Places to Visit
The Dordogne and The Lot
The departments of the Dordogne and the Lot are amongst the most beautiful and picturesque in France. Dominated by two periods of history, from the early days of mankind to the mediaeval period the region is full of historical monuments sited in spectacular countryside with one of France’s most beautiful rivers weaving its way through it.
Whatever your interest you should be able to find it here: History, natural scenery, nature, walking, water sports, gastronomy, markets, rural life........
The village of Carlux, dominated by the ruins of its 13th century chateau sits at the heart of all of these sites. Within a 45 minute drive you will find the vast majority of the principle sites of the Dordogne and the Lot.
The Dordogne Valley
The 60/70km stretch of the Dordogne river flowing through the Lot and the Perigord Noir must be among one of the most picturesque river valleys in Europe. With countless mediaeval villages, breath taking scenery and cliff top chateaux, a trip either upstream or downstream is a must.
Travelling upstream you get to see the beautiful villages of Creysse, Carennac with it fortified abbey, Loubressac, a cliff top village with panoramic views of the Chateaux at Castelnau and Beaulieu a market town where the river widens.
Downstream takes you past some of the major chateaux of the Dordogne, Montfort perched overlooking a loop of the river, Fayrac, Beynac, Castlenaud, Les Milandes and through the village of La Roque Gageac.
|One of the finest examples of a mediaeval town in France. The centre of the town is picturesque and all the buildings are beautifully preserved.
Market days (Wednesday and Saturday) are well worth a visit and an evening visit is a must as all the old town is lit up.
During the period between mid July and early August there is a theatre festival and throughout the summer you are able to watch the street performers and listen to the musicians who perform in the streets of the old town.
Beynac and Castelnaud
La Roque Gageac (one of the 'most beautiful villages of France') is 8 km south of Sarlat, on the Dordogne River
La Roque-Gageac is in a magnificent location. Often little more than a row of riverside houses squeezed between the Dordogne river in front and sheltered below the overhanging cliffs behind, it is truly a 'picture postcard' village.
In other places the medieval houses find space to spread up the hill a little, towards the troglodyte caves set in the cliffs above.
The narrow streets of La Roque-Gageac also pass through an interesting tropical garden as they climb. The palm trees and banana plants are possible to grow because the village is south facing and protected from north winds by the cliffs.
The city in the sky perched on the cliff tops overlooking the Dordogne valley, the mediaeval bastide of Domme is one of the treasures of the Dordogne.
The views down the valley are stunning and you will feel very much part of history as you walk around the streets.
Market day is on Thursday.
Gardens at Marqueyssac and Eyrignac
Two contrasting styles of gardens, Marqueyssac perched on the cliffs above the Dordogne valley has small formal gardens and then extensive walks along the cliff tops to the Belvédère overlooking La Roque-Gageac (one of the prettiest villages in France).
Eyrignac, located about 7km form us is one of the foremost gardens of France, very formal and mainly green!
The gardens of Cadiot (in the English style) are also in the vicinity.
One of the most visited sites in France and a must see. Stunning architecture, the village clings to the hillside.
Kings of France have been crowned here and it is one of the key pilgrimage points on the route to Santiago. A total of 7 churches are located on the religious level.
There is also an excellent wild bird sanctuary (Rocher des Aigles) and children also love the monkey forest (Forêt de Singes)
Gouffre de Padirac
The biggest geological cave in the Dordogne region, the Padirac chasm is over 100m deep and 32m wide.
You descend through it into the cave complex by way of a boat journey on an underground river.
The biggest cave (the Grand Dôme) is a staggering 91m high.
Lascaux Caves at Montignac
In the Vézère valley, you will have the opportunity to visit a replica of some of the most important prehistoric cave paintings ever discovered.
The Lascaux cave is outstanding and the paintings are breathtaking. See bison, mammoths and cave dwellers dating back 10,000 years.
La Roque St Christophe
One of the most incredible attractions in the Dordogne region, a UNESCO World Heritage site, La Roque St Christophe is a 1km long cliff, 80m high with 5 enormous galleries.
Since troglodyte days, it has been a place of safe refuge. You get to see how the city was arranged and there are working replicas of the lifts which were needed to bring supplies up the cliff face.
Grotte de Font de Gaume, Les Eyzies
Les Eyzies, known as the Capital of European prehistory (National museum of prehistory, Grotte du Grand Roc, Abri de Cro-Magnon ).
Font de Gaume located at the entrance of the village has one of the finest collections of prehistoric paintings still open to the public. Admission is limited to only 200 per day so you need to plan ahead.
In the summer it is normally booked up to three weeks ahead! If you want to visit, ring and make a reservation (05 53 06 86 00)
Collonges La Rouge
The “red city", located between Souillac and Brive.
A stunning mediaeval town built from red sandstone, which seems to glow in the sun.
The buildings are beautifully preserved and there is a wonderful atmosphere as you explore the town.