staying at the Pech Charmant campsite in Les Eyzies!
Many other villages are worth a visit, such as Belvès, the “village with 7 bell towers”, the discreet and tiny village of Cadouin with its superb Romanesque church and its Cistercian abbey, the adorable St-Léon sur Vézère, the bucolic Brantôme and its illustrious abbey, Beaumont-du-Périgord and its 13th century bastide, the charming villages of Meyrals and St-Cyprien very close to the campsite, Saint-André d’Allas and the Breuil huts.